Update: Let's Talk in AECOM Building Downtown Opens Today

click to enlarge Let's Talk to offer food and drinks in the AECOM building. - Scott Hess
Scott Hess
Let's Talk to offer food and drinks in the AECOM building.

Update: Let's Talk opens today in the AECOM building downtown.

Original story from September 2, 2021 follows:

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In the wake of new investments and improvements to the AECOM building (1300 East 9th St.) in downtown Cleveland, a handful of new food tenants have begun preparations to move into the property. Those who will do so in the coming weeks and months include Winking Lizard, Colossal Cupcakes, Anna in the Raw and Let's Talk.

The first likely to open will be Let’s Talk, which is taking over a space formerly home to Al’s Deli (not to be confused with the Al’s Deli down the block). The 1,600-square-foot space, which is located in the atrium lobby, will have a sort of split personality, according to owner Scott Hess.

“The space is interesting,” Hess explains. “There used to be two separate units, a food side and then you had to go outside and walk around to a different door to a full bar with a liquor license. There was a shared kitchen in back. I opened up the wall in between.”

The “food side” will cater to the employees in the building with coffee service, grab-and-go breakfast and lunch items and heat-and-eat meals for those people to take home. There will be soups, salads and sandwiches available throughout the day.

The “bar side” will open for lunch and happy hour, offering wine, cocktails and live entertainment on a vintage piano. A menu of creative small plates will be prepared by chef Amy Jones.

“Let's Talk is exactly what it sounds like,” adds Hess. “I want this place, at least the bar side, to be a place where you sit down and engage with other humans. There will be no TVs; that's kind of the idea, that people sit there and talk to each other. That’s something that, in my opinion, people are forgetting how to do with social media and all that stuff. I’ll do my best to get people to look each other in the eyes.”

As for the liquid refreshments, Hess, who will be behind the bar, says that classic cocktails will be the name of the game.

“I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel here,” he says. “Some of the bar creativity that's been happening over the last five years or so has been getting out of control. I kind of want to take it a little bit back to the basics of what a martini is supposed to be, if that makes sense.”

Let’s Talk is on pace for a mid-October opening.
click to enlarge Let's Talk to offer food and drinks in the AECOM building. - Scott Hess
Scott Hess
Let's Talk to offer food and drinks in the AECOM building.

About The Author

Douglas Trattner

For 20 years, Douglas Trattner has worked as a full-time freelance writer, editor and author. His work on Michael Symon's "Carnivore," "5 in 5" and “Fix it With Food” have earned him three New York Times Best-Selling Author honors, while his longstanding role as Scene dining editor garnered the award of “Best...
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