Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.


Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Great Lakes, Bookhouse Brewing Among Ohio Breweries Collaborating on Nationwide 'Black is Beautiful' Beer Release

Posted By on Tue, Jul 14, 2020 at 11:10 AM

  • Streetside Brewing FB
The death of George Floyd in May at the hands of the Minneapolis Police sparked a national outcry. Millions have gathered to fight against systemic racism in policing, politics and culture at large and make it known that Black Lives Matter.

Black-owned businesses are an important part of this push for change. One such company is Weathered Souls Brewing Co., a Black-owned brewery based out of San Antonio, Texas, which has invited brewers nationwide to participate in its awareness-raising Black is Beautiful campaign.

They've shared their base imperial stout recipe and encouraged brewers across the country to give it their own unique spin. They've also provided free Black is Beautiful label artwork from KD Design, with space for individual logos. The program aims to foster inclusion and raise awareness of social and racial injustice through collaboration with other U.S. craft breweries.

“I’m a Black business owner and someone who has experienced police abuse,” Weathered Souls founder and head brewer Marcus Baskerville told Scene's sister paper, the San Antonio Current. “This experience happened in my early 20s, but that stuff lingers with you. Interactions with law enforcement change after an experience like that.”

Baskerville felt starting with his business was the best way he could participate in the movement’s call for change.

“The brewing industry is pretty eclectic, with all kinds of different people in it,” he said. “Why wouldn’t this community be one to join together to support a message of equality and purpose to support the concept of general respect for everybody?"

Imperial stout — among the most popular styles with U.S. craft brewers — is characterized by a high alcohol content, usually over 9%, and a color palette that ranges from chocolate brown to almost black. Its color and flavor possibilities led Baskerville to select the style for the collaboration.

Since the announcement of the campaign earlier this summer, Weathered Souls has gotten support from over 900 breweries across the country who have committed to selling the stout, two of which can be found in Cleveland — Great Lakes and Bookhouse Brewing.

But the campaign is more than just a way to sell beer.

Weathered Souls has asked participating breweries to donate 100% of the beer’s proceeds to local foundations that support police reform and legal defense for victims of police brutality. The San Antonio brewery has also asked participating brewers to donate to organizations that support equality and inclusion.

“News of a good cause travels fast in brewing circles and people are quick to want to help and do what they can, and so I felt the same way,” Vaughn Stewart of Bookhouse told Spectrum News. “Being a project to bring to bring to light the injustices and inequities that are unfortunately visited upon people of color, Black people, indigenous, all of those groups that are unfortunately so often subject to abuses, you know? And to me it's like, yes of course, I’m going to participate in this!”

Proceeds from Bookhouse's beer will go to the NAACP of Cleveland.

You can find a full list of participating breweries and more information at

Tags: , , , ,

Monday, July 13, 2020

Tommy's Restaurant on Coventry to Utilize Former Patio of Panini's Bar and Grill, Which has Permanently Closed

Posted By on Mon, Jul 13, 2020 at 2:45 PM

  • Tommy's Restaurant
Tommy's Restaurant (1824 Coventry Rd., 216-321-7757) in Coventry Village has appropriated the former patio of Panini's Bar and Grill, which closed in mid-March and never reopened. The corporate office confirms that the location has closed for good. Tommy's is renting the property on a temporary basis.

Located across the street, the patio provides an additional 60 or so outdoor seats for Tommy's customers. Diners who visit will enjoy full-service dining, complete with host stand, servers and restrooms. There is no outdoor dining at Tommy's, so this is a welcome development for the 50-year-old restaurant and its many fans.  

Tags: , , ,

Sunday, July 12, 2020

West Side Market Hours Get Slight Adjustment Come August

Posted By on Sun, Jul 12, 2020 at 10:09 AM

  • Erik Drost/Flickr CC

The City of Cleveland on Friday evening announced some slight changes to the West Side Market's operating hours beginning August 3.

Because it's the city, it will likely go to great lengths to tell as few people as possible as to maximize confusion and frustration.

In the interest of avoiding that, spread the word that as of August 3 the Market will be open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (instead of 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays), Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (instead of the current 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. schedule), and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (which remains the same).

Tags: , ,

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Hibachi Japan Steak House to Open in Former Akira Sushi and Hibachi Spot in Solon

Posted By on Wed, Jul 8, 2020 at 11:53 AM

  • Hibachi Japan
This hibachi saga begins, curiously enough, with a night on the town starring Baseball Hall of Famer Tom Seaver. In the 1970s, Paul Goetz was a sports agent living and working in New York. After a visit with Seaver to a Greenwich Connecticut Benihana, Goetz discovered the second career he was looking for. A couple years later he opened a similar concept in Akron. That restaurant, Hibachi Japan Steak House, was relocated to Cuyahoga Falls (1803 Front St., 330-928-3333) in 1990 and is still going strong.

Now run by son Morgan Yagi, the popular eatery is ready to expand northward. Fittingly, it will open in the former home of another long-running Japanese steak house, Akira, which operated for 20 years in its Solon home. When it opens in the next week or so, Hibachi Japan Steak House (6025 Kruse Dr.) will feature the same name, same concept and same menu as the sister establishment in Cuyahoga Falls.

“Lock, stock and barrel,” says Yagi. “I’m pretty risk-averse.”

Yagi recalls that when his dad opened the Akron restaurant in the 1970s, which featured the now-familiar formula of food prepared in front of customers on blazing-hot teppanyaki grills, he was concerned that it might be a flash-in-the-pan fad. Nearly 50 years later, both the restaurant and the style of dining are proving otherwise.

Yagi says that the former Akira restaurant has gone through a “pretty comprehensive remodel,” he reports. “I’d like to think that it looks like a whole different space, one that’s more modernized.”

