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Posts Tagged ‘Kari McGinness’

New owner discusses the future of Cleveland-Heath

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

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 { pulled pork sandwich at Cleveland-Heath } 

Keith and Kari McGinness don’t plan to mess with success at Cleveland-Heath.

As The Scoop reported earlier today, the McGinnesses bought the popular Edwardsville restaurant from owners Jenny Cleveland and chef Ed Heath. The founders plan to return to Heath’s hometown of Salt Lake City. The sale is final Sept. 1.

Both McGinnesses grew up in the St. Louis area and come from restaurant backgrounds. Most recently, Keith McGinness was a director of operations for Applebee’s, overseeing 25 restaurants in the mid-south region, while Kari McGinness ran an Italian restaurant in Cape Girardeau.

Keith McGinness said everything about Cleveland-Heath attracted the couple. “My wife and I had been looking for a number of years, and seriously looking the last couple of years, for a restaurant. It was a dream of ours for a long time,” he said. “When we found Cleveland-Heath, we found what we were looking for, which was a place with a really strong tie to the community, upscale food and service but with a totally casual feel about it.”

McGinness understands why Cleveland-Heath fans might be concerned about the change, but he said they have no plans to mess with a winning formula.

“Our goal is, it’s going to stay Cleveland-Heath. Our plan is to run it as it is,” he said. “I’ve said this to a couple of guests and even the staff members, but in six months, if it feels different to the guests, I’m doing something wrong.”

As Cleveland confirmed earlier today, current chef de cuisine Rick Kazmer will step into the executive chef position, and Elijah Barnes (Ones to Watch class of 2017) will continue his role as general manager.

McGinness said Cleveland and Heath will continue to have a presence at their namesake restaurant.

“Jenny and Ed have been great to work in terms of the transition, but we don’t have a drop-dead date as to when they exit,” McGinness said. “Jenny’s from this area, and they’re always going to have ties here. We have several events booked out over the next 12 months, and they’re going to come back and help us work some of those events. This isn’t the end of Jenny and Ed in this restaurant.”

Photo by Jonathan Gayman

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Cleveland-Heath owners sell restaurant, will relocate to Utah

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

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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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New owner discusses the future of Cleveland-Heath

Readers’ Choice 2015: Favorite Restaurant – Cleveland-Heath

Readers’ Choice 2014: Favorite Chef – Ed Heath

 

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