The hot-off-the-presses press release certainly promises big. "You'll know the moment you arrive: Prime Rib Steakhouse is extraordinary," it reads. "Here you'll find the fantastic food, exceptional service and great atmosphere."
Intrigued? We were, so we tracked down Roxana Axinei, assistant general manager of the soon-to-open Warehouse District restaurant, to get the scoop. Slated to open in early September in the former House of Cues at West Ninth Street and Superior Avenue, Prime Rib Steakhouse will specialize in prime rib carved tableside.
According to Axinei, owner Attila Salka, a well-traveled hospitality pro, first became a fan of the English-style concept in Europe. "It is a concept he knows and likes, and didn't see here in Cleveland," she says. "We chose that space because downtown is where everything is happening."
Billed as a "destination restaurant," Prime Rib will serve only U.S.D.A. Prime beef, which is roasted and wheeled to the table on custom stainless steel carts. There, it is carved and served with mashed potatoes, gravy, Yorkshire pudding, horseradish sauce, and jus. Meals begin with a "spinning-bowl salad," another tableside flourish that involves, naturally, a spinning bowl and salad.
"It's a show," promises Axinei.
With 200 seats and prices that range from $29 to a hefty $45 (including salad and sides), Prime Rib will be competing with other large-scale destination-type restaurants such as Brasa Grill and Morton's. Diners can look forward to a wholly reworked space, with new booths, banquettes, bar, and bathrooms.
In addition to the prime rib, the restaurant will offer fish, lobster tail, and a vegetarian option.
In a city that's gained national acclaim for its intimate, casual spots featuring signature, chef-driven fare, Prime Rib Steakhouse is certainly a departure. Whether or not that works to its advantage, time will tell.
Jim Sprenger grew up in a family restaurant, but he left the business to pursue other endeavors. Of course, he ended up opening a restaurant of his own. "It's in the blood," admits the longtime Lakewood resident.
On May 31, Sprenger opened Jammy Buggars, an odd name for what is essentially an upscale pub. Housed in the former Niko's and Route 6 spot, "JB's," as folks are starting to call it, is aiming for the niche between bars and gastropubs.
"I didn't want to go as highbrow as a gastropub," Sprenger explains. "I wanted really good bar food, chef-prepared with great ingredients, served in a comfortable, approachable environment."
Chef Rob Geul (Fahrenheit, Market in Rocky River) administers a menu that includes starters like ricotta-stuffed bell peppers, mushroom bruschetta, and six varieties of hand-cut fries. Burgers are made from Ohio grassfed beef; pulled pork is served on a pretzel bun. To drink, diners can select from about 20 craft drafts, plus a 40-ounce Mickey's "Big Mouth" served in a paper sack.
Prices range from $6 to $8 for starters and salads, $10 to $12 for sandwiches and burgers, and $12 to $14 for entrées.
As for the name: "It is derived from British slang," says Sprenger. "My mother would say, 'I'm going to get you little jammy buggar!'"
Find the restaurant at 15625 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood; for more information, call 216-767-5922 or visit jammybuggars.com.