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Chef Eric Rogers got the keys to the Sweetie Fry Space on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights at the tail end of last year. Today, he opened the door for his first paying customer.
Black Box Fix (2307 Lee Rd., 216-383-8130) builds on the reputation and following that Rogers began cultivating at his South Euclid restaurant Nevaeh Cuisine, which he closed after one year to relocate. The unconventional name originated as a hashtag (#blackboxfix) that customers would use when sharing pictures of the food (packaged in a black box) on social media. Rogers has more than 18,000 Instagram followers.
The chef’s cooking style veers from Creole- and Cajun-style classics like jambalaya and gumbo, to comfort foods like smothered chicken with mac and cheese. Black Box Fix, however, is a “fast gourmet” concept that will focus on soups, salads and creative sandwiches during lunch and dinner. Rogers says that he might add entrees to the menu down the road. There is seating for approximately 15 to 20 dine-in customers.
On the current menu are sandwiches like the Reuben Gobble ($10), a twist on the deli classic made with smoked turkey, sautéed cabbage and Swiss served on grilled Tuscan bread. The Hibachi Burger ($13) tops a seasoned beef patty with grilled shrimp, mushrooms and mozzarella. Rogers makes his own version of the Polish Boy called the Lee Road Hobo ($8.50), with smoked beef sausage topped with fresh-cut fries, slaw and BBQ sauce.
Rogers recently taped an episode of the Food Network television show "Guy's Grocery Games," which is slated to air in April..
In 2011, Rogers traded in a job at University Hospitals to pursue cooking fulltime.
“I was in healthcare finance,” he says. “I took a leap of faith and left to pursue my passion for cooking.”