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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Ohio Pie Co. Now Has An Expanded Dining Room at Its Brunswick Location

Posted By on Tue, Oct 19, 2021 at 1:45 PM

A whole dining room, now available at Ohio Pie Co. in Brunswick - AARON SECHRIST
  • Aaron Sechrist
  • A whole dining room, now available at Ohio Pie Co. in Brunswick

2021 has been a big year for Ohio Pie Co., which this summer opened its second location in Rocky River.

As for the OG down in Brunswick, this week the purveyors of Ohio-style pie debuted a new, expanded dining room, sure to be a welcome sight for travelers near and far who drop by the southern suburb.

Previously offering super limited seating and doing mostly take-out business, the dining room seats plenty and comes with even more artwork from partner and local artist Aaron Sechrist with help from Cleveland Mural and Paint, and a new front window sign from Old Soul Sign.

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Clifton Martini & Wine Bar Has Permanently Closed

Posted By on Tue, Oct 19, 2021 at 11:02 AM

The westside bar and restaurant has permanently clsoed - CLIFTON MARTINI & WINE BAR FB
  • Clifton Martini & WIne Bar FB
  • The westside bar and restaurant has permanently clsoed

After nearly 12 years in business, Clifton Martini & Wine Bar permanently and abruptly closed its doors for good yesterday.

Owner Jeff Rumplik said he decided to pull the plug not for any financial reason, labor decision, or anything to do with the pandemic. Business was good, in fact, and the popular westside establishment had made it through the brunt of the pandemic.

He decided to close, he said, after four years of what he called "constant harrassment" from his landlord, Wilsher Management, which owns the building.

"It's been four years of [them] putting up any hurdle they could — harrassing our delivery drivers, pretty much forcing out every other tenant in the building," Rumplik told Scene. "Even yesterday, he's saying I stole all his equipment. There was nothing in that space prior to me. Everything there was mine. He called the cops four times and they said it says right here in the lease this is his content. They were basically laughing at him."

Rumplik, who also owns Village Martini & Wine Bar in Chagrin Falls, sued Wilsher in early 2020 over a variety of claims related to his lease. That lawsuit is still ongoing, but he felt there was little recourse for now other than shutting up shop.

"We got through the pandemic," he said, "but I just wanted to get out of this."

A day after moving all his equipment out, Rumplik is still "shook."

"Yesterday was a rough day. Business was amazing. I never would have shut down if not for this," he said.

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Terrestrial Brewing in Battery Park to Open Restaurant Next Door, Event Space Upstairs with Elevated Deck

Posted By on Tue, Oct 19, 2021 at 10:38 AM

Artist's rendering of Terrestrial Brewing expansion. - ARKINETICS
  • arkinetics
  • Artist's rendering of Terrestrial Brewing expansion.
“Our 10-year plan was always to take over the entire building,” says Terrestrial Brewing (7524 Father Frascati Dr., 216-465-9999) co-founder and brewer Ralph Sgro.

That long-range goal essentially will be cut in half. Sgro and partner Ryan Bennett have announced ambitious plans to expand the Terrestrial footprint into the adjacent space as well as the one above. When completed, the multifaceted destination will feature the original taproom, a full-service restaurant and a live-entertainment venue and event space.

The first piece of the project will take shape next door in the 2,400-square-foot space formerly home to Cha Pizza. Vacant since 2017, the same year Terrestrial Brewing poured its first beer, the first-floor space is being transformed into a 70-seat full-service restaurant.

“We learned that food really was the missing piece here,” says Bennett. “When we had La Plaza here it really drew business to this area. That’s when Ralph and I decided that food was something we wanted to do on our own.”

To that end, the owners recruited chef Penny Tagliarina to join the team as Director of Culinary Operations. Since January, the former co-owner of Saucisson has been hosting weekend brunches from a makeshift kitchen shoehorned into the front of the brewery. It’s not uncommon to see lines out the door for Tagliarina’s fresh, flavorful California-inspired fare.

Originally, the goal was to build out the upper lever to include a kitchen space that would support expanded food service up and down, but the plan shifted to next door. The heart of the operation will be the new kitchen, which will be capable of high-volume output that will support all three spaces. Across from the kitchen will be a 20-seat horseshoe-shaped bar with a custom-built tap tower. In addition to the house-brewed suds, diners can expect a beefed-up wine and spirits program.

“The restaurant will be 40-percent fancier than the taproom,” says Sgro lightheartedly. “It will be a little bit sexier, a place where you can bring a family member from out of town or go on a hot date.”

