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Friday, November 12, 2021

The Spotted Owl in Tremont Welcomes Back Its First Guests in 20 Months

Posted By on Fri, Nov 12, 2021 at 11:52 AM

click to enlarge The Spotted Owl in Tremont has reopened. - SCENE ARCHIVES
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  • The Spotted Owl in Tremont has reopened.

Will Hollingsworth put Twin Palms, his alfresco cocktail experience, to bed in mid-September so that he and his team could prepare the Spotted Owl (710 Jefferson Ave., 216-795-5595) for its first guests in 20 months. The seven-year-old Tremont bar has been closed since the start of the pandemic, but now that most adults are vaccinated – and kids are right behind them – Hollingsworth says the time is right to open the doors.

“Twin Palms went really well,” he explains. “It was cool to introduce a new brand, it brought in some money and people seemed to really like it. That being said, I’m really excited to be open again indoors.”

Hollingsworth says that guests will discover the same old Owl, save for a few new faces and minor interior tweaks. One such addition is GM Bryan Tetorakis, who grew up in the Cleveland area but spent the past decade or so running bars in Southern California.

“He’s exactly the kind of guy to bring fresh, critical eyes to this place,” says Hollingsworth.

When settling on a course for Spotted Owl’s future, Hollingsworth made a conscious decision to not look in the rear-view mirror.

“I think it would be a mistake to look back through Covid to 2019 and try to recapture former glories,” he says. “I think it’s a new world, so I really want to point the Spotted Owl, as a bar and experience, in sort of a new direction.”

Guests will find that “the Wheel,” the bar’s distinctive bespoke cocktail experience, is still present, but the cocktails that underpin them have evolved. That approach is joined by a “limited focus but high-concept” cocktail menu.

“We’re still running the Wheel,” notes Hollingsworth. “It’s such a popular experience that people really like. I think it’s a beautiful expression of those values and philosophies that I keep talking about, in terms of storytelling and making people feel taken care of and listened to. But I’m looking to do some really weird, really progressive stuff moving forward.”

The bar is walk-in only from 5-midnight Wednesday through Saturday. Hollingsworth suggests trying to avoid the post-dinner rush on weekends.

As for Prosperity Social Club (1109 Starkweather Ave., 216-937-1938), which Hollingsworth recently purchased from founder Bonnie Flinner, it's been smooth sailing.

“Prosperity is going really well,” he says. “It’s been three and a half months now and it still kind of feels like a dream come true.”

The only tweaks that observant guests might have noticed is the triumphant return of the fried chicken dinner along with a few new vegan and vegetarian options. Down the road, the goal is to keep the kitchen open later in the evenings.

“I was serious about my pledge not to change anything about it,” Hollingsworth says.

Down south, the Spotted Owl Akron still has not reopened to the public. When it does, says the owner, it likely will be a more food-forward operation, which the neighborhood appears to desire.

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