It’s been a long, difficult and expensive journey for Ross Valenti, who this week finally opened the doors of the Literary Tavern
(1031 Literary Rd., 216-861-3922). Valenti, who also operates D'Agnese's
in Broadview Heights, purchased the iconic Tremont spot nearly three years ago. Since then, he’s been working in fits and starts to get to this point.
“It’s been really tough,” he admits. “I could write a book.”
If he did, entire chapters would be devoted to shady contractors, petty theft and vandalism, and the infrastructure of 150-year-old buildings. But Valenti met each and every challenge head on and has come out the other side.
For 30 years, the property was known as the Literary Café, or “the Lit” for short. Following a complete renovation that includes an all-new storefront, interior and mechanicals, the spot is a sharp 45-seat neighborhood tavern. There are draft beers, wines by the glass and cocktails.
The previous owners began the process of installing a small kitchen, but never completed it. Valenti is 99-percent of the way there and hopes to have it finished this week. When he does, guests can look forward to salads, sandwiches, burgers, housemade pastas and entrees built around vegetables, seafood and meat. The menu also offers bar snacks and shareable meat and cheese boards.
After all this time, Valenti simply is thrilled to be open and welcoming guests.
“It’s been my dream to do this, especially in my own neighborhood,” he says. “You spend so much time in a place, and there’s no life to it. It’s just good to see people in here having a good time. That’s what it’s all about.”
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