After five years, partners Chris Hammer and Matt Quinn are selling the Standard
(779 E 185th St., 216-531-9463), a popular anchor in the E. 185th Street community. The gastro-tavern got off to a strong start thanks to opening chef Tim Bando, who left to open Grove Hill in Chagrin Falls.
“We’ve been looking for a buyer for a while and just couldn’t find anyone that we thought could take the Standard to the next level,” Hammer explains. “We found that in Said. People have every reason to be excited about the move.”
For a decade, Said Ouaddaadaa owned and operated Bodega (1854 Coventry Rd., 216-932-3062) on Coventry. He sold that business last year so he could travel and recharge.
“I always promised myself that I would take a year off to travel,” Ouaddaadaa says. “After 30 years in this business, I needed it.”
Ouaddaadaa said that an accidental meeting between him and Hammer just four months ago set the wheels in motion.
“I mentioned to Chris that I was looking for a new place.” says Ouaddaadaa. “I’ve looked at a lot of different spaces, but nothing really excited me. To be honest, I almost didn’t even look at it because I knew so little about the neighborhood. But I really love the clientele, love the atmosphere, and the community.”
After the transfer goes through this week, guests will begin to see some gradual tweaks to the interior to make it feel more like a restaurant than a bar. High-tops will be swapped out for tables and chairs. Tablecloths and wine glasses will appear on tables. The wine and cocktail lists will expand. And, of course, the menu will be adjusted.
“We’re keeping like 70-percent of the menu,” the new owner promises. But new appetizers, entrees and house specialties with French and Moroccan influence will be added.
Live music will become a regular occurrence and come spring, the patio will be expanded and improved.