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April 17, 2024

West End District Expansion

Welcoming Yamato Japanese Steakhouse and adding square footage

Special to The Bolivar Bullet

The West End District in Cleveland, will be bringing a new tenant to the property. Yamato Japanese Steakhouse, which will be serving Asian cuisine and providing a sushi bar, will move in during February and commence operations some time during March, 2024. They will be occupying the existing Farmhouse Table restaurant building, located across fromw the Lyric Hotel.

The Farmhouse Table operations will continue, but the business will be moved into the existing 8 West Grille restaurant, also located across from the Lyric Hotel. Both businesses (Farmhouse Table and 8 West) will continue to operate in the same building, however. Neither is ceasing operations. The resulting combination of businesses will provide a new atmosphere or flavors for the existing business.

“The bulk of the 8 West business, maybe 85% of sales, was coming from supper. Farmhouse was generating 60% to 65% of its sales from breakfast,” said owner Dinesh Chawla. “We decided to marry the two concepts and we’ll largely retain the menus that are unique to each operation and do so in just one building. Meanwhile, we’ll be cutting repetitive management overhead, utilities, insurance costs, and reducing duplicated inventory of food and other stock items. Frequent patrons of either concept will not notice too much difference when it comes to what actually appears on their plates.” 

The combined operations will have some changes in menu options, but the retooling of the menu has already started in January with 8 West branching out into more affordable supper options, largely in the $12 to $20 range, including its most recent $20 steak options that have been wildly popular out of the gate.

“Management needs to focus on our highly profitable events and catering,” said Chawla. “We are looking to branch out and do many more off site events and creating bulk delivery options. The brick and mortar model has a ceiling on profitability and it makes more sense to focus on avenues that allow us 5 to 10 times the profitability. We sometimes make more profit in a large bulk order in one day, than both restaurants can generate in one week. For instance, we did a luncheon where we plated $15,000 for a single meal.” 

The 8 West building is set to undergo an expansion of well over 1900 square feet. This will add needed meeting and dining space, though the property already boasts 10,000 square feet of meeting space. 

“Despite the large amount of space we have, we have to turn away business occasionally on weekends or during times when 150 to 300 person conferences are held on property because it all gets booked,” said Chawla. “We want to be as accommodating as possible with our covered space, and we are going to expand even further and develop some of our outdoor spaces like the Pier and multiple lawn areas which served as designated venues for 18 weddings, meetings, or parties in an outdoor setting last year.” 

Completion of construction and conversion was originally scheduled for March 1. However due to the ice storm, design issues, and to give a proper buffer for construction/weather related issues, the move and construction completion will happen “some time” in March or early April. The construction will not disrupt dining, and no shut down is planned.

“It won’t be seamless or without a few hiccups,” said Chawla. “But the end product will be a positive, and Cleveland is getting one more dining option and several extra meeting settings.”