The last we heard about Johnson and Wales grad and globetrotting chef Scott Popovic, he was gearing up to open Bacchanalia Gourmet Market in Lakewood with Manny Nieves, former owner of Grady's Fine Wines in Rocky River. That project never got off the ground, but Popovic found a similar opportunity that he could sink his teeth into.
Popovic has partnered with Mike Graley to open Vita Urbana in the freshly developed Shoreway Building in Battery Park. Graley previously operated Battery Park Wine Bar in the nearby Powerhouse building, which is now home to Cha Spirits & Pizza Kitchen.
Throughout his career, Popovic has worked in many great kitchens around the country as well as here in Cleveland.
The all-day gourmet food market will be geared to residents of the building and neighborhood as well as anybody else interested in good food and wine.
“This is going to be an artisan market with high-end foodie type products all hand-picked specifically by me and Mike,” Popovic explains. “This is very similar to what I was planning to do in Lakewood.”
The shop will be stocked with specialty products like condiments, pasta and wine, but also dairy, meats and everything else one might need to prepare a gourmet meal at home, says Popovic, who will be on hand to dispense cooking advice.
“In the morning it will be a coffee shop with grab-and-go items and in the evening more of an intimate wine bar with small plates,” he adds. “The foods will be very approachable.”
Popovic will prepare wine-friendly foods himself - everything from meatballs to tacos - but he also plans to bring in guest chefs to keep things interesting.
Located at 1200 W. 76th Street, Vita Urbana is on track to open in early February.