The full-service (dog-free) restaurant will feature chef Tagliarina’s California-inspired farm-to-table fare. In the kitchen with her will be sous chef Stevi Harris. Together they will craft beer-friendly menus for the restaurant, taproom and second-level event space.

Above the taproom and future restaurant sits a dramatic industrial space with a cathedral ceiling, structural steel beams and exposed brick walls.

“The upstairs was the whole reason Ralph and I fell in love with this building,” Bennet says. “This space was always in our mind for an expansion.”

At 2,400 square feet, the loft-like space lends itself to live entertainment, dinner-and-a-show events, beer dinners, overflow dining and private affairs. The team envisions a 150- to 200-person club on par with the Beachland Ballroom tavern that will attract regional and out-of-state talent.

“We want to play up the live music and brewery vibe,” says Sgro.

But the best new feature of the entire complex might be outside the four walls. Plans call for an elevated wraparound deck off the second-level space that will afford guests unobstructed views of Lake Erie to the north, downtown Cleveland to the east and the passing rail cars directly below. The deck will also will provide cover for taproom guests below.

The goal is to debut the event space in the first quarter of next year.

“I wholeheartedly believe that we’ll have the nicest patio deck in Cleveland overlooking the lake,” says Sgro. “I think for people visiting Cleveland, we will be a place mentioned that you have to go see. I want to provide people an experience; I want them to taste Penny’s artistic approach to food, my artistic approach to beer and have it so people can spend all day here.”
Artist's rendering of Terrestrial Brewing expansion. - ARKINETICS
  • arkinetics
  • Artist's rendering of Terrestrial Brewing expansion.

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Monday, October 18, 2021

Barring a Miracle, Sweet Moses in Gordon Square Will Close its Doors After This Weekend

Posted By on Mon, Oct 18, 2021 at 4:00 PM

Barring a miracle, Sweet Moses will close this weekend. - DOUGLAS TRATTNER
  • Douglas Trattner
  • Barring a miracle, Sweet Moses will close this weekend.

Barring an eleventh-hour miracle, Sweet Moses (6800 Detroit Ave., 216-651-2202) in Gordon Square will close its doors after 10 years. The ice cream shop's last day of business will be Sunday, October 24. Owner Jeff Moreau, who owns both the business and the building, had been in negotiations to transition the beloved business to a new operator, but those plans fell through at the last minute, he says.

“This was not my intention,” he explains. “Last week at this time I thought I was going to be signing a contract.”

Behind the scenes, Moreau had been working closely with a potential buyer of the business. When that loose end was tied up, he would be able to sell the building in which it resides. But after a months-long courtship and negotiation process, the buyer got cold feet and backed out.

Moreau, who splits his time between Cleveland and Florida, no longer is in the position to manage and maintain a 100-year-old building from afar. Nor is he able to restart the entire sales and negotiation process for the business again.

“What’s tough about this situation is there are people who would like to own an ice cream shop but they don’t have the capital to buy the building,” Moreau explains. “And there are people who would want to buy the building but they don’t necessarily want an ice cream shop. In the perfect world I would have found someone with the money to buy the building and maintain the business.”

Prior to unveiling his magical sweets shop in Gordon Square, Moreau scoured the landscape to find the equipment and furnishings that comprise Sweet Moses. Dating back to 1910 and the 1940s, the ornate soda fountain – comprised of a handsome backbar, dipping and soda station and marble-slab counter – features glowing stained glass and the original ice-chilled base cabinets.

Moreau spent untold hours sourcing, repairing and restoring the graceful wire-backed parlor chairs that furnish the two rooms.

“This concept is an old-fashioned soda fountain, so it doesn’t age out,” Moreau adds. “The concept is every bit as solid today as it was when I opened it 10 years ago. But in the end, it’s something I can no longer sustain personally.”

Short of an offer landing on his desk this week, Moreau will close after this weekend. He will then liquidate the contents of the shop, which is one of the saddest images to bear. Hopefully, the bulk of the furnishings will be purchased by someone eager to follow in Moreau's path, albeit elsewhere.

“Maybe there’s a person out there who always wanted to own a soda fountain, maybe to open one somewhere else,” he says. “Someone who sees the value. You will never be able to buy this again. It was a lot of work, but it was my passion.”
Barring a miracle, Sweet Moses will close this weekend. - DOUGLAS TRATTNER
  • Douglas Trattner
  • Barring a miracle, Sweet Moses will close this weekend.
Barring a miracle, Sweet Moses will close this weekend. - DOUGLAS TRATTNER
  • Douglas Trattner
  • Barring a miracle, Sweet Moses will close this weekend.
Barring a miracle, Sweet Moses will close this weekend. - DOUGLAS TRATTNER
  • Douglas Trattner
  • Barring a miracle, Sweet Moses will close this weekend.
Barring a miracle, Sweet Moses will close this weekend. - DOUGLAS TRATTNER
  • Douglas Trattner
  • Barring a miracle, Sweet Moses will close this weekend.

