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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

35 Years In, Yours Truly is Hungry for More

Posted By on Wed, May 4, 2016 at 1:26 PM

click to enlarge Yours Truly Number One: Beachwood
  • Yours Truly Number One: Beachwood

After 35 years in the toilsome restaurant trade, Art, Larry, Darlene and Jeffrey Shibley have earned the right to sit back and enjoy the fruits of their collective labors. The four siblings opened the first Yours Truly Restaurant in Beachwood way back in 1981, and have since added family friendly locations in Chagrin Falls, Shaker Square, Hudson, Mayfield Village, Medina, Mentor and Rockside.

But the team has done the exact opposite of slow down. In fact, they are speeding up.

“It seems like it goes in cycles, but now everything seems to be working out,” says founder Larry Shibley. “When we opened our Rockside location seven or eight years ago, we got bogged down, the economy changed and we just sort of absorbed for a while.”

In addition to being on the verge of opening its first downtown location, Yours Truly is wrapping up one transformation project, preparing to tackle another, and is looking to add a handful of new eateries throughout the region and beyond.

click to enlarge Rendering of new Beachwood exterior - RSA ARCHITECTS
  • RSA Architects
  • Rendering of new Beachwood exterior
The Beachwood location, as many fans know, has been closed for about two months as the old structure undergoes significant improvements. Yours Truly inherited the space as is in 1981, which included a string of inadequate renovations performed by previous tenants.

“This has allowed us to be handicapped accessible, convert the dining room to more comfortable booth seating and put in a whole new infrastructure,” says Shibley, adding that the restaurant will have all new plumbing, foundation and other essential improvements.

Look for the Beachwood location to reopen this June.

Next in line will be Downtown Cleveland, where Yours Truly is preparing to open its first downtown location in the historic Halle Building (1228 Euclid Ave.). That slick new spot is on track to open in September.

“Downtown is going to be phenomenal, with a two-level dining room, a mezzanine that overlooks Euclid Avenue, 20-foot ceilings and lots of historic architectural restoration,” Shibley explains.

The restaurant will seat approximately 130 guests throughout the space, which includes the dining room, mezzaninie, outdoor patio and an indoor “lobby patio.” While Yours Truly menus are pretty much identical from shop to shop, downtown will feature a full bar with bartenders, expanded wine lists and cocktail menus. Other locations offer a limited wine, beer and cocktail selection, but even those will improve in the coming months. 

Also on the company’s to-do list is an extensive expansion and renovation project at its second-oldest restaurant, Chagrin Falls.

“It’s on our list of projects, but we haven’t finalized any of the plans there,” Shibley says. “Our intent is to expand. If it does happen we would have to expand the kitchen as well so that would require closing. But we intend to carefully engineer the whole project so we can minimize the closing to a real short period of time.”

But even before the Chagrin Falls project begins, Shibley says that Yours Truly could add a new Greater Cleveland location, with Lakewood or Rocky River high on the wish list. Also in the plans is a location in the Akron-Canton region and even a bit farther afield, possibly in Columbus or Pittsburgh.

“We would like to, in the next five or six years, open at least three or four more. Including an out of town location with the hopes of proving to ourselves that our concept is portable into a fresh market.”

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