Nice weather in Cleveland means patio season. You probably already have your favorites, but here are 15 new ones that have opened since last fall that might be fun additions to your al-fresco dining calendar
After eight years, Adega at Metropolitan at the 9 ceased to exist last October. The Centro took its place. “It just needed a refresh,” said General Manager Kenny Didier. “I think it was time to change it up a bit.” Centro, a “rustic Italian-inspired steakhouse with an emphasis on fresh, clean ingredients,” opened on November 4th. The all new menu features hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood, house-made pastas, and sourdough brick-oven pizzas. The patio remains similar to Adega just with an updated look.
Chef Dante Boccuzzi’s first foray to the East Side welcomed its first guests in May. Located in the heart of Willoughby on Erie Street, the Southern-styled saloon elevates the honky-tonk vibe thanks to warm wood, exposed brick and a menu designed by a Michelin-starred chef. Heading up the kitchen is chef Emily Campion, who has been working at Ginko and Dante for the past year. She takes the reins of the 60-seat restaurant with an eye on quality, consistency and creativity. “The food is traditional Southern but done right, refined but approachable,” she explains. Out back is a spacious 60-seat patio ringed by a rusted-metal fence. There will be live country-style music Fridays or Saturdays, inside or outside, weather depending.
Since launching Cocky’s Bagels as a food-trailer concept about five years ago, partners Keene Cockburn and fiancé Natalie Bata have since added two brick-and-mortar locations. The first, in North Olmsted (26703 Brookpark Ext.), opened in 2019. The second, located in the heart of the Flats East Bank neighborhood, opened last October. This latest shop in the Flats is a far cry from the modest food trailer that launched the venture. The spacious new restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating and a bar. Guests can find classic bagel sandwiches like the Wake ‘N Bacon, starring bacon, egg, cheese and garlic herb cream cheese, the Lox, with smoked salmon, cream cheese, tomato and onion, and the signature Cocky’s, stacked with grilled turkey, salami, egg, cheese, lettuce and tomato. Another big win for Flats bar-hoppers is the addition of late-night food offerings, which will run well past 2 a.m. on weekends.
One of the last remaining marquee restaurant spaces at Van Aken District was snagged by the team behind Giovanni’s and Smokin’ Q’s BBQ. The 4,400-square-foot property, which is next door to the plant store Stump and the new burger concept Shake It, recently opened as Paloma, a taco-focused Mexican restaurant. From partners Zachary Ladner and Carl Quagliata of Giovanni’s and the Village Butcher, Paloma is a taco-focused modern-Mexican restaurant that is a bit more elevated than what’s typically offered. The restaurant opened last fall and unveiled the patio this spring.
Owner Chad Trush spent a year and a half gutting and rebuilding the former Mario’s restaurant into a stylish American grill. His goal, he says, is to bring big city dining to North Royalton. Fire 45 boasts not one but two executive chefs, Trush points out, with the pair coming from Morton’s and Ken Stewart’s restaurants. A small but diverse menu includes starters like oysters Rockefeller, roasted bone marrow and crabcakes. In the back, a stand of mature trees provides an urban escape for patio diners.
For nearly three years, diners have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Fiyah, a contemporary Korean barbecue restaurant in the St. Clair Superior neighborhood. Fiyah offers both Korean BBQ and Asian hot pot experiences in a spacious, attractive setting. There are more than two dozen booths featuring built-in gas grills, allowing groups to enjoy the interactive art of tabletop grilling. Fiyah is going with two different all-you-can-eat models that offer different selections of meats and seafoods. This spring, Fiyah will unveil its massive wraparound porch and rooftop patio.
