Two months ago, Scene food writer Doug Trattner told us about dining investor/entrepreneur Alan Glazen’s plan for swooping into the Waterloo Road strip of North Collinwood anchored by the Beachland Ballroom and simultaneously open five eateries run by high-profile Cleveland chefs like Michael Symon and Jonathon Sawyer.
At the time, he put the odds of his pulling this off at 30 % but it seems like they’re getting better. He met last week with business owners who have already put down stakes on Waterloo, including the Beachland’s Cindy Barber and representatives from Blue Arrow Books and Record, Music Saves, Star Pop, and Native Cleveland, to reassure them that he wanted to work with them and that he wasn’t trying to pull off some grand coup that would pull the rug out from under them.
The other day he launched a Facebook page called Operation Waterloo Light Switch. He’s inviting interested members of the public to weigh in and discuss ideas for the project.
In a Scene cover story last summer about the Beachland’s struggles over its 12-year existence to revive the moribund strip, we talked about how business owners and community leaders felt the main thing lacking on the street was multiple affordable dining options.
Now, after four years of planning and setbacks, Billy Blitz’s Barbecue looks set to open by the fall across the street from the Beachland. Glazen is targeting the fall of 2013 to throw the switch on his project, after the completion of its $5 million, federally funded streetscape project, set to begin construction next spring.