Jeffrey Moreau had always envisioned opening a sweet shop upon retirement. He just didn't realize that retirement would come so soon.
The former creative director of a Cleveland ad agency is putting the finishing touches on Sweet Moses, a 1920s-style soda fountain that will open in late January in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood west of downtown. "This will be unique not only for the Gordon Square area, but for all of Cleveland," he says.
Lamenting the loss of the neighborhood soda fountain, Moreau hopes to revive the tradition in grand style. The 2,500-square-foot space at 6800 Detroit Ave., just down the block from the Cleveland Public and Capitol theaters, will be filled with authentic equipment and furnishings. The focal point of the room is the actual soda fountain, featuring antique mirrors, back-lit stained glass, a restored dipping and soda station, and Tennessee-marble countertops, all rescued from defunct shops.
Moreau describes the feel as less '50s-style malt shop and more '20s- and '30s-era soda fountain.
"I didn't want this to look like a Disney version of a soda fountain that you'd find in a lifestyle center," he explains. "I wanted it to look and feel authentic, like it belongs in the neighborhood."
Moreau will stick to "classic, traditional American favorites," made with quality ingredients, he says. "It's amazing the things you can do with just sugar, butter, cream, vanilla, and cocoa." Ice creams, fudge, chocolates, and caramel popcorn all will be made on-site. Turtles will be made with Belgian chocolate and sundaes topped with homemade caramel, fresh hot fudge, and house-roasted nuts. From the soda fountain will flow root beer floats, chocolate phosphates, and ice cream sodas.
Moreau settled on the name Sweet Moses, he says, because of its Cleveland — as in Moses Cleaveland — connotations. "I wanted a name that is grounded in old Cleveland, one that you wouldn't find anyplace else."
Seth Kaspy has taken over as executive chef at Hudson's North End Market (7542 Darrow Rd., 330-656-1238, northendwinefoodfun.com), replacing outgoing chef Jeff Jarrett. Formerly chef at the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club, Kaspy is busy instituting a menu of his own.