Last summer, downtown Cleveland lost a 40-year-old legend when Vincenza’s Pizza & Pasta abruptly closed its shop. But soon, another local legend will take up the mantle to provide hot slices for all. Geraci’s Slice Shop, an extension of the 60-year-old brand, launched last summer in Willoughby as part of The Yard on 3rd. The expanded downtown spot offers more in terms of food, beverage and setting. The fast-casual operation features classic Geraci’s pizzas – either by the slice or whole – plus appetizers, salads, subs and desserts like Italian ice and tiramisu. Guests can look forward to a fun, funky décor modeled after an `80s pizzeria, complete with full bar and game room. In the off season, Geraci’s Slice Shop acquired “Manager of the Year” Terry “Tito” Francona as an investor. The prominent Vincenza’s space has been artfully redesigned into an `80s-themed pizzeria where fun, nostalgia and efficiency are the names of the game. A 25-seat sidewalk patio features a turf base and lawn chairs.
Heck’s Café made its triumphant return to Cleveland’s east side in early 2023. Back in the late-1970s and early-1980s, the legendary burger restaurant had a location at Eton mall in Woodmere, alongside other classic places like the Cheese Cellar and James Tavern. This time around, Heck’s opened in Beachwood in the former home of Moxie and Blu.
For the past 14 years, Felice earned a place as one of the east side’s most endearing restaurants. It closed in late 2022 and Jill Vedaa and Jessica Parkison of beloved Lakewood tapas spot Salt+ opened. Poppy is in a 115-year old building that was turned from a house into a restaurant, giving it a very homey vibe. The spectacular garden patio and carriage-house bar will open for the season on June 1st. At that time, menu items will take advantage of the wood-burning pizza oven and grill.
We must tip our caps to this Scotland-based brewery for transforming a desolate patch on the Scranton Peninsula into one of the city’s most impressive riverside beer gardens. The surrounding city, bridge and water views are breathtaking, the beer selection pairs house cult faves with guest locals, you can partake in a game of shuffleboard and the food is surprisingly praise-worthy.
First announced in 2019, Studio West 117 finally opened last fall. The Lakewood-based development is modeled after LGBT-focused neighborhoods like the Castro in San Francisco and the Short North in Columbus. Phase one, which is called the Fieldhouse, features two restaurants, Muze Gastropub and Eat Me Pizza, as well as the Trellis Rooftop Bar. Billed as “Lakewood’s first and only rooftop patio,” the bar features 4,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space for guests to drink, dine and dance. The “bougie rum jungle vibe” is more upscale compared to Muze, with custom booths, cabanas, drop chandeliers and lots of greenery.
This modern brasserie opened in Little Italy in the former Club Isabella space in early 2023. After signing the lease, owners Chris and Katie Wolf got busy making the contemporary property their own. Nearly every surface received attention, from the bartop to the bathrooms. The patio opened for the first time this spring, and with live music most nights of the week, it’s sure to be a happening spot with the weather warming up.
For years, Lure Bistro was home to one of the best patios in Downtown Willoughby. That made way for The Yard on 3rd, the town’s first food truck yard. The casual dog-friendly spot features an outdoor bar, plenty of seating, televisions and family-friendly games. The main attraction — apart from the bar — is the rotating roster of food trucks. But equally compelling is the Geraci’s Slice Shop, which was the first for the beloved pizzeria. The shop is a year-round operation that serves both The Yard guests but also take-out and delivery for Willoughby and the surrounding area.
The Lizard opened its new downtown location in February in the AECOM building. The restaurant recently unveiled an expanded patio that benefits greatly from a southern exposure on St. Clair as opposed to the former “wind tunnel” over on East 9th. Winking Lizard closed its Galleria location last year and its Gateway District location in August of 2021.
Much has changed both inside and outside these four walls since a young chef named Michael Symon worked here when it was home to Piccolo Mondo. Since then, the iconic property has hosted Metropolitan Café, Metro Bar & Kitchen, and Bar Louie. Agave & Rye is billed as a modern tequila and bourbon hall that serves “epic tacos.” The restaurant is known for its double-shelled tacos, which feature crunchy corn and soft flour shells sandwiched together by beans, queso, pimento or guacamole. The wrap-around patio seats 100.
We are thrilled that you have the Van Aken District in mind as a place for your special gathering! Please submit your event request no later than 3 weeks in advance of the intended event date. Thank you!