Our favorite fictitious bon vivant, Johnny "Every time I eat, my mouth sings" Mango, has finally opened the doors of his second world café and bar, in downtown Willoughby (4113 Erie Street, 440-975-8811).
For fans of Mango's intimate (okay, crowded) Ohio City digs, the new 114-seat space may seem pretty cavernous. But don't be shy: In no time, the new spot's familiar menu of wholesome, healthful foods -- everything from fried tofu and "happy beans" to tuna Cancuna and Bangkok barbecue chicken -- will have you dancing in the aisle.
Admittedly, quaint little Willoughby, with its galleries, gift shops, and antique stores, is a long way from Ohio City, but manager Jonathan Satayathum says the location is a good fit. "The owners (Gary Richmond and Shelley Underwood) did a lot of research before deciding on Willoughby," he says. "They felt it was a progressive neighborhood, with residents who were eager to try something new and different."
Those eager eaters will have plenty of opportunity to check out Johnny and his menu of sassy world fare: The place is open daily for lunch and dinner, and for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, too. And the bar, with its fascinating selection of margaritas, mojitos, and caipirinhas, stays open until 1 a.m. But remember, like the Ohio City location, the Willoughby Johnny Mango World Café and Bar is entirely smoke-free.
Kerplunk, it sunk . . . If karma teaches us anything, it's that it's never smart to name your restaurant after the Western world's foremost maritime disaster. Must be why nobody seemed very surprised when local businessman Sako Satka's upscale restaurant Titanic (1350 West Third Street) capsized after less than six months. Also, as any Warehouse District dweller will tell you, the 'hood already has more than enough special-occasion joints; what it needs are a few more casual, inexpensive dining rooms. Maybe the next occupants will have better luck.
We hear the owners of the charter yacht Majestic (which specializes in year-round dinner cruises on the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie) are planning a new run at the old Captain Frank's concept, reincarnating the popular seafood restaurant that used to operate at the end of the East Ninth Street pier. Word is, they hope to open by mid-February, with toned-down decor and Executive Chef Paul Mendolera (a Titanic survivor) remaining at the kitchen's helm.
So let's see . . . Captain Frank's, the New York Spaghetti House, and the Silver Grille have a new lease on life . . . can Mills and Kon Tiki be very far behind?