Since opening three years ago, Crop Bistro (1400 W. 6th St., 216-696-CROP, cropbistro.com) has operated out of a space on W. Sixth Street that was, for all intents and purposes, an extension of Johnny's Downtown. Launched in the former home of Johnny's Bistro, Crop acquired one of the most attractive dining rooms in town. This fall, it will relocate to an even more attractive space — and one that better fits its style, says chef-owner Steve Schimoler.
As early as November, Crop will be serving meals out of the United Bank Building at the corner of W. 25th and Lorain. "We inherited a more formal space than I would have wanted," Schimoler says. "That forced us to be more formal than we wanted. Now we are going to turn one of the most unique spaces in the city into a restaurant." Diners can expect the same style of food, served in a more laid-back environment.
Also, Crop's bar biz was hemmed in by tight quarters, whereas Crop 2.0 will feature a bustling 30-seat bar. You can also look forward to a Local Crop Market, featuring fresh produce to go. Crop will continue to operate downtown until the transition is complete.
Look for the Istanbul Turkish Grill (2505 Professor Ave., 216-298-4450, grillistanbul.com) to open in the former Hotz Valley View Café space any day, says owner Cumhur "Drew" Sasmaz. Located a pita's toss from Lucky's Café, the casual eatery will specialize in Turkish dishes like red lentil soup, sautéed baby liver, and meat, chicken, and veggie kabobs. Doner — a traditional spit-roasted meat — will be made in-house from beef and lamb. Prices for most items on the lunch and dinner menu will be between $7 and $15. Sasmaz says the space will seat approximately 85 inside and out, including an original 15-foot wooden bar. "I'm amazed by the support we are receiving from the neighborhood," he adds.
On August 1, Michael Symon will once again host a Share Our Strength dinner to benefit that organization, as well as Autism Speaks and Urban Community Schools. The star-studded event, to be held at the State Theatre at PlayhouseSquare, will feature Jonathan Waxman (from New York's Barbuto), Marc Vetri (Vetri in Philadelphia), Traci Des Jardins (Jardiniere in San Francisco), Nate Appleman (Pulino's in NYC), plus others including Cleveland's Rocco Whalen, Eric Williams, Paul Minnillo, and Jon Sawyer. Tickets ($200) can be purchased by calling Lola at 216-621-5652.