Throughout the pandemic, many restaurants found themselves closing, reopening and closing again as COVID-19 cases fluctuated in the Cleveland restaurant community.
While Blu, the Restaurant in Beachwood followed suit and closed periodically throughout the past year, it is ready to reopen by the end of April. But, it will be Blu, the Restaurant in name only. According to owner Brad Friedlander, the restaurant will have a new menu, decor, staff and head chef ahead of the reopening.
“The feeling of being able to reopen now is very exciting, and everyone is feeling that,” he said. “We have a new staff and a new chef that we searched the country for and brought here from Texas. And he’s extremely talented. I’ve worked with a lot of talented chefs in the past, but this is exciting for the team.”
Friedlander will turn his kitchen over to his new Jewish head chef, Brian Moses, formerly of Olive & June restaurant in Austin, Texas, and the due will put together an entirely new menu. Friedlander called the currently-in-development menu “more refined, exciting and contemporary” than previous offerings.
“(Brian’s) experience is pretty exciting,” Friedlander said. “He’s been at a lot of really hot restaurants in California and Texas. We haven’t had a real chef in here since my partner Jonathan Bennett. I’ve also had Rick Bayless and Doug Katz in here, so I mean this is another real chef.”
Once he decided to reopen and revamp the dining experience, Friedlander said a national advertisement was distributed in restaurant circles to search for the best of the best. During Moses’ interview process, Friedlander’s daughter approached her father saying she thought Moses was Jewish. A quick Facebook search later, her thoughts were confirmed – Moses had gone on a Birthright trip.
“Obviously, that excited me,” Friedlander said. “It’s very exciting to have another Jewish chef in our community and having the opportunity to reopen with a Jewish chef.”
When asked what he wanted the community to know ahead of the reopening, Friedlander had two words: get ready. His other restaurant, Rosso Italia, which had only been open a few months before the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, will not reopen, he said.
“We feel renewed and refreshed,” he said. “We’re just excited to reopen and serve great food to great people. (At Rosso), we’re conceptualizing a new restaurant there. Stay tuned on that.”
Blu, the Restaurant is at 3355 Richmond Road.