One of the most common questions I hear from friends and readers is: “What is happening with Nighttown?”
The query is understandable given the property’s recent history. Longtime owner Brendan Ring shuttered the Cleveland Heights restaurant and club at the start of the pandemic citing a moral obligation to the community as his motive. Nighttown reopened for outdoor dining during the summer of 2020 before closing its doors once again the following fall. Those doors have remained closed ever since.
A few months later, in January of 2021, Ring announced that he had sold the iconic property and business that his former boss, John Barr, had launched in 1965. All we knew at the time about the new owner, who wished to remain anonymous, was that there were assurances made to Ring “to keep the essence of Nighttown the same.”
After nine months of rumor, speculation and pessimism, diners received their first update on the project in September 2021. At that time it was announced that Red Restaurant Group would take over operations at Nighttown. Managing partner Gregg Levy described the design, planning and renovation project as comprehensive.
“This is a large-scale project with many infrastructure and back-of-house improvements, including replacing all kitchen equipment and cooler systems, but from a guest-facing perspective, our intent on keeping the look and feel of Nighttown intact is paramount,” he said back then.
It has been exactly one year since our last update, and right on cue, Levy and company have issued a progress report.
“Construction has extended beyond our initial scope of work to include significant infrastructure work needed to stabilize, revitalize and modernize the building such as a completely new HVAC system, structural engineering, a brand-new kitchen, ADA-compliant bathrooms, a new bathroom attached to the patio and the list goes on…,” the statement reads.
The commitment to preserve the property’s personality remains steadfast, adds Levy. Much of the restaurant’s original artwork, furniture, stained glass and other distinctive elements have been carefully stowed away for future enjoyment.
“The layout, the look, the brand… the soul of the Nighttown will remain!”
While still no ETA has been provided, the folks at Red will begin teasing out menu items for diners to sample. While construction progresses, Red Steakhouse at Pinecrest will launch “Nighttown Nights.” The first will take place on Wednesday, September 28th, when Nighttown executive chef Rowan Murray will offer items from the new menu. Select weeks thereafter will feature different items for guests to enjoy.
On tap for week one is the beloved Dublin Lawyer, as well as spicy calamari, braised short rib, trout almandine and cauliflower steak.
Reserve your spot here