Just as a reminder, I'm going to rattle off the names of a few recently opened restaurants: Mabel's BBQ, Coastal Taco, Salt, Ushabu, 811, The Plum, Sarita, Bold, Vita Urbana, Hansa Brewery, Nuevo Modern Mexican, Proper Pig, Goldhorn Brewery, Parker's Downtown and The Burnham.
These are just some of the restaurants that have opened in the past year, which themselves joined scores of new eateries that have debuted in Greater Cleveland over the past couple years. If you think we're going to start seeing a slowdown moving forward, you would be wrong; the number of restaurants that are in the planning stages and set to open their doors over the coming weeks and months is equally impressive.
Starting in the heart of Downtown, one of the most ambitious and impressive projects of the year is unfolding in the Garfield Building on East Sixth Street. That's where the Marble Room is currently taking shape in the column-lined lobby of the former National City Bank. When it opens this spring, high rollers will be knee-deep in oysters, steaks and martinis. We'll soon see a brand new state-of-the-art brewery called Masthead Brewing at Superior and East 12th Street, if you can believe it. After 35 years in suburbs like Beachwood, Chagrin Falls, Hudson and Mayfield, Yours Truly is preparing to open its first downtown location in the historic Halle Building. El Puente Viejo, a new "taco and tequila bar," is on track to open in Playhouse Square any day now, while Zaytoon Lebanese Kitchen, a Middle Eastern cafe also in Playhouse Square, should drop in the coming months. According to company reps, Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville will open in Flats East Bank sometime during the second quarter of 2017. And finally, the booze-fueled Taco Bell Cantina will combine cheap tacos and the beverages that make them taste good.
Over in Ohio City, which continues to percolate with new eateries, we are seeing growth taking shape in the less-developed fringes. Bakersfield Tacos will open sometime this coming year in the old Grind spot at the corner of West 25th Street and Keene Court, a block south of Lorain, while Citizen Pie, the popular Neapolitan-style pizza shop in Collinwood, will open its second spot on West 25th a block south of Bakersfield. The Erie Social, meanwhile, is currently taking shape on the western edge of the neighborhood. When it opens at Lorain and West 45th in 2017, the indoor shuffleboard club and bar will bring more foot traffic to that stretch. A little closer to town at West 32nd and Lorain, the full-service butcher shop and local foods market Ohio City Provisions should finally be up and running by the time you read this. The Hingetown pocket of Ohio City will gain a spacious new brewery and pizza tavern when Saucy Brew Works opens in the old Steelman Building.
After a couple of sleepy years, Tremont is picking up where it left off thanks to a few new projects. We lost Lolita one year ago to fire, but Michael Symon will launch Sherla's Chicken & Oysters, a casual and fun spot serving raw oysters, smoked seafood boards, and fried and wood-roasted chicken. Although the quick-serve market next door already is up and running, the Mediterranean bistro Merchant Street Eatery will add fresh life to the old Ligali's-Porcelli's-Bistro on Lincoln Park-Sage Bistro space. Two new pizza options will come to life when Noce Gourmet Pizza out of Chardon and Crust out of, well, Tremont, both open new shops in the neighborhood.
Detroit Shoreway continues to forge ahead despite a high-profile loss in Arcadian. Astoria Market and Cafe, likely open by now, combines a full-service Mediterranean restaurant and bar with a well-stocked retail marketplace for neighbors. Across the street, the Boiler will bring the spicy boiled seafood concept made popular in Cleveland Heights (and elsewhere) to Gordon Square. Around the corner on West 65th Street, Il Rione Pizzeria will introduce the community to "real New York/New Jersey-style pizza."
In Cleveland Heights, the former Lemon Grass space near the Cedar Lee Theatre will become Boss Dog Brewing, a brewpub, while across the street Zoma will bring Ethiopian food to the neighborhood. Just down the hill, the former Mad Greek space will come to life as the latest Barrio location.
In Mayfield, Giovanni's Ristorante owner Carl Quagliata will open the Texas-style Smokin' Q in the longtime home of Fisher's Tavern. In Twinsburg, Marc Garofoli will open the second outpost of his popular BBQ spot Oak & Embers in the longtime home of Marcelita's restaurant.
Further east in Moreland Hills, the high-end French American restaurant Cru will open in a building designed to look like a small-scale French country inn. Over in Orange Village, a second location for Slyman's Tavern will open in a former Red Robin while the $230 million Pinecrest development will feature a plethora of new dining and entertainment spots like Red the Steakhouse, Flip Side Burgers, Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, City Works Eatery, Fusian, Bipibop Asian Grill and Pinstripes Bistro, Bowling and Bocce.
Phew. That's it. For now, of course.