It hasn’t even opened yet, and already Marlin Kaplan’s Luxe Kitchen and Lounge (6605 Detroit Avenue, in the emerging Gordon Square arts district) is drawing a crowd – thanks to its word-covered windows, which serve as transparent backdrops for 132 food-and-drink related quotes.
Drawn from sources as diverse as comedian Steven Wright (“The sign said ‘Breakfast anytime.’ So I ordered french toast during the Renaissance”), musician Tom Waits (“I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy”), and father of American gastronomy James Beard (“A gourmet who thinks about calories is like a tart who looks at her watch”), the quotes are both thought-provoking and laugh-inducing – and make as good a reason to stroll the sidewalks as any we know. ...
They’ve also helped the savvy Kaplan, one of Cleveland’s most-tenured chef-restaurateurs (One Walnut, in downtown’s Ohio Savings Plaza, and the former Marlin and Pig Heaven, on E. 6th St.), stir up a little more buzz for his long-anticipated west-side entry, which is shaping up to be a funky neighborhood hangout, complete with local artwork, salvaged furniture, a Deco-style back bar, and crystal chandeliers.
The goal is for Luxe become a community staple, Kaplan says, with modest prices, a well-stocked bar (including a list of 50 imported and craft-brewed beers), and a casual vibe. And although we haven’t sneaked a peek at the final menu quite yet, Kaplan promises it will be crammed with casual, Mediterranean-style comforts, including a pizza du jour, and entrees that don’t surpass the $18 mark.
Carryout will be a big deal, too, including the retail priced wines. (Those who dine in can snag a bottle at retail, plus what amounts to a $10 corking fee.) And look for a tree-lined patio to soon sprout out of the former asphalt parking lot in the rear of the building.
“I think we’re perfect for the neighborhood,” Kaplan says with palpable excitement. “It’s young, energetic, and fun – and we’re going to fit right in!”
Look for Luxe to launch before the end of April. (A rudimentary website is already up at luxecleveland.blogspot.com
) In the meantime, stop by and read the windows. --- Elaine T. Cicora
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