It’s been almost three years since Nate Lobas and Jonah Oryszak purchased the 150-year-old building on Lorain Avenue that would become The Plum Café and Kitchen
. After all that time, and all that work, the Ohio City restaurant (4133 Lorain Ave., 216-938-8711) finally has begun serving its first customers.
The plan all along was to have The Plum transition its food service throughout the day. In the morning the shop operates as a neighborhood café with counter service. Coffee and pastries give way to fresh soups, salads, sandwiches and sides at lunch, when diners pay at the counter, grab a self-serve beverage from the coolers, and take a seat.
Come 4 p.m., The Plum will convert to a full-service but casual farm-to-table bistro serving seasonal American food. The occupancy is being kept to an intimate 50 seats, including the 15 stools at the bar, which fosters more interaction between host and guest.
For now, says owner Oryszak, The Plum is starting with just breakfast and lunch, with dinner service to be added later in the month when chef-partner Brett Sawyer is confident that they’re ready. The bar, however, is open for business well into the evening.
Those years of work have resulted in a stunning café, dominated by an exposed brick chimney that climbs the height of the two-story dining room. White subway tile, boldly patterned wall paper and sleek furniture give the café a polished and contemporary look, while exposed brick and electrical conduit offer up subtle industrial cues. Large windows look out onto a roomy back patio, which sits immediately adjacent to Platform Beer.
“Our goal was to keep it as basic as possible – something that’s not going to look dated in five years,” Oryszak says of the storefront space. “We avoided all the trendy things like exposed wood, mason jars, and Edison bulbs. We’re going for timeless.”
Check out the lunch menu: