The Viaduct Lounge closed last summer after less than one year in action. Serial restaurant operators Randy Kelly, Linda Syrek and Alan Glazen had taken over the old Ponte Vecchio space in hopes of turning it into a more casual lounge, one that would attract folks daily or weekly rather than monthly or annually like its special-occasion predecessor. That didn't work.
Luca, which is on pace to open in two weeks, is going back to the restaurant's original format: Fine dining with a capital "F," says the new owner.
"This will be high-end Northern Italian food," explains chef-owner Luca Sema. "We will have the best food, the best view, the best service — I'm going to do everything right!"
Sema has worked in some of Cleveland's finest Italian kitchens, including Michaelangelo's, Valerio's and Osteria. This will be his first restaurant.
Despite starting with an attractive space, which sits high above the valley on the defunct Superior Viaduct, the new owners have made significant alterations to the room. Sema and his team have worked for the past two months transforming it into a plush, luxe space.
"I changed everything — the floors, paint, booths, art. It's beautiful now."
New artwork adorns the walls, including a one-of-a-kind Michelangelo that is 422 years old.
Luca will be open for dinner only. The dining room will seat approximately 90 guests while the patio will accommodate another 50.
Look for Luca to open in mid July.