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Cleveland Mourns the Loss of Walter Hyde, a Chef of Boundless Talent, Generosity and Kindness

Posted By on Mon, Oct 18, 2021 at 9:33 AM

Walter Hyde (right) at Dinner in the Dark event. - EDSEL LITTLE
  • Edsel Little
  • Walter Hyde (right) at Dinner in the Dark event.

Over the weekend, the Cleveland culinary community lost one of its most beloved members. Walter Hyde, a chef with boundless talent, enthusiasm and kindness, passed away just hours after cooking for friends and guests at an event at Terrestrial Brewery. His death rippled throughout the region in the days since, with many sharing stories of his immeasurable generosity, which touched so many people over the years.

Hyde, who could be mistaken for a Hells Angels member, was a Swiss army knife inside the kitchen and out. Over the years, his skills were on display at various restaurants, including Swingo's, Giovanni's and Fahrenheit Charlotte. In 2010, he and partner Scott Slagle opened Fat Casual BBQ in Macedonia, which drew rave reviews by barbecue lovers for its authentic smoked meats. There, the sauce came on the side because, as Hyde told me, "We don't want to hide the flavor of the meat. Sauce, like smoke, is just an ingredient. The meat always has to come first.”

Hyde and Slagle went on to open Tavern of Solon, Hyde cooked amazing burgers at the Annex Bar in Solon and he took over the 40-year-old Daisy’s Ice Cream in Slavic Village, thus saving it from the wrecking ball. Along the way he contributed his time, skill and joyful spirit to countless events and fundraisers like Dinner in the Dark.

To say that Hyde will be missed is an understatement; his kindness touched so many people in so many ways.

Drink a pickle back in his honor and donate to the GoFundMe page that has been established to help his family deal with the expenses associated with his passing. 

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Friday, October 15, 2021

Plant-Based Proteins May Be Coming to Taco Bell

Posted By on Fri, Oct 15, 2021 at 4:06 PM

Taco Bell is introducing a plant-based "Cravetarian" menu in Detroit. - COURTESY TACO BELL
  • Courtesy Taco Bell
  • Taco Bell is introducing a plant-based "Cravetarian" menu in Detroit.
Is there anything better than biting into a Cheesy Gordita Crunch from Taco Bell after a night out?

Honestly, no.

Well, if you're a vegetarian, you might not have ever got to experience the pure joy of this — until now.

Taco Bell is testing its new "Cravetarian" menu exclusively in Detroit all this month.

Cravetarian is an extension of the chain's vegan and vegetarian-friendly food options. While the fast-food chain has offered refried and black bean substitutes for its menu items, it is now formally introducing a plant-based protein meat alternative.

The Cravertarian menu will include plant-based Taco Bell favorites such as the Nachos BellGrande, Burrito Supreme, Crunchwrap Supreme, and Crunchy Taco Supreme.

The seasoned meat alternative is approved by the American Vegetarian Association and is certified vegan.

Taco Bell will be testing in the Detroit market through Nov. 10 at select locations.

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Architectural Justice Gallery & Cafe in Strongsville Will Be Permanently Closing in November

Posted By on Fri, Oct 15, 2021 at 2:35 PM

A cooking class at Architectural Justice - PHOTO BY KARIN MCKENNA
  • Photo by Karin McKenna
  • A cooking class at Architectural Justice

Architectural Justice will be closing its Strongsville location, which offered a cafe, cooking classes and high-end home decor and furniture, as of Nov. 7.

Retail operations will be moved to its Medina location.

The announcement:

Over the last four years, we have shared many great experiences with both our guests and our staff. We appreciate our communities patronage and also the hard work and dedication from our team both past and present.

It’s with mixed feelings that we are announcing the closing of Architectural Justice Gallery & Cafe in Strongsville. The good news is that you can still visit us at our Design Center in Medina where we will be moving our retail operations.

Our last day of restaurant service at our Strongsville location will be November 7th.

We are having a moving sale at our Strongsville location Tuesday, Oct. 19, which will run through Nov. 7. All events scheduled at the Strongsville location through the end of October will continue as planned. Gift cards will be honored at either location for in-store merchandise, products, and design services.

While the ‘Gallery and Café’ comes to a close, Architectural Justice continues to expand.

As the announcement notes, as redesign demand has kicked into high gear across the region, the Medina outpost has already and will continue to expand its products and offerings.

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