Cleveland, Ohio – Elements Bistro on Euclid, the new restaurant on Cleveland State University’s campus, will open on Monday, February 11, 2008, on the first floor of the University’s Parker Hannifin Administration Center at 2300 Euclid Avenue.
The name, Elements Bistro on Euclid, is drawn from the title of the mathematician Euclid’sElements – regarded as the most influential textbook ever written, and a play on the restaurant's university setting and its address on Euclid Avenue. Elements’ cuisine strives to showcase simple preparations that highlight the elemental quality of seasonal ingredients and the best our region has to offer.
Elements Bistro on Euclid will be open for breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and can be reserved for parties of 30 or more in the evenings and on weekends. In the future, the restaurant will also offer an extensive beer and wine menu.
Cleveland State’s decision to include the Bistro in the operations run by the University's dining services provider, Chartwells Educational Dining Services, is unique. Typically, campuses will bring in a franchise to operate a restaurant that is located on campus. “We consider Elements to be a Cleveland restaurant that happens to be on CSU's campus,” said Clare Rahm, Assistant Vice President for Campus Support Services.
Elements will use local products when feasible, including Amish cheeses, locally produced sausages and pastas, and eventually will feature Ohio wine and beer. “Using local products will help raise awareness that Cleveland produces high quality products, and it also helps support the local economy,” said Frank Hurley, Executive Chef, CSU Dining Services. “Local food can also be tracked to easily determine where all of the products came from – start to finish.”
Culinary Consultant and CSU Alumnus Tim McCoy of KMST Culinary Consulting was brought in by the University to assist in the development of the restaurant concept and menu selections.
“The main style of cuisine at the restaurant is what I might call ‘contemporary eclectic bistro,’ meaning that we will adhere to the principle of delivering simple, but tasty food” said McCoy. “Of course, the Elements concept carries other resonances that are felt in the cuisine such as the fact that some dishes utilize locally produced products and others pay homage to Cleveland’s diverse
ethnic make-up, including Ohio City Pasta of the Day and a spin on local favorites such as the Chicken Paprikash and West Side Market Sausage and Pierogies.”
The Bistro’s contemporary space offers a main circular-shaped bar and a secondary free-standing bar which seats 15 on Italian leather stools. Sixty seats are available in the dining area. Warm, intimate spaces are created with three banquettes that offer views to the adjacent plaza and the recently renovated Howe Mansion.
A series of French doors open the restaurant to an exterior patio that seats 52 during the seasonal months. Patrons will always feel engaged to the exterior, however, due to the expansive windows that run the entire perimeter of the restaurant.
Chartwells will operate the restaurant and selected Amy Woodward to be the chef. She has been cooking in area operations for almost 15 years, including several years at Michael Longo's Restaurants in Bainbridge (Firefly, Market Square Bistro) and most recently at Trifles Cafe and Catering in Chagrin Falls. Steven Adams, who has a diverse background in restaurant management including Atria’s and Panera, will manage the front of the house.
While restaurants can be a difficult business venture, Cleveland State President Michael Schwartz says “this restaurant is not a copy of anything, and it doesn’t compete with others out there. I think local area retailers and restaurants will welcome our presence.”
The bistro concept gives Elements great flexibility to meet different seasonal tastes. The menu will change with the seasons and allow patrons the opportunity to experience new menu options as a part of their future dining experiences.
According to McCoy, the pricing structure for the restaurant is consistent with other mid-range restaurants in the area, and for the quality of ingredients utilized in preparing the Elements menu, will represent a good dining value.
“We hope to add dinner business sometime in the future to coordinate with events at the Wolstein Center and Playhouse Square,” added President Schwartz.
A Restaurant in the Making
When Michael Schwartz joined Cleveland State University as President in 2001, he brought with him a vision to create a sense of community and place on campus and a desire to encourage the surrounding businesses and the local community to engage in this vision as well.
As a part of this vision, and as a result of a University survey for its Campus Master Plan, it was identified that Cleveland State lacked a formal, sit-down restaurant to meet student and faculty needs.
Having come from Kent State University with its table service restaurant known as the Schwebel Garden Room that is catered by the University Food Service, President Schwartz wanted to bring a similar concept to Cleveland State. However, he wanted to take it to the next level by developing a private restaurant on campus, with a menu that would be independent from the standard food service fare and would not only serve the University’s population, but area businesses, visitors to campus and Greater Cleveland as a whole. “The University wanted a storefront presence, either retail or restaurant, in order to help create a comfort level on campus,” said John Boyle III, CSU’s Vice President for Business Affairs and Finance.
In 2004, the opportunity arose to open the restaurant in the storefront space that would be a part of CSU’s $16.5 million project, funded by university bonds, to renovate historic Howe Mansion and build the new Parker Hannifin Administration Center. Braun & Steidl Architects of Akron, Ohio served as the lead designers for the Howe Mansion, Administration Building and the Elements restaurant space.
In the spring of 2007, the University hired Studio Graphique, Inc., a Cleveland-based brand consultancy and environmental graphic design firm, to assist in naming the restaurant and to design a logo, exterior signage, menus and marketing collateral.
“Elements is really spearheading community development and building a sense of neighborhood on campus,” said Ned Hill, Vice President of Economic Development at Cleveland State. “Elements is the start of a village node that is growing at Euclid with the renovation of Fenn Tower, Howe Mansion, the Administration Center and Shops at Trinity Commons: Cafe Ah-Roma, Sacred Path Books and Art, and Ten Thousand Villages. They all create a triangle of convenience that is forming here with education, housing, retail, dining and access to the RTA Silver Line.”
“The restaurant will help create more foot traffic on campus,” said President Schwartz. “Foot traffic is a critical matter for the University in order to be able to draw more retail opportunities to campus. It’s all part of the whole ‘college town’ concept.”
The goal for all parties involved is to create a successful restaurant and environment that welcomes visitors from both inside and outside of the University and helps create the neighborhood environment that CSU and local residents and businesses are looking for. This project and the others in the area encompass the University’s continued support of the growth and development of the City of Cleveland and its residents.
Elements Bistro on Euclid is located on the first floor of the Parker Hannifin Administration Center at 2300 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115. Open for breakfast and lunch, Monday - Friday from 7 am - 4 pm; can be reserved for parties of 30 or more in the evenings and on weekends.
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