Toby Keith's 'I Love This Bar & Grill' heads to the Cleveland Fl - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Toby Keith's 'I Love This Bar & Grill' heads to the Cleveland Flats

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Flats East Bank developers announced Thursday that they have secured commitments from five new restaurants, proving that the $500 million development has caught the attention of prospects locally and nationally. New tenants will include Toby Keith's I love This Bar & Grill, Ken Stewart's, Lago, Flip Side and Dos Tequilas.  

"It is extremely gratifying to realize our family's dream for Cleveland's Flats area" said Iris S. Wolstein, who is developing the Flats East Bank along with her son, Scott Wolstein. "We are proud to fulfill Bart's vision."

Scott Wolstein added: "Drawing a national tenant like Toby Keith's venue is a tremendous coup. The leasing momentum is very strong, and we are pleased with the local and national interest we are seeing on this project." 

Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill will feature live music by current and emerging music stars, predominately in the Country genre, quality BBQ, and of course, a plethora of Toby Keith memorabilia. The Cleveland location will be a regional entertainment draw in what is considered one of the most underserved country music markets in the nation.  

"We have a huge untapped country music market here in northeast Ohio," said Terry Stewart, President & CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  "I couldn't be more pleased Toby Keith is bringing his entertainment concept to Cleveland to fill that void.  This venue will bring in an impressive list of talent to perform live in an exciting and high energy atmosphere.  It'll be another reason Cleveland Rocks!"

Also included in the initial phase is a Class A 18-story office tower with a rooftop deck, a 150-room high-tech boutique hotel, a 16,000 square foot health club and a 1,200 foot riverfront boardwalk.

$120 million Phase 2 will bring residential, more retail/entertainment to Flats

Developers are now taking on financing and preconstruction of the $120 million second phase of the project that will turn the waterfront district into a true neighborhood with a 140-unit residential complex along the water, helping to address the high demand for upscale, downtown living options. Hundreds of additional apartment units could also be built based on future market demand. The second phase of development will also include more restaurant and retail offerings in addition to a park and sand beach. 

The restaurants announced today join the commitments from Aloft Hotel and office leasing tenants Ernst & Young, Tucker Ellis, and CBRE. These commitments along with the overall progress at Flats East Bank are tremendous accomplishments under what is still widely considered a challenging economy, particularly for commercial development.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald addressed the importance of this project to the city and the region.

"Flats East Bank has ended the debate over whether or not Cleveland can develop its waterfront," said Mayor Frank Jackson. "This catalytic project is going to change life as we know it downtown and help build a stronger Cleveland for the future."

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald added: "We are finally capitalizing on one of our greatest assets – the waterfront.  We are incredibly grateful to the Wolstein family for their investment in this monumental project. Flats East Bank is going to be a regional attraction for years to come."

As construction on Phase I proceeds, developers are shifting their attention towards Phase II. A committed management team led by the Wolstein Group and Fairmount Properties has strategically leveraged public and private partnerships to ensure financing for the $275 million Phase I.  Now the team is focused on the second round, estimated at $120 million.

"My team has battled through a major economic crisis and pulled off what many had said was impossible," said Scott Wolstein. "We here in Cleveland were among the first in the country to secure financing and begin construction on a major commercial development following the economic collapse. We have proven we know how to get the job done with Phase I, and we will do it again in Phase II. There is no other option- this project is too important to our city's future."

Wolstein is not only speaking of the renewed vitality the waterfront community will bring to the city's core, but the economic impact of Phase II. The Phase II construction alone will bring the city more than 800 jobs and approximately $4 million in tax revenues. Upon completion, Phase II will be a source of more than 600 jobs associated with retail and restaurants. It will also yield more than $1M of annual income taxes for the City of Cleveland. Income tax from the new City of Cleveland residents, estimated at roughly $175,000 annually, will go directly to the Cleveland Municipal School District. 


Summary of the Flats East Bank's Newest Tenants


  • Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill— The country music icon's restaurant will feature live music by current and emerging country stars, quality BBQ, and of course, a plethora of Toby Keith memorabilia. The signature guitar-shaped bar and restaurant has experienced overwhelming success in other markets. The Cleveland location will be a regional entertainment draw in what is considered one of the most underserved country music markets in the country.
  • Ken Stewart's— Ken Stewart has developed a reputation in northeast Ohio for his popular restaurants in Akron and Bath— Ken Stewart's Grille, Ken Stewart's Lodge and most recently, Tre Belle. The local restaurateur is excited to expand his reach to Cleveland. The Flats East Bank location will offer cuisine similar to the original Ken Stewart's Grille in Akron, including quality steaks, seafood and more than 600 wine selections. Ken describes the ambiance as "comfortable, upscale dining" and envisions the location to be a favorite spot for nearby professionals.
  • Lago— Well known for his thriving restaurants in Little Italy, Shaker Heights, Battery Park and Tremont, popular chef and restauranteur Fabio Salerno has carved out a niche for himself in historic neighborhoods all over Cleveland and now has committed to the Flats East Bank neighborhood. Famous for its authentic Italian cuisine, Lago will expand on its current concept to cater to a broader palate. The new location will anchor the Aloft Hotel and offer amenities to help keep up with the demand for Lago's rapidly growing catering business. 

Michael Schwartz, along with Shawn and Tiffany Monday, will open two new chef-driven restaurants in Flats East Bank including:

  • Flip Side- A booming success in Hudson's First & Main development and at Easton in Columbus, Michael Schwartz along with Shawn and Tiffany Monday will open a new venue in Flats East Bank. Flip Side is a top-of-the-market burger concept offering the freshest, highest quality ingredients and a large selection of regional craft beers.
  • Dos Tequilas— The high-end eclectic Mexican restaurant will be an original venture featuring gourmet tacos of the freshest fixings. Offering an ambiance crafted of natural materials such as concrete and wood, the hip, urban taqueria will offer a lengthy menu of approximately fifty tequilas, many of which this market has never seen.
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