michael symon to open two new restaurants in cleveland

In flipping through the Plain Dealer, I saw that Michael Symon is planning two new restaurants this year (and I thought the news of the day was going to be the Cavs).

According to Joe Crea, Symon is taking over Swingos Grand Tavern in Avon Lake as well the former Cold Stone Creamery in Woodmere, which is part of the Eton Collection (this will replace the bakery he was originally planning).

Here’s more from the article:
Bar Symon, an American bar and brasserie, will occupy the site of Swingos Grand Tavern, which closed suddenly in February. The restaurant, at 32858 Walker Road, is scheduled to open in June.

“Everything on the menu will range from $9 to $18,” said Symon, adding that “most of the menu will be built around live fire cooking” and may feature custom-built rotisseries similar to the ones boldly displayed at his most recent restaurant, Roast, in Detroit.

“Very casual, American-driven, very comfortable — that’s what we’re aiming for,” Symon said, describing the vibe he and his wife, Liz, and their business partner Doug Petkovic are seeking. In addition to 100 beers from around the globe, 40 of them artisinal brews available on tap, Symon anticipates a comparatively modest wine list featuring about 25 bottles. Matt Harlan, executive chef at Lolita, will take over the kitchen in Avon Lake.

Once the doors open at Bar Symon, the partners will kick into overdrive to open the other restaurant.

The B Spot — “pretty much just great burgers and beer,” Symon said — will bring upscale casual fare to the tony Eton Chagrin Boulevard shopping center. It replaces a bakery concept he originally envisioned.

“We just wanted great, simple food,” Symon said of a menu that will feature “maybe 10 burgers plus fries, milkshakes, a couple of salads and around 20 beers on tap.”
Congratulations, Michael, Liz and Doug! And good luck to Chatty – although we’ll miss you at Lolita.


  1. -Pete
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Excellent news … the old Swingos is minutes from where I live in Avon Lake.

  2. MrKeith
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    I see this as bad news.

    He’s losing respect as a chef with every casual burger joint in the suburbs that he opens.

  3. michelle v
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Would you rather an Applebee’s go in its place? I see this as a good thing – more local businesses in our area, more opportunities for local farmers and vendors and a chance for a larger audience to experience Symon’s approach to food at a reasonable price point. For me personally, I have much respect for him and what he is doing in Cleveland.

  4. Cara
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I’m with Michelle! I hate chain restaurants and would much rather enjoy a burger at Michael Symon’s place…now I don’t have to go to Claddagh when the mood strikes for a burger. Kudos to Mr. Symon for reaching a broader population in the Cleveland area!!!

  5. Cara
    Posted April 22, 2009 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    I think this is fantastic news. We need more unique restaurants like these. It gives our city some character. We don’t need any more chain restaurants

    I’ll have to spread the word!

  6. rockandroller
    Posted April 23, 2009 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I agree with michelle. There are plenty of us foodies who live in the burbs who support these places.

  7. Christina
    Posted April 23, 2009 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Very good news. We are lucky to have someone like Michael Symon building up Cleveland’s reputation. I am excited to see another cleveland-theme blogger. This is the first time I have visited your blog. Good Stuff!

  8. Matt
    Posted April 23, 2009 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Thanks Michelle!

    We’re really excited for this move.


  9. MrKeith
    Posted April 23, 2009 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Don’t get me wrong. I love Lola. I love Lolita. I’m excited to try Roast. I’m fine with the talk of a Milwaulkee spot, but when you start opening burger joints in Avon Lake I believe you’ve lost your way. All this talk about this being good for the city is silly. When people talk about the culinary scene of a city, they don’t talk about some restaurant in some suburb 20 miles away. What would be good for the city would be for more nationally known chefs to open restaurants in Cleveland, not for our one well know chef to start pimping himself out to every suburb within 30 miles of downtown

  10. Bitner
    Posted May 5, 2009 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Would anyone happen to have a contact number or know where to go for anyone that may be interested in working at either of these two new restaurants? Thanks!

  11. Anonymous
    Posted May 23, 2009 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Bar Symon ad on Craigslist


  12. Rick
    Posted March 12, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Michael seen you on tv I live in Lakewood,Ohio Would you ever open up here. I would like 2 ask you a question sometime. Rick