Blu, the Restaurant, at 3355 Richmond Road in Beachwood, plans to reopen by the end of April, with its new chef Brian Moses at the helm.
Moses, who was raised in a conservative Jewish home in Fort Worth, Texas, hails from Austin, Texas, where he has lived and worked for the last 15 years at several restaurants, including Olive & June.
After he was hired at Blu, the Restaurant a few weeks ago, he drove to Cleveland with his dog, Hickory. He will stay with his family who resides in Northeast Ohio until he gets settled. His wife, Julia, is a teacher in Austin and plans to move here with the couple’s two cats once the school year comes to a close.
Moses, 33, talked to the Cleveland Jewish News about his new position.
CJN: What interested you in Blu, the Restaurant enough to apply and drive cross country?
Moses: Brad Friedlander has a great reputation. That kind of spoke to me, and I thought this would be a fun challenge. We’re not reopening Blu – we’re saying we’re opening a new restaurant with the same name. We’re doing a completely new menu and just bringing in a different kind and style of food. It’s seafood-focused like it has been, but with the improvements made to the dining area, it’s just a little bit nicer. That is the vibe we wanted to go with.
CJN: What excites you most about being a member of the Blu team and Cleveland’s restaurant community?
Moses: From what I’ve gathered here, the trendier restaurants seem to be on the city’s west side. So, I think doing the same thing on the east side in such a big space is very exciting. There is a need for it, just based on what I’ve heard about this area. This side of town doesn’t have much of that. And that’s only part of it. It’s not just about doing the same thing that every restaurant down the street is doing. It’s a bit more special. We want to expand our customer base. And good food is good food.
CJN: How do you plan to put your flair on the restaurant?
Moses: It’s not just me doing this. I’m working with Brad and the rest of the team, figuring out what works and what won’t make sense for the area. But, we are getting like a big grill to place on the lawn, kind of changing things up in that way to bring more of that Texas flair.
CJN: What do you look forward to most in this position?
Moses: Doing a whole new menu for not just one, but two restaurants, is a big challenge. I have plenty of experience running one kitchen, so I think running two was one of the bigger draws for me. Also, having this super seafood-focused restaurant in a place where even though we’re close to a lake, Cleveland is not defined by its seafood. So, I think trying to make this concept prevalent when it isn’t right now and making it exciting is great.