posted on by Jackie Bebenroth

Spice Kitchen + Bar Progress Report

Opening a restaurant is no joke, folks! We’ve exhausted our employees, family, friends and volunteers with our indecisiveness and demanding ways. Although the catering company continues to grow off the charts, and our staff resumes read like Cleveland Best-Of lists, we must keep reminding ourselves (and our future customers!) that we’re new to this restaurateur business. There’s a whole new level of tenacity required to push this boulder forward. Thanks for being patient with us!

Here's Ben, pausing for a millisecond at the New Years Prix Fixe Dinner. He hasn't slept in days.

The last few months have been a whirlwind of action, decisions and more action. Beyond the million-dollar “What’s on the menu?” question, we’ve had to address a few unforeseen details:

  • Oh, look, the turret roof is leaking – let’s send Ben up there armed with a very tall ladder and some blind ambition.
  • The green we chose for the accent hallway is gorgeous in sunlight but resembles cat vomit at dusk – let’s repaint it a rich, chocolate brown.
  • The POS system that came with the building is so crotchety, it must be circa 1999 – let’s buy one that won’t crash under the weight of our bar tabs.
  • The men’s urinal is better suited to a dive bar in the burbs – let’s rip it out and cover the walls in slate.
  • The seasonal centerpieces cost how much(?!) – let’s pick some dried foliage from our back lot and call it a day.

Winter centerpieces! Made fresh from the shrubs behind the building.

Are we the kind of place that puts polka-dots on the banquettes? No? We didn't think so.

The Beben-kids making their mark on the place.


Same old wall, all new look.

And just when we thought we had every last, little detail covered just in time to host a private party before New Years (that new urinal went in at 6:15pm; guests showed up at 7:30!), we find a guest wandering about looking for the men’s room and realize…um, yeah, we forgot to put the men’s and women’s signs on the doors.

If these good people need to use the restroom, they now know where to find it.

Fortunately, our initial buzz has been unbelievable. We’re so, so thankful for the outpouring of support we’ve received since committing to this endeavor last fall.

We welcome your feedback when we open next week – tentatively Tuesday, January 17th! Please stay tuned to our Facebook page for the official date.

Here’s to taking on new adventures in 2012! Cheers.



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12 Responses to Spice Kitchen + Bar Progress Report

  1. Jeff Finley says:

    I’m worried about peeing on a slate wall instead of a urinal. Must be some cool new restaurant thing 🙂

    JK! Keep up the hard work guys!

  2. kerry capwell says:

    I was there NYE and I literally wanted to lick the plate (i did with my finger on the sunchoke puree) the portions were nice sized, the temperature was dead on… the staff was a quite a bit overwhelmed but you’ll have that on NYE when 100+ people sit at once and want food ASAP … so I won’t pass judgements or belabor the point with details.

    You’ll get the timing/server stuff worked thru I’m sure…please continue creating brilliance on a plate & I’ll keep coming back for more…

  3. DianeS says:

    Yay! I’m so happy for you, Ben and all of your team. Mostly though, I’m selfishly happy that we’ll get to enjoy Ben’s cuisine in restaurant form. Can’t wait to see the menu!

  4. Brian Doyle says:

    I’m am soo soo zoo very happy for you guys. This is a great turn of events for Spice. I know you’ll do well. Don’t hesitate to call if you need a hand. Happy to help.



  5. Dan Morgan says:

    Wooo Hooo! here we go! Congratulations!

  6. Dan Morgan says:

    Morgan Farm Stay says hay, er I mean hey too!

  7. Todd Gauman says:

    My bar tab has been known to crush quite a few POS systems!

    Can’t wait for you guys to open!!

    Congrats from myself and everyone at NEO Food Tours!!



  8. Noelle says:

    We had a perfectly delicious evening on NYE and can’t wait for more of our friends to get to enjoy your amazingly delicious creations. Way to go!!

  9. ChefSharp says:

    Can’t wait to come to the new place! And I will bring you those chef coats. So excited for this new venture.

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  12. 4rx says:

    Wow because this is really great work! Congrats and keep it up.