As the first mayor of Cleveland – and real estate maven – Willey bought a section of the east bank turning it into a business and residential district. According to local history, he also bought part of Ohio City and turned it into another growing district called Willleyville, which housed a market (note: not the market).
It’s this Cleveland history, and correlation with the Flats, that led Chris and Krista DiLisi to open Willeyville, one of the first three restaurants (along with Lago and Ken Stewart’s), to open as part of Phase 1 of the Flats resurrection.
DiLisi, who was the previous head chef with Baricelli Inn and Flour, is beyond excited to be part of this rebirth, and most of all – to get back in the kitchen.
The restaurant will focus on seasonal American dishes. “Everyone says they are doing this today,” explains DiLisi. “So are we. But our focus will be on making nearly everything in-house, from scratch and
supporting as much local as we possibly can.”
DiLisi says he already has arrangements in place with Hartzler, Snowville, Miller and New Creations farms. And plans to change the menu every other week, though plans to maintain a few staples based on diner feedback.
Best of all? DiLisi is looking to keep dishes under $20.
House made doesn’t just stop at the kitchen. The duo shares that the bar will feature the majority of mixes and goods made in-house, too. The goal is to never open a can, they add.
The focus on the bar will be old meets new, paying homage to cocktails from the past and celebrating new libations of today.
Perhaps you’ve caught on to a theme by now, with the name, its origin and the bar. If you haven’t, you certainly will when you visit. They hope to create a homey yet old (way old) Cleveland feel. This notion of vintage Cleveland from the Willey era will be represented from all aspects of the restaurant, like the general store bar, to the “worn and older” banquettes. APOC and Junkyard Lighting are heavily involved in bringing the space to life.
The 3,000-square-foot restaurant will seat 86 inside and 32 out. Look for a mid June opening and for the team to serve lunch, dinner and daily happy hour specials from day 1, with plans to cater to the Browns’ home game crowd.
- roasted peanuts, 4
- kaffir lime◦garlic◦chilis◦cilantro◦salt, marinated olives, preserved artichokes, 6
- chicken wings & things, sriracha verde, 7
- ceviche, avocado◦jicama◦tortilla chips, 6
salted/ cured/ preserved
- salumi 14
- tomato marmalade◦crostini
- cheeses of the day 9/3 pc◦14/5 pc
- fig jam◦lavosh
- pate in pastry crust 7
- mustard seeds◦cornichons
- potted smoked salmon 6
- caperberries◦onion crackers
- minty spring pea soup 5-cup/8-bowl
- popped amaranth◦yogurt◦pea dust
- open face duck mic muffin 13
- foie gras- duck sausage◦over easy egg◦english muffin◦sweet & spicy ohio maple syrup
- smoked mussel poutine 11
- fries◦tasso ham◦buttermilk bleu fondue
- veggie rice paper roll 9
- carrot◦radish◦avocado◦mint◦smashed peas◦citrus-chile ponzu
- grilled prawns 12
- preserved lemon◦pickled peppers◦crispy garlic◦evoo
- steamed wild clams 11
- garbonzo beans◦bacon◦ham hock broth
- willey wedge salad 11
- mini iceburg◦oven dried tomato◦pancetta◦avocado puree◦pickled egg◦fried buttermilk bleu dressing
- bibb salad 7
- spiced walnuts◦wino cherries◦barrel aged red wine vinegar◦evoo◦sea salt
- cucumbers & spicy strawberries 10
- fennel◦cottage cheese◦preserved lemon◦chili oil
- snap peas & ricotta 9
- radishes◦chilis◦shallot◦mint◦lemon vin
- roasted red beets 8
- chard◦butter◦malt vinegar◦smoked cheddar◦herbs
- baked semolina gnocchi 12/18
- pork ragu◦grana◦gremolata
- squid ink fusilli 14
- calamari◦asparagus◦garlic◦poached egg◦smoked evoo◦crispy spiced capers
- lamb ravioli 13/19
- kale◦chevre◦cheese broth◦tomato oil
- bucatini alla matriciana 11/16
- pancetta∙chili∙crushed san marzanos∙parm∙parsley
- birds of a feather 20
- duck ham & breast◦chicken◦poultry liver pate◦stone fruit compote◦whipped cilantro
- cod roulade 18
- oven dried tomatoes◦forbidden rice salad◦tarragon pistou
- crispy confit’d city chicken 19
- carrot puree◦new potato-poblano chutney◦smoked paprika oil
- spring lamb & marrow pot pie 16
- peas◦favas◦pearl onions◦carrots◦mint◦foie gras crust
- adobo shrimp in corn tortillas 18
- mex-chorizo◦guac◦cilantro crèma◦crispy hominy
- jerk chicken 18
- black beans◦tostones◦jicama slaw
- grass fed ohio beef- butcher’s cut mp
- (priced per cut available-limited quantities per cut)
- smoked mashers◦creamed kale◦pickled shiitakes◦parsley butter