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Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Chef Anthony Zappola Will Revive the Rice Shop at Van Aken District, Announces Plans for New Ohio City Italian Restaurant

Posted By on Wed, May 5, 2021 at 4:46 PM

click to enlarge Food from the Rice Shop. - THE RICE SHOP
  • The Rice Shop
  • Food from the Rice Shop.
You can’t keep a good restaurant down, apparently. Chef Anthony Zappola will reopen the Rice Shop, an Asian-fusion concept that he launched in Las Vegas, revived at the Ohio City Galley and relocated to University Heights, at the Van Aken District.

“I love the concept and it’s always done good, even at the Galley,” Zappola says. “It just seems like I’m always looking to find a better location. We’re definitely moving in the right direction. I think this one is going to do really well. I have no problem making changes and I have no problem taking risks.”

The chef says that the Rice Shop was both popular and successful at the Ohio City Galley despite some management and environmental challenges at the food hall. He was the first operator to pull up stakes there, he adds, when he relocated the restaurant from Ohio City to the former Lox, Stock and Brisket space, which was bound for the Market Hall at Van Aken.

The menu features a punchy collection of flavorful gems like mochiko chicken with kung pao broccoli, steak fried rice with bok choi and yum-yum sauce, BBQ pork belly with honey-mustard kale and the ever-popular Kentucky fried fish with cabbage slaw and hot sauce aioli.

This time around, the Rice Shop (3403 Tuttle Rd.) will be located in the former Restore juice property, an 837-square-foot space that will feature an open kitchen, counter service and seating for 16 to 25 guests. Customers also will have use of sidewalk seating as well as the public park directly across the street. Thanks to a designated outdoor refreshment area license, customers also can enjoy alcoholic beverages with their meals.

The goal is to open in August.

Zappola also revealed to Scene that he will be opening a new restaurant in Ohio City, specifically the 41 West development currently taking shape at Lorain and W. 41st Street. The developer retained some historic storefronts and is building a 77-unit structure around and above them. Zappola will occupy the space recently home to Separate Reality Records, although pretty much all of it will be new construction.

“This is the concept I’ve been trying to open for 10 years and it’s finally going to happen,” says Zappola. “It’s going to be really, really simple – probably the most simple menu of all my concepts.”

Named for his grandparents’ home town in Sicily, Tripi Italian Specialties will be a casual eatery offerings salads, sandwiches, subs, pasta and pizza by the pound.

Look for Tripi to open first quarter 2022.

click to enlarge A rendering of new Rice Shop at Van Aken District. - DIMIT ARCHITECTS
  • Dimit Architects
  • A rendering of new Rice Shop at Van Aken District.

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