“We’ve been here since 1974, so I guess you could say that we've been cautious,” says shop manager Hank Kornblut, in the understatement of the year. “We decided a couple months ago to take over the spot next door. I reached a point where it felt like it made sense to add a sit-down component to our sandwich business so we could attract more people.”
For roughly 40 years, Mister Brisket
has been Cleveland's finest purveyor of beef, veal, lamb, pork and poultry products. Founder Sanford Herskovitz supplies many of the city's top restaurants as well as home cooks who value quality products like USDA Prime meats.
In 2006, the shop began making in-house versions of corned beef and pastrami for sale by the pound and in sandwich form. Since then the menu has expanded to include barbecue beef brisket, beef salami, turkey and Ruebens.
“Our business has been growing,” Kornblut adds. “The sandwiches have brought new people in, which allowed us to expose our raw meat end of our business to more people.”
The extra 1,000 square feet will allow for seating for approximately 25 guests. It will also add some much needed space for prep and cook equipment. The two spaces will be connected by a simple doorway. To start, the menu will consist of soups and sandwiches, but could grow in terms of regular items and specials.
“We’re going to do this as simply as possible to start with,” says Kornblut. “I’ve seen far too many businesses make a huge investment and take on a lot of debt. That’s something we want to avoid.”
Kornblut points to a flurry of recent activity in the area as signs of good things to come for his Cedar-Taylor district. New service-based businesses have moved in as well as retail food ops like Greedy Girl and expansions at Quintana’s.
“It seems like a number of businesses in the area either have expanded or joined the area and of course it all began when Melt moved in,” he notes.
If all goes as according to plans, the sit-down shop will open after the holiday season.