Souper Market owner Matthew Moore realized that in order to expand the company, something had to change. Since opening his flagship soup shop in Ohio City (2528 Lorain Ave., 216.737.7687, thesoupermarket.com) almost seven years ago, business in bisques has been brisk. Moore added a second location in Lakewood (14809 Detroit Ave., 216.712.7292) in 2007 while earning shelf space at area Heinen's' for his stellar stocks. But producing soup at each location, not to mention packaging stocks for retail sales, became unmanageable. "I decided that the only way to expand Souper Market while ensuring quality was to centralize production," says Moore. So Moore has built a dream kitchen that puts him in charge of every pot. Located inside a vegetable-processing facility on Carnegie, the kitchen frees up space at the two existing stores. The Ohio City location is already undergoing a major overhaul that will result in a brighter, sharper and bigger room. "It will still be standing room only," says Moore. "But there will be more of it." Perhaps more significant, the new facility will make possible the opening of additional Souper Markets, which Moore will sell as franchises. The first, to possibly be located in PlayhouseSquare or Cleveland Heights, has already been sold. Also in the works is a retail location at the Carnegie facility, to open by late October.
Eric Williams, chef-owner of Momocho (1835 Fulton Rd., 216.694.2122, momocho.com), has purchased Happy Dog, the lovably old-school tavern at the junction of West 58th and Detroit. Williams' plan is to fashion a hot dog emporium, where all-beef weenies are topped with all matter of gourmet accoutrements. Options will include blue-cheese coleslaw, chorizo chili and housemade kim chee. "The focus will be on creating a cool corner bar that continues to have live music," says Williams. The chef promises a light touch when it comes to the historic space. "The plan is to clean and do a small rearrangement of the space, but keeping that old bar-diner-hall feel." Look for a mid-October launch.
It's been 10 months since fire ravaged the 1830s Olmsted Falls farmhouse that is home to Bistro du Beaujolais (8134 Columbia Rd., 440.235.8883, lebistrodubeaujolais.com). If all goes as planned, the restaurant will reopen October 20. "We can't wait," says owner Georges D'Arras. "We're ready to get back to work." D'Arras wants customers to know that gift certificates purchased before the closure will be accepted, even if expired.