Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

And the Winner of the Free Collinwood Restaurant is...

Posted By on Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 12:37 PM

lightswitch.jpg

It was an offer too good to refuse: As part of his ambitious neighborhood development project Operation Light Switch, Alan Glazen was offering up an existing Collinwood restaurant for zero down and zero rent for six months.

"I don't want to start my project by closing down one of the few things there," Glazen explained at the time of the news.

Well, the winner of that restaurant lottery is Mary Kean, a Tremont resident who hopes to open Chloe's Kitchen and Diner in three weeks. She will be taking over the long-running Fotina's Restaurant (400 E. 156th St., 216-692-1375), which closed last week after approximately 30 years. The owners no longer had any interest in running it.

"Yes, it's very nice," says Kean about the terms of the deal.

Kean left a long career in the electronics industry, saying that she no longer had a passion for it like she does for the restaurant business. She has also worked for years in fine dining.

"Mary brings 15 years of hospitality experience to the table, including Lola, Parallax and Velvet Tango Room," Glazen explains. "She's true inner-city neighborhood woman who loves Waterloo. She understands the scene and is excited to contribute to our project."

Fotina's was a small, plain and modest diner serving breakfast and lunch, and that's exactly how it will stay, explains the new owner.

"I'll do a little bit of sprucing up, but I want to keep it as it is as much as possible," she says. "I want to keep it a kitschy, old-school diner."

She'll add WiFi, incorporate an all-day $2.99 breakfast special (two eggs, sausage or bacon, hash browns and toast), and serve up fresh, quality versions of standard diner fare like hot dogs, burgers, Reubens, grilled turkey sandwiches and tuna salad.

"It will be simple, but I'm a stickler for quality," she notes. "I will use as little frozen stuff as possible."

Glazen has made it clear that the arrangement is not necessarily permanent, and Kean is keen on that fact as well.

"We'll renegotiate after the six months," she says. "We'll see if it's working for both of us. Of course, we want it to be successful. The exciting part of the project is that we're trying to help revitalize this neighborhood."

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar