In creating the design for his group's latest enterprise, co-owner Scott Kuhn says he wanted an atmosphere befitting the locale.
"Granted, you have a built-in audience with the theatergoers, but what hasn't been provided is a space for them to hang-out awhile that feels casual yet inviting," Kuhn
"You don't really know what a place will be like until your family and friends are in here, and you hear how the speakers sound - and the ring of laughter," Kuhn
Chefs and partners Scott Kuhn and Chris Hodgson have swiftly infiltrated the PlayhouseSquare Theatre district, their growing culinary presence a calibrated move to compliment the dynamic downtown Cleveland destination.
Further, the wine bar is a logical extension of PlayhouseSquareâ€™s dining scene, Kuhn
â€œWe very carefully decided not to take reservations for Bin 216
said. â€œWeâ€™re just overwhelmed by show-goers at Cibreo; weâ€™re literally booked three or four weeks out.
In 2007, Kuhn
reestablished the Welshfield Inn in Burton, Ohio and opened 87 West, located within in Crocker Park in Westlake, Ohio.
In 2010, he
opened Washington Place Bistro and Inn, located in Little Italy in the space where the once famous Baricelli Inn existed.
In 2013, Kuhn
also opened the Orchard House on the grounds of Maplewood Farms, and CibrÃ¨o Italian Kitchen, CibrÃ¨o Privato and Rothschild Farms
(the last with Chris Hodgson) in the Hanna Building at Playhouse Square
Kuhn and Hodgson are also partners in Driftwood Catering.
In a statement, restaurateur Scott Kuhn
said that healthful preparations and local, sustainably grown ingredients are part of the Rothschild Farms
profile. (The restaurant's name plays off of Kuhn's mother's maiden name.)
The theme of sustainability extends to the take-out packaging, Kuhn
added, "because it supports our value of a healthy community.
We are proud to take this step to reduce our ecological footprint and impact on our environment.â€�
is the latest from Driftwood Restaurants and Catering
, the business partnership of chef Chris Hodgson (Hodges, HodgePodge at First Energy Stadium) and Kuhn
(Welshfield Inn, Washington Place Bistro, Orchard House and 87 West at Crocker Park).
names Driftwood Group Proprietor, Scott Kuhn
, one of 2014s Most Interesting People
At Solon High School
earned all-state honors in soccer, dated the homecoming and prom queens and felt that he
had it all.
flunked out of the hospitality program at the University of Alabama
, returned home, broke his
back and floundered for three years.
"I never knew what failure felt like."
meal planner: He graduated from the University of Akron's culinary program, then finished his undergraduate degree in management from Malone University.
"I turned to what I love â€" food.
I found my confidence and rediscovered who I am."
SWEET TOOTH: Kuhn
is a sucker for frozen treats, particularly Mitchell's Homemade Ice Cream.
"If I were to head up to their store now, I'd probably bring home at least three flavors: vanilla, black raspberry chocolate chunk and lemon blackberry yogurt.
I'm trying to convince them to make a cereal milk flavor, like what the milk tastes like after you have a bowl of Frosted Flakes."
WEARING THE UNIFORM: Kuhn
was only 27 when he
first restaurant, the Allegheny Grille in Foxburg, Pa.
wanted to know what diners thought of their food and service, so he
bussed tables in the requisite uniform.
"I found I got a much more honest answer from customers rather than approaching them in a suit and tie.
I apply that experience today.
It's the little things you also need to double-check, like, Is the plate hot when it's delivered to the table?"
GO-TO DISH: Kuhn
wife, Amy, have a garden at home that helps them whip up lots of dishes.
The fast-growing Driftwood Restaurant Group, led by principal Scott Kuhn and his partner, Chris Hodgson, announced plans to open restaurants in two local DoubleTree hotels next year in a partnership with hotel operator Twin Tier Hospitality.
The restaurant group, formed by Mr. Kuhn in 2005, now includes Welshfield Inn in Burton; 87 West at Crocker Park in Westlake; Washington Place Bistro and Inn in Little Italy; Hodge's Cleveland in downtown Cleveland; The Orchard House in the grounds of Mapleside Farms in Brunswick; and CibrÃ¨o Italian Kitchen and CibrÃ¨o Privado in the Hanna Building at PlayhouseSquare.
I recently had the pleasure of sharing lunch with Scott Kuhn
at CibrÃ¨o Italian Kitchen, his
brand new restaurant in PlayhouseSquare
isibly proud and excited about this new venture, he
makes clear this is a project he's
personally passionate about, an expression of his
love for Tuscany and its food, which he
first discovered 10 years ago on a trip there.
efore we sat down to eat I got a guided tour of the sprawling space.
The bar and two dining areas look out onto Euclid Avenue, but the decor puts them worlds away.
All the visual tropes of the medieval Italian town, such as stucco and stone arches, wooden wine barrels, a fireplace and rusticated furnishings, are present in abundance.
chose all the materials himself. Â Adjacent to this, on the other side of a set of closed doors at the far end of the bar, is a large, completely separate and utterly unique private event room.
The space, still being renovated when I saw it, is the former 14th Street Theatre.
The original columns and ornate decorative plasterwork are being refurbished.
There's a small stage and a connecting passageway to a full barÂ with its own street entrance on Â East 14th Street.
tells me that taking on this part of the building wasn't in his
original plan, but once he
saw it and realized its potential it was a challenge he
It's obvious the almost 37 year old likes a challenge Â as he
currently oversees a multifaceted organization of seven restaurants (with another fast food joint called Rothschild Farms
on the way right around the corner fromÂ CibrÃ¨o,) a catering company and a food truck.
Over delicious plates of pasta carbonara, revved up with guanciale and and radicchio, and pappardelle bolognese, Kuhn
explained the process of creating the menu.
"I wanted to re-create dishes I've had in Tuscany," Kuhn
Scott Kuhn, founder of Driftwood Restaurant Group which operates the Hodge Podge stand along with Hodgson, sees the space in the stadium as a chance to expand while filling a niche.
"And this give the fans more choices of foods they like, and want to eat, while at a Browns game," Kuhn
Business aside, Hodgson's enthusiasm bubbles when he
considers the thrill of opening a stand in the place that houses the team he
"I grew up as a Browns fan, and to be part of it is exciting.
To have our food, and street food, available there â€" which is a big part of my background in Cleveland â€" then share it with a big group of people, that's way cool," he
Rather than employing the usual Arborio rice, Kuhn and executive chef Erik Martinez (late of Orchard House and Hodges, where he worked with Chris Hodgson, who consults at Cibreo), opted for a longer-grain variety â€" then bakes it in a cazuela, an earthenware vessel.
As founder and managing partner of Driftwood Restaurant Group (Washington Place Bistro, Welshfield Inn, Hodges and other places), Kuhn prefers to follow his own vision rather than lean on designers.
With the support of professional tradesmen and others, he
sought to create a sense of theatricality thatâ€™s in keeping with district
took a gamble by working with so much stone, a notoriously resonant surface that could have resulted in a cacophony of bouncing noise.
Instead, the sandstone style ofÂ surfacing he
chose seems to actually absorb, or at least dampen, sound â€" making normal conversation possible. (Bonus: his
choice of color has the added benefit of warm tones, adding to a sense of inviting warmth.