Burntwood Tavern’s North Olmsted location provided some new surprises for the regional restaurant chain, despite it being the 12th restaurant Burntwood has opened since the concept was started by Chef Art Pour Restaurant Group in 2010.

The new location, which opened June 10 at 5600 Great Northern Blvd. in North Olmsted, next to Aloft Hotel, was built from the ground up to accommodate Burntwood Tavern – a first for the concept. Typically, Burntwood Taverns opened in existing buildings that CAPRG founder Bret Adams called “second-generation” uses for the buildings.

“We look for good locations that maybe the restaurant is going through distress, where it’s a corporate thing, a transition of a restaurant company, but still a strong location, but maybe the wrong operator,” Adams said. “When Iris Wolstein (president of Heritage Development Co., which developed Aloft Hotel) and her group approached us, North Olmsted was not on our radar. But after visiting with her and looking at the site and learning a little bit more about the North Olmsted community, it didn’t take us long to get excited about it.”

Adams cited a few pluses regarding the North Olmsted location, including its proximity to Great Northern Mall, while being on the opposite side of the bridge over Interstate 480, keeping Burntwood away from the numerous chain restaurants on the other site of the bridge. He mentioned the restaurant is also located near the headquarters for Moen, as well as a few high schools. Adams also said his group had previously worked with Wolstein’s company and, in particular, with Iris’ son, Scott Wolstein.

Adams called the North Olmsted location “a new experience for us” and said the biggest challenge was likely relying on drawings, blueprints and their own vision for how the 5,000-square-foot restaurant would look.

“In our previous Burntwood openings, we are very hands-on,” Adams said. “We’re in the restaurants right after demo, when they’re gutted, just looking around trying to picture what the restaurant will look like from a guest standpoint. Touching it and feeling it and obviously in this situation, we had to rely on drawings and our vision from the ground up. I wouldn’t say it was a challenge, but it was a new experience for us. We love the size of the restaurant. You still have that rusticness, but it’s a little more refined, because it’s brand-new. There’s some tweaks, obviously, because it was our first, but we’re very happy with the look and feel of it, especially for the first one.”

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