April 23, 2024


Free For All Food

New Italian restaurant Bar Italia opening at Lindey’s Lake House location in Lakewood

LAKEWOOD, Ohio — For the better part of the fall, the scuttlebutt around Lakewood’s culinary scene had to do with changes afoot at Detroit Avenue restaurant Lindey’s Lake House, which opened its doors in 2019.

a large brick building with a store on the corner of a street: Bar Italia is located in the former Lindey’s Lake House location at 15625 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood.

© John Benson/cleveland.com/cleveland.com/TNS
Bar Italia is located in the former Lindey’s Lake House location at 15625 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood.

It turns out the rumors were true with Lindey’s Lake House being renamed and rebranded Bar Italia, which is expected to open later this month.

“Honestly, COVID killed us,” said Next Cool Restaurants (NCR) CEO Rick Doody, the restaurateur behind Cedar Creek Grille, 17 River Grille and Lindey’s Lake House. “Our carryout business has broken. What we realized is while the Lindey’s Lake House menu doesn’t lend itself that well to carryout, what was working were the pasta dishes we added to the menu during the shutdown.

“We were like, wow, maybe this is a sign of what people want in Lakewood. We try to think we’re close to our guests, we listen to our guests. We’ve been working on a menu since last summer really pursuing this idea.”

The new concept is Bar Italia, which will offer different types of fresh pastas, homemade sauces and other Italian specialties in a friendly, upscale atmosphere.

The menu features local homemade pasta from Moreland Hills’ Flour Restaurant and fresh heart-shaped baguettes and pastries from Cleveland Heights’ On The Rise bakery. The NCR team boasts more than 170 years of proving authentic, high-quality Italian food.

“We’re doing some really cool stuff with a lot of old recipes,” said Doody, who co-founded Bravo and Brio restaurants. “Bar Italia is unlike any Italian restaurant in the city. We’ll have roughly half a dozen fresh noodles, including a vegetarian like butternut squash or zucchini noodle. Then you get to choose seven different sauces that we’ve made. You can add meatballs.

“The menu also consists of 10 starters to share, including a great sausage bread, stuffed peppers, calamari and a wedding soup. It’s the best wedding soup you’ve ever had. It’s in a huge bowl and is meal to itself.”

Considering the menu is specifically designed for a carry-out environment, Bar Italia purchased a fleet of Fiat 500s to serve the Lakewood community.

“What we also learned was while Lindey’s Lake House in The Flats on the water does extremely well, the concept never really worked in Lakewood,” Doody said.

“We believe in Lakewood, and we want to continue to operate a restaurant there. We just felt like in terms of Italian restaurants the area was under-served.”

Read more news from the Sun Post Herald here.

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