By Kevin Collison
Larry Kime is bullish about Martini Corner and the growing nearby neighborhoods, making him excited about the prospects for his new restaurant and bar opening in the former Ollie’s Local space.
“Driving through Union Hill and Beacon Hill, it blew me away the amount of upper-end houses, townhouses and apartments, and the growth in that area,” he said.
“I felt we can’t be far from the South Plaza and Brookside area. I feel I’m literally walking into the same demographic.”
Kime should know, he was the former manager of the Nick and Jake’s in the South Plaza that closed last April.
For his new venture called Cliff’s Taphouse, he intends to bring staff from his former place along with its chef Laura Valdivia. The plan is to recreate some of the more family-style atmosphere of Nick and Jake’s.
“She is amazing and I’m excited about that,” he said. “We’ll do a nice Midtown menu, American food, flat breads and dips, wings, vegetable tostados, vegan and vegetarian foods too.
“As we get more comfortable, I’ll unleash here and let her start doing her thing.
“I feel there’s a lot of good drinking establishments in that area, but I want to be a great food option.”
Not that there won’t be a full bar with a dozen local beers on tap. Locally-sourced foods also will be part of the atmosphere.
Martini Corner is slated for a big makeover by its current ownership, and the entertainment district also is close to the new activity occurring in the nearby Tower East district and a couple blocks farther east along Troost.
“I’m a little bit naive about the area and I’m trying to get a feel for what local developers are doing,” Kime said. “We want to dig into the community and be part of that success.”
The new Cliff’s Taphouse at 3044 Gillham Rd. is expected to open in early to mid-March. The establishment’s pre-pandemic capacity was 100 seats inside and 40 on the outdoor patio. Large windows can be opened to connect the indoor area with the patio.
Daytime hours will be limited, at least until after the Covid pandemic subsides.
There will be curbside takeout during the day and the doors will open for Happy Hour from 3- to 6 p.m. Dinner hours will be from 6- to 10 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 6- to 11 p.m. weekends.
Brunch will be served Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The bar will be open until midnight, and Cliff’s will be closed on Mondays.
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