The sushi bar that long existed on the right side of the space now downplays the “sushi” while promoting the “bar.” The main dining room has 12 hibachi tables that will accommodate approximately 100 guests, fewer than the 180-seat dining room in Cuyahoga Falls.

In addition to the time-honored teppanyaki-fired dinners built around soup, salad, fried rice and a choice of chicken, shrimp, lobster and steak, Hibachi Japan offers sushi in the form of rolls, combination platters and by the piece.

Yagi states that the Cuyahoga Falls location has been doing better than expected despite the Covid crisis and he’s hoping the same will be said of the Solon spot. He highlights the fact that tables are typically occupied by a single large party – or separated from others by plexiglass barriers – and are distanced from the chef thanks to the built-in grill and table. But perhaps more beneficial than all of that, he adds, are the exhaust fans.

“In terms of fresh air and turnover, Japanese steakhouses are about as good as it gets because everyone is facing right into an extraction hood,” he explains.

Tags: , , ,

Twin-Concept Eatery Starring Brunch and Vegan Food to Replace Yours Truly at Shaker Square

Posted By on Wed, Jul 8, 2020 at 10:33 AM

  • Google Maps
On Monday we reported that Yours Truly had closed its Shaker Square location after nearly 30 years. Today we learned who will be taking that space over.

Akin Affrica of Angie’s Soul Café says that he will operate two separate concepts out of the same property: Cleveland Breakfast Club and Cleveland Vegan Club. The first will focus on breakfast, brunch and lunch service seven days a week, while the latter will offer vegan foods for carryout and delivery only during the evening hours.

“For a long time I felt like we were lacking a really nice breakfast, brunch type place,” says Affrica. “I’m a breakfast guy; I cannot start my day unless I have breakfast seven days a week. I hated to wait for the weekends to go to a place to have a nice brunch. Yours Truly was doing a great job with breakfast and lunch. We’re trying to do something a little different.”

Affrica says the menu will be full of healthy, flavorful, sweet and savory breakfast, brunch and lunch items that will be available until 4 p.m. Those foods will be paired with alcoholic beverages like champagne, mimosas, Bloody Marys and frozen drinks to provide that “brunch feel,” he explains.

“You hear people asking for brunch all the time, but it’s only readily available on the weekends,” adds Affrica. “We’re going to have that brunch feel every day that we’re open.”

The Yours Truly property has a secondary entrance that will be utilized as the access point for Cleveland Vegan Club, which will fire up just as Cleveland Breakfast Club winds down. The straightforward menu will feature items like smoothies, bowls, sandwiches and wraps available for pickup or delivery.

Keys in hand, Affrica says that he will renovate the historic property to remove the 1950s-era décor and replace it with an “industrial-chic” vibe with plenty of steel and wood.

He is shooting to commence carryout business within two months followed a month or two later by full-service dining.

Tags: , , , ,

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Old Brooklyn Cheese Co. to Open Retail Shop at Van Aken District Market Hall in Shaker Heights

Posted By on Tue, Jul 7, 2020 at 12:09 PM

  • Old Brooklyn Cheese Co.
Since before it even opened the doors, Van Aken District has been pitching Michael Januska to join the food-filled Market Hall in Shaker Heights. In that time, his Old Brooklyn Cheese Co., which he launched in 2016, has continued to expand its product line, audience and reach. After years of holding them at bay, Januska says that he’s finally ready to open an east-side satellite of his popular west-side cheese empire.

“I think it will be quite popular, and a lot of our customers come from the east side anyway,” he explains.

The build-out nearly is complete on the 150-square-foot stall, which will stock a line of award-winning cheeses and mustards, all of which are produced by Januska in the Old Brooklyn production facility. Shoppers can expect the tidy tile-lined shop to open before the end of July.

Januska, a chef whose 26-year career took him from Cleveland to London and back to Cleveland, put his experience as a hobby cheesemaker to good use. His small-batch cheeses start with raw grass-fed cows’ milk from Ohio before blooming into cave-aged gems like O'Toole's cheddar, paprika-spiced Punk! and tomme-style Treadway Creek. Those world-class cheese products join exceptional mustards like Pepped Up and Original IPA, both made with pickled mustard seeds and beer.

Old Brooklyn’s cheeses and mustards can be found at numerous grocery stores nationwide, as well as at many of the finest area restaurant and catering company menus.

In advance of the new shop opening, Januska is relocating the original Old Brooklyn retail cheese shop to a smaller site right around the corner that is connected to the production facility.

“We’re basically splitting the big cheese shop on the west side into two, with one on the east side and one still in Old Brooklyn,” he says. “It was giant for a Cleveland cheese shop.”

When it opens in a couple weeks, the Van Aken District shop will carry all of Old Brooklyn Cheese Co.’s products along with other fine domestic and Ohio-made cheeses.

Tags: , , , ,

Monday, July 6, 2020

Yours Truly Closes Shaker Square Location After 27 Years of Business

Posted By on Mon, Jul 6, 2020 at 4:24 PM


After 27 years on Shaker Square, Yours Truly Restaurants has decided to close that location effective July 6. The news was announced today via social media.

"With a heavy heart we are announcing the sale of the Yours Truly Shaker Square location. As we work to transform our YTR locations into the new Kitchen & Bar concept, and expand into new locations, we find our Shaker Square Restaurant to be ill-suited for this conversion. We have truly enjoyed our 27 years on the Square and will cherish those memories. We would like to thank the community and our loyal guests for allowing us to serve them over the years."

The local restaurant chain operates nine other locations throughout Northeast Ohio, including Beachwood, Chagrin Falls, Hudson, Mayfield, Mentor, Medina, Rockside, Playhouse Square and Solon.

Tags: ,


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 1, 2020

View more issues


© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation