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Monday, May 14, 2018

Cork and Cleaver in Broadview Heights to Close June 3 After Five Years

Posted By on Mon, May 14, 2018 at 10:44 AM

click to enlarge corkcleaver.jpg
According to chef and owner Brian Okin, Saturday June 2nd will be the last night of service for Cork & Cleaver Social Kitchen (8130 Broadview Rd., 440-627-6449) in Broadview Heights. Since the restaurant opened five years ago, it has enjoyed not only steady business by “bringing a taste of the Big City to the 'burbs,” but also raked in awards like Best New Restaurant, Best of Cleveland, and countless other honors, not the least of which was being invited to cook at the James Beard House in New York.

When it came time to renew the lease, however, the chef made the difficult decision to cut the rope.

“I don’t have to close down the restaurant, I’m choosing to because we have Polpetta and I think that that concept has more potential moving forward, so why not focus on that,” Okin explains. “It’s a hard thing because it’s been our baby for five years, but I’m trying to stay positive.”

Polpetta, a joint venture from the Cork and Cleaver team and Porco Lounge, will open in June in the former home of River Dog Cafe (19900 Detroit Rd.) in Rocky River. The meatball-centric concept has been in proof-of-concept phase for the last year at Porco Lounge. Okin describes the concept as “your basic build-your-own setup where you pick your ball, pick your sauce, pick your side.”

As for the folks who currently work at Cork & Cleaver, Okin says, “We have 12 employees and every one of them has a job with us at Polpetta if they want it.”

And if things go according to plan, so too will many others.

“We don’t want to become a national chain; I’m not looking to do that,” he says. “I’m looking to have three to five Polpetta locations in the right neighborhoods around Cleveland. We’re always trying to reinvent wheel and this is a concept that doesn’t exist in Cleveland, and I think we need to focus on that now.”

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