Brad Friedlander and his partners Jonathan Bennett and Peter Vauthy have been on an undeniable roll lately. After coasting along just fine with Moxie for eight years, they began to pick up speed in 2006, when they opened Red, the Steakhouse, one of the city's best chophouses.
Three years ago the team opened a Red location in South Beach, which has grown to become one of the hottest tables in red-hot town. Just recently, they opened two more restaurants in Boca Raton, another RED and a new Italian concept, Rossa-Italia.
Now, they have their sights set on downtown Cleveland. By spring, Red should be open in the Volk's building, a two-story property on Prospect Avenue. Located just east of Chinato, the building will be brought to modern standards by landlord MRN, Ltd.
"I looked at that area years ago to do something, but now, with everything going on, we figured it was a good time," explains Friedlander. "I think the more reasons you give people to go downtown, the better."
While considerably larger than its suburban kin, the restaurant will feature the same familiar design elements that give Red its signature look and feel. Red glass, stacked stone, steel and wood will lend a contemporary look to a century-old space. The same great steakhouse fare is all but guaranteed.
"A lot of these old building are built better than the new buildings," adds Friedlander, when asked if he had any qualms about opening in such an old structure.
As for whether or not the downtown locale would poach business from its Beachwood brother, Friedlander notes, "Many of our East Side customers are sports fans who hold season tickets, so on those nights when there are games downtown, we don't see some of our regular customers. Now we can give them the option of coming to Red. We also hope to add new West Side customers."
The restaurant will begin serving dinner only, before adding lunch service later on.