Anthony Zappola made a huge splash two years ago when he opened Lox, Stock and Brisket
(13892 Cedar Rd., 216-471-8175) in University Heights. While the chef was a big deal in Las Vegas, where he earned recognition as Best New Chef by Las Vegas Weekly
, he was an unknown entity in Cleveland dining. That quickly changed thanks to the restaurant’s buzz-worthy brisket and fried chicken sandwiches.
Six months later, Zappola was part of the opening lineup at Ohio City Galley, where he introduced diners to the Rice Shop, an Asian-fusion concept that he launched in Vegas before moving back home. Originally, the chef’s plan was to open the Rice Shop in place of Lox, Stock and Brisket, but he shied away from that strategy because he didn’t think it was a great fit at the time.
“I always wanted to have the Rice Shop in its own space, I just thought it was too adventurous in University Heights being an unestablished chef in Cleveland,” he explains. “I thought brisket sandwiches were a much more approachable concept.”
Despite the short, complicated existence of the Ohio City Galley, Rice Shop received high marks and built a following – enough so that Zappola will revive the concept at the current home of Lox, Stock and Brisket. That restaurant will close on May 31 so the space can be converted to the new business. Given the lack of major modifications needed, the chef thinks he can reopen the doors by the following weekend. Fans of the short-lived Ohio City Galley eatery can look forward to the same fast-casual arrangement offering compelling items like Kentucky fried fish, Thai shrimp bayou and Korean beef.
Fear not, Lox, Stock and Brisket fans. That wildly popular eatery has a new home as well, which currently is being constructed inside the Market Hall at Van Aken District
. That location, two and a half miles south of the present one, will bring the restaurant closer to a majority of its regular customers, notes the chef.
The 400-square-foot curvilinear space will be one of the largest in the Market Hall, reports Luke Palmisano of Van Aken District, who adds that Lox, Stock and Brisket will make a great addition to the current mix of tenants.
“We’ve gotten to know Anthony pretty well over the past six months and he’s exactly the type of talent and product and person that we like to support here,” Palmisano states. “We’ve built a pretty nice community of local entrepreneurs in the Market Hall and I think Anthony is going to fit into that mix really well.”
When it opens on August 1, the glass-walled stand will offer lunch and dinner, with breakfast service to be introduced a few weeks later. The addition of breakfast items like egg sandwiches, lox and smoked fish will help activate the Market Hall throughout the day, explains Palmisano.
“We like to offer different experiences throughout the day and continue to make it a spot where you can come for a coffee and a breakfast meeting,” he states.