It has always been a part of Brian Okin’s master plan to build off the success of Cork & Cleaver Social Kitchen, which he opened almost two years back in Broadview Heights. In preparation for that day he’s been busy assembling a core team of front and back-of-the-house talent that will oversee any future restaurants. In addition to co-owner and chef Adam Bostwick, Okin has brought in chef Brian Toomey, an alumnus of Verve and Black Pig, Okin’s wife Amanda, a front-of-house pro from Red and Lola, and Dave Hridel, a talented and popular bar manager most recently working at Spice.
That team will get to work immediately on its next project; transforming the recently purchased Reddstone (1261 W. 76th St.), which has been “closed for remodeling” since New Year’s Day, into Graffiti Social Kitchen. Reddstone originally was opened in 2007 by chef Josh Kabat, who now owns two Cleveland Pickle sandwich shops. In 2012, it changed hands, going to a restaurant group that included Fabio Salerno.
Following a largely cosmetic tune-up, Graffiti could be up and running by early February, says Okin. As for the menu, fans of Cork & Cleaver can expect the same bold, creative food in a slightly different package.
“It will be similar in style but not the same,” says Okin. “It will be a more casual version of Cork & Cleaver, with more shared items and appetizers. But we’ll definitely still have some entrees on the menu.”
Okin’s “reverse migration” from the suburbs to the urban core is a homecoming of sorts. His own restaurant Verve was not far from Progressive Field. He later worked at Luxe Kitchen and Lounge just down the road from Graffiti. It’s a neighborhood he’s quickly falling for all over again.
“I think the spot is beautiful, and there is so much great stuff going on over there,” says Okin. “That area is growing by leaps and bounds.”
He’s right, of course. In addition to the $100-million build-out of townhomes a few years back, the area just welcomed The Shoreway, a warehouse conversion project that features 45 luxury lofts all already spoken for. That building sits near a recently updated pedestrian tunnel that connects W. 76th to Edgewater Park.
Great stuff, indeed.