new restaurants heading to coventry

Two new restaurants, one Asian the other a worldly tapas and wine bar of sorts, will be arriving on Coventry in Cleveland Heights this spring. Here’s the small articles from the city’s newsletter:

Coventry Welcomes New Asian Restaurant
Que Tal? announced its closing after 13 years on Coventry. Replacing it will be a Thai/ Vietnamese/ sushi restaurant, according to Clyde Mart of J.J. Hermann & Associates, the broker representing the newtenant. “The owner is a skilled professional who operates a Thai restaurant in Boston. Her sister and brother own Bangkok restaurant in Lyndhurst. This is a family-owned business. The reason they chose Coventry is because the area is very similar to where they are located in Boston,” he explained. The new 100-seat restaurant is being remodeled and is tentatively scheduled to open in mid-April. Mart said this will be a “casual, mid-scale priced restaurant.” Takeout service will be available.

International Flavor Comes to the Street
Coventry is quickly becoming Cleveland’s most diverse restaurant district, with the upcoming opening of Bodega. A tapas and wine bar, the restaurant is slated to open by the second week of
April. According to owner Said Ouaddaadaa (pronounced Sy-eed Wadada), “There is nothing like this in Cleveland, or in the State of Ohio. This is a new concept that has not yet made it to this area. It’s popular in other major cities and throughout Europe. It’s simple. It’s good and it’s not expensive.” Ouaddaadaa chose Coventry because “it’s a very busy street and it attracts a younger clientele.”

Approximately 25 varieties of tapas ranging in flavor from northern Mediterranean, Spanish to Moroccan French as well as over 200 martinis and 300 different wines from around the world will be the restaurant’s focus. Wine tastings and jazz, seven nights a week, are in the planning stages.

A Moroccan native who is now a resident of Cleveland Heights, Ouaddaadaa received his culinary training at Club Med under the direction of the chef from the prestigious Parisian Maxim’s restaurant. “He wanted to learn how to sail and I wanted to learn how to cook so I taught him sailing and he taught me cooking.” The owner of the Uptown Grille, located near the corner of Euclid Avenue and Mayfield Roads in University Circle, he previously owned Club Isabella.


  1. Russ
    Posted April 4, 2008 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Bodega sounds great… except for the 200 “martinis”. Gotta get out to the Heights once they open.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted April 4, 2008 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    As my personal Cleveland food expert – Have you ever been to Swingos in Avon Lake? We are going there tomorrow night, and wondered what your opinion on the place was. I always consult your website before deciding where to do dinner! Thanks!

    – Hayley

  3. michelle v
    Posted April 4, 2008 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Hayley – Thanks for the comment, I appreciate it. No, I haven’t been there and honestly haven’t heard much about it, good or bad. Hopefully you’ll have a great experience. I have been to Swingo’s on the Lake, but only once. We went for my grandmas’s 90th birthday several years ago. I don’t remember being wowed by the food, though. I just remember thinking about all the history that’s part of that space – it’s pretty impressive.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted April 4, 2008 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Thanks! – We are going with a group so we don’t get to pick…I definitely value your “foodie” advice….

    – Hayley

  5. Christine
    Posted April 4, 2008 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    I had to look at that twice…que tal closed??

    It just makes me feel like my time has passed, that the Coventry of my youth is gone. How depressing.

  6. dr von drinkensnorten
    Posted April 6, 2008 at 2:07 am | Permalink


    Ah, sad to see Que Tal go. I remember when they would stay open until 4am, and we’d go in there high on acid.

    The decline of Coventry has been long and slow, from a hip hang out populated by weirdos and intellectuals and artists to the date rape friend jalapeno poppers playground it is today.

    But I shan’t wax nostalgic. I have friends who live there and need jobs, and I hope the new restaurants do well. I could do with about half as many sports bars, but as CWRU and JCU expand out of their backyards, this is to be expected.

    There will never again be a place quite like Coventry in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and I will never be able to fully explain it to anyone who didn’t experience it in person. I’ll always treasure the confused looks the Que Tal staff would give us when we would waltz in at 3:30 wearing capes, helmets and wielding “Mars Attacks” brain guns and glitter.

    Hail eris.

  7. Anonymous
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Cara here ( and I just can’t log in while I’m working. Also, I seem to be the almighty “delayed reaction girl”.

    I have been following your blog for a long time and really like to read it when I’m at work.

    The place that replaced Que Tal has ok food, but nothing remarkable and unique. They actually “ruined” my 30th birthday by serving shrimp tempura that was overly oily and tasted like funnel cake. The fact that they took 30 minutes to check on us (and we had tried to flag them down SEVERAL times) actually ended up making me cry that night.

    Unless they have made some serious management/staff changes, I’ll just stick to Pacific East for that kind of food when I’m in Coventry.

  8. cita07
    Posted March 12, 2009 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    I went to Bodega while in town over Christmas. We sat at the bar. I agree that the space is absolutely stunning, but as we sat down, and started looking around, it became clear that this place is being mismanaged. There are fish bowls at the bar with dead fish floating in them. We ordered a martini, and a scotch on the rocks, and both glasses were dirty. As someone who has worked in the industry for years, I am way open to overlooking a smudge or two, but both glasses had to be swapped. They were filthy. The food was not bad, but it was clearly an old menu being done by a new chef. There didnt seem to be a concerted effort in anything. Too salty, too oily, and indelicate despite tasty descriptions. The bartender was civil, but distracted, although we were the only ones at the bar for the first hour or so. Overall, it was disappointing. Too bad.