CEO and founder Andy Himmel would be the first one to tell you that after 11 years of rum-slinging, Paladar Latin Kitchen
(28601 Chagrin Blvd., 216-896-9020) is in dire need of some attention. The popular Latin American-themed restaurant opened its doors at Eton Chagrin Boulevard in August of 2007. Since then, the Paladar Restaurant Group has added locations in Maryland and Pennsylvania while launching a second concept, Bomba Tacos
, which has locations in Beachwood, Rocky River and Akron.
“We had kicked around the idea of moving the restaurant completely because of how much work it needed, but the more we started thinking about it, we decided that you don’t move your flagship restaurant,” Himmel explains. “Instead of moving and trying to start over, it’s more about how can we blend what we have been doing and what the market has been responding well to with what we know is more in line with our brand and what has been successful at the newer restaurants that we’ve done.”
The ambitious project will touch nearly all aspects of the facility, from the dining room and bar to the kitchen and restrooms. The entire bar side of the restaurant will be ripped out and reworked to level the grade and create more guest seating. A new guacamole bar in the dining room will let diners put their own spin on that popular dish.
To accomplish this sizeable undertaking, the restaurant will temporarily close its doors for four weeks, tentatively scheduled to run from January 7 to February 6.
“I’m really excited,” adds Himmel. “We’ve started and stopped this process like 10 times. I love the location and feel that doing this in the space we’ve been operating in is kind of neat. I don’t want to lose the energy that we’ve built in this space.”
Before the project kicks off, guests are invited to take part in a special New Year’s Eve series of dinners comprised of a three-course prix fixe meal and entertainment on the nights of December 28 through the 31st.
“We’re really going to make use of this time and significant investment,” Himmel says. “We’re going to be treating it like a new restaurant opening in terms of how we will retain and train our team. It’s an opportunity to get everybody back on the same page.”