Last week, Red Restaurant Group, owners of Moxie, the Restaurant; Red, the Steakhouse (Beachwood, Ohio; Miami, Florida and Boca Raton, Florida) and Rosso-Italia announced its plans to open a new Red, the Steakhouse location in Downtown Cleveland. The restaurant marks the opening of RRG CEO Brad Friedlander’s eighth restaurant in Northeast Ohio.
The opening of a downtown location brings Friedlander back to his roots. His father owned and operated Alvie’s, a downtown Cleveland restaurant institution located four blocks from the new Red, the Steakhouse.
“When I was a little kid, I was Downtown every day. I’ve always had a romantic interest in Downtown but for the past 30 years there’s been no cohesive development in the City. Nothing has pulled Cleveland together; nothing like the development of the East Fourth Street District and Public Square areas,” Friedlander explains. “This is now the nucleus. This is the area where Cleveland can grow. People are renting apartments here. Businesses are opening. I’m so excited that we can be a part of this. Yes, we’re growing but we’re always going to be in Cleveland. It’s our home.”
The downtown Cleveland Red, the Steakhouse’s design features a 150-seat restaurant, two private board rooms each with capacity for approximately 16 people and a banquet room capable of accommodating nearly 70 people. Total investment in the restaurant is estimated at slightly under $2 million. It is slated to open in Spring, 2013.
While the opening of a downtown Cleveland restaurant is impressive it is but another chapter in Friedlander’s evolution in the restaurant industry. He’s opened eight restaurants in Northeast Ohio including his 15-year-old, still-going-strong, award winning Moxie, the Restaurant. In 2005, his first Red, the Steakhouse opened adjacent to Moxie leading to more recent openings of Red, the Steakhouse locations in South Beach and Boca Raton and Red Restaurant Group’s newest brand, Rosso-Italia. Friedlander projects Red Restaurant Group’s gross income at $23 with the opening of the downtown Cleveland Red, the Steakhouse. Revenues for RRG’s Northeast Ohio restaurants hover between $11 and $12 million.
When it comes to jobs and in-restaurant-job training, Friedlander has reason to boast. Red Restaurant Group has employed “tens of thousands”, many of whom he’s “helped along” in the Industry. Nationally-recognized chefs including Rick Bayless (Frontera), Justin Paponetti (Turzo Piano and Purple Pig), Chris Hodgson (Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race and Hodge’s)as well as many prominent local chefs got their start with him. Award-winning Red Restaurant Group Vice Presidents and Executive Chefs Jonathan Bennett and Peter Vauthy will oversee the Cleveland Red, the Steakhouse kitchen.