Attention Chefs: Free Restaurant


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How would you like to take over an existing restaurant, pay zero rent, and get in on the ground floor of one the most exciting neighborhood development projects in recent time?

If that sounds too good to be true, then you haven't met Alan Glazen.

With Operation Light Switch — an ambitious plan to redevelop the Waterloo entertainment district — picking up steam, Glazen has found himself in a bit of a quandary. He now owns two properties, and one of them houses Fotina's Restaurant (400 E. 156th St., 216-692-1375), a long-running breakfast and lunch joint.

"I'm offering it up to a qualified operator to try a new concept or build upon the one that's there," Glazen explains. "I don't want to start my project by closing down one of the few things there."

In return for free rent, the right candidate will need to keep the lights on and the business running for at least six months. At that time, Glazen will reevaluate the relationship.

"It's almost like a six-month pop-up," says Glazen.

Right now, the 60-seat eatery does nominal business. The new operator would need enough cash to sustain the business for at least the six-month time frame.

There is plenty of off-street parking and outdoor space for a patio.

Oh, and you'll have to mow the grass.

Interested parties are asked to email Glazen at

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