David Rudiger, partner in Market, Wine Bar, Southside, Press Wine Bar and Ironwood Café, has purchased and closed the four-year-old West Park Panini’s location. He will replace it with a second outpost of his popular Ironwood Café (688 Dover Center Rd., 440-835-9900, ironwoodcafe.com), which has been rolling right along for a dozen years in Westlake.
Temporarily closed for a facelift, which will include retiling and refinishing the floors, repainting, and removing all traces of Panini’s insignia, Ironwood West Park (17209 Lorain Ave.) will open as soon as next week, hopes Rudiger.
Fans of Ironwood Westlake will find the “same menu, same smoker, same barbecue, same everything,” says Rudiger. Longtime restaurant group chef and GM Joe Dubbs has been brought in as partner. Many of the outgoing Panini’s staff have been hired on as well.
Meanwhile, the Panini’s Bar and Grill in Westlake (23800 Detroit Ave.) abruptly closed over the weekend when the employees organized a walk-out. A partner in that operation, Joe Hanna, says that partnership and payroll issues are to blame. He hopes to reopen the franchise in the coming weeks.