chef sets up shop in riverside pub, debuts upscale bar food menu

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Damon Ginnard, former executive sous chef at Momocho, found himself in the typical position of wanting his own place but not being able to afford it. After all, there's the build-out, the equipment, the rent, the staff, the insurance…

Ginnard managed to find a way around most of those obstacles by setting up shop inside the Riverside Pub on Rocky River Drive in the West Park neighborhood. He opened Phat Daddy's Kitchen (4363 Rocky River Dr., 216-252-1410, phatdaddyskitchen.com) on September 20.

"Riverside was a perfect fit because I found a kitchen that I was able to lease without having the overhead of my own building," explains Ginnard, a Pennsylvania Culinary Institute graduate. "Plus, my family and I live in Lakewood, so it's close to home."

Phat Daddy's has a dedicated walk-up window inside the bar, where patrons can place their order. The food can be enjoyed anywhere in the 70-seat dining room and bar. Phat Daddy's also delivers throughout the West Park neighborhood.

Not only do the economics of the arrangement fit the chef's budget, but the setting happens to fit Ginnard's concept of upscale pub grub.

"The concept is to elevate bar food and bring a style of food that the area doesn't have — all with made-from-scratch ingredients," he explains.

Highlights on Phat Daddy's menu include pork rinds, fried to order and seasoned with various toppings, fried shrimp Po' Boys, BBQ duck and pickled corn pizza, and beer-braised short rib tacos with horseradish cream sauce.

With prices ranging from $3 to $13, there are snacks for ever budget.

Phat Daddy's is open every day but Tuesday.

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