Wanna run a restaurant in Richfield?

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Think you have trouble finding someplace to eat? Consider the folks in Richfield. Their favorite hangout, Stancato's Cafe, closed in January, and it's been slender pickins in the tiny Summit County crossroads ever since. Old-timers will recall that the cafe's circa-1880s digs (at 3960 Broadview Rd.) previously were home to The Taverne of Richfield, the late Mel Rose's once-trendy destination for post-Coliseum dining. Bob and Chera Doty bought the ornate, three-story building — at various times, allegedly everything from a dance hall to a bordello — from Rose in the mid-1990s, leasing it to the Stancato family in 1998. Of course, a restaurant in a 120-year-old building can be a nightmare. Finally, the Stancatos threw in the towel. But Chera Doty confirmed last week that she and her husband are in the process of negotiating a contract to bring in a new restaurant. While the potential operators are as yet unnamed, Doty will say that they have managed to secure the Taverne of Richfield name from Rose's heirs and, if all goes as planned, the restaurant could open this summer. "If this falls through, tell every chef you know," one office worker begged me. "We really need a restaurant in this town!" -- Elaine T. Cicora

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