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Cleveland-Heath owners sell restaurant, will relocate to Utah

August 30th 01:08pm, 2017



Big changes are afoot at Cleveland-Heath. Owners Jenny Cleveland and chef Ed Heath have sold the restaurant to Keith and Kari McGinness, restaurant industry veterans who have roots in the area, as reported by St. Louis Magazine. The sale takes effect Friday, Sept. 1.

Cleveland said she and Heath will relocate to Salt Lake City, where Heath is from.

“We’ve been here for seven years with my family, so it’s time to go out there and do the same for him,” said Cleveland.

Cleveland said she and Heath will work with The Pub Corp., where they both have history – the two actually met while working at one of the company’s restaurants.

“They’ve got four restaurants in the Salt Lake area,” she said. “We’ve been consulting with them for some time; Ed spent quite a bit of time out there last year. Early on, we’re just going to be getting to know the restaurants and working on some new projects eventually.”

Read More: New owner discusses future of Cleveland-Heath

While the transition will be bittersweet, Cleveland said she and Heath would remain connected to the area; she still has family and property in the Metroeast.

“The last thing we want is for people to think we’re just leaving,” she said. “I don’t want to say goodbye. This is our baby, and it’s grown into something that we could never have imagined.”

Heath will remain for the next month or so helping with the kitchen, and Cleveland will make frequent trips back to help with the transition. “If they call me in January and say they need help with something, I’ll be there,” she said.

The Edwardsville eatery has received much acclaim since opening in November 2011. Heath earned national nods as James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Best Chef: Great Lakes in 2015 and 2016, and Sauce readers have frequently voted Cleveland-Heath among their favorite restaurants in the Readers’ Choice poll.

Cleveland said the intent is to keep up those high standards and make the transition as seamless as possible.

“I want people to understand, the faces here are still the same,” she said. “Rick (Kazmer), our chef de cuisine, is getting bumped to executive chef. He’s been in the kitchen with Ed for years. And Eli (Barnes) will still be general manager.”

Photo by Jonathan Gayman 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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By Matt Sorrell

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One Response to “Cleveland-Heath owners sell restaurant, will relocate to Utah”

  1. Greg Schweickert Says:
    September 2nd, 2017 at 12:58 am

    I have worked at Cleveland Heath for two weeks. I have worked in this industry for thirty-five years. Many strong team members have worked by my side but this is, by far, the strongest team I have ever had the pleasure to be on in any restaurant. Jenny Cleveland and Ed Heath have created a culinary legacy in Edwardsville that I thought would never exist in this town. One might say that they have left some very large shoes to fill.

    What I hope that our guests will understand is that we have a great team of cobblers at the restaurant. All of our kitchen and service staff will remain in place so that Kari and Keith McGinness will fill the same roll in the same shoes as Jenny and Ed have done so well in the past. Nothing will change and that includes the desire to provide an exceptional guest experience to all who walk through our doors.

    Jenny and Ed are staying on to facilitate a smooth transition and they will remain fully vested in the restaurant as their names will still adorn the awning, doorways, and every dish and cocktail that is brought to your table.

    Many articles will disclose the experience and background of Kari and Keith and it reveals an impressive resume. What I’ve noticed is their hunger to learn every aspect of the Cleveland Heath way so that they may perpetuate the success story that was so well written by Jenny and Ed.

    Yes, it is true. Jenny and Ed are leaving behind some very large shoes to fill. I’ve seen Kari and Keith walking the Cleveland Heath walk and they have some very large feet to fill those shoes.

    Please come by to experience what you have come to expect at Cleveland Heath. If something does not meet your expectations, Kari and Keith are always willing to make it right. Hmm, just like Jenny and Ed would do for their guests.

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