Sawyer's at Van Aken Will Not Reopen; Garden City, a Rooftop Bar, to Open Above

click to enlarge Sawyer's at Van Aken Will Not Reopen; Garden City, a Rooftop Bar, to Open Above
Forward Hospitality Group
Garden City, a cocktail-focused rooftop bar with food, will open at Van Aken District on June 11, says Bobby Rutter of Forward Hospitality Group. The venue sits atop the Sawyer’s restaurant space and shares a kitchen. The bar actually was a tenant in the building before the restaurant below was selected.

“This has been in the works for about 18 months,” Rutter explains.

Garden City will be a year-round business, but it will really shine in warmer months because of the layout, which dedicates more square footage to outdoor spaces than interior. The open-air bar is 2,000 square feet versus 1,800 for inside, which is trimmed down further because of restrooms and other non-usable space.

While cocktail focused, the club will feature a menu built around “approachable but solid American food,” adds Rutter.

As for the restaurant below, Rutter reports that it will not be reopening as Sawyer's and that chef Jonathon Sawyer has zero involvement with the business. With that news, the James Beard Award-winning chef no longer is associated with any Cleveland restaurants following the shuttering of Trentina, Noodlecat and Greenhouse Tavern. (Food stalls at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse and FirstEnergy Stadium may have some tenuous affiliation with the chef if they reopen.)

Forward Hospitality, the Cleveland-based restaurant group that is behind notable eateries like Flip Side, Three Palms, One Red Door and Bell & Flower, and clubs like Magnolia and FWD Day + Nightclub, will rename, reformat and remodel the former Sawyer's restaurant. It will still be a wood-fired kitchen, but that is about all that will remain the same. (Rutter also states that Sawyer no longer is involved with SeeSaw in Columbus.)

No name, format or opening date has been revealed for the Sawyer's space, says Rutter.

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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