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Next Door ‘urban-casual’ eatery to open in Pinecrest development

August 28, 2018

Next Door ‘urban-casual’ eatery to open in Pinecrest development

ORANGE VILLAGE, Ohio – The latest restaurant in Pinecrest development is coming... Next Door.

Next Door, operated by Colorado-based The Kitchen Restaurant Group, is owned by Kimbal Musk. If his name sounds familiar, think cars not food: Musk, 45, is the brother of Tesla co-founder Elon Musk.

Construction is under way in the location – now a gravel base – on the roundabout across from Shake Shack and 3 Palms Pizzeria and between Williams Sonoma and Warby Parker.

Musk said the goal is for the 4,000-square-foot “urban-casual” restaurant to be opened just before Thanksgiving in the upscale retail-dining-entertainment complex. It’s the 18th Next Door in the country and first in Ohio. Others are in Colorado, Tennessee, Illinois and Indiana.

“It’s more hip than fast-casual,” he said. “What we’re bringing is a different vibe,” one that Musk said caters equally to the happy-hour crowd for drinks with friends as well as dinner with the family.

Musk, in cowboy hat, strolled through the space this week, as workers continued construction. A u-shaped bar will be positioned near the front, and the kitchen will be open, adding to an energetic vibe, he said.

The menu will cover farm-raised chicken, meat and pork, with vegetables from local farmers as much as possible, seasonally speaking, Musk said.

“There’s a lot of really great restaurants in Cleveland,” he said. “We want to be part of it.” In fact, he added, he also looked at downtown Cleveland for possible locations, including E. 4th Street. Expansion to downtown remains a possibility down the line, he said.

The restaurant emphasizes its scratch kitchen and healthy approach to preparation. Calamari Fritto Misto is made with a gluten-free batter. Locally raised beef is used for burgers, which have no antibiotics. Salmon, Impossible and beet burgers are available, with the salmon coming from Alaska. And a roasted vegetable bowl is a popular option, Musk said.

“To most people it doesn’t sound that good,” he said. “It’s one of the most satisfying, craving dishes” - and one of the top four sellers at all Next Door locations.

Beer, wine and liquor will be available, with all vino and brews on tap. Kegged wine from California allows for a quality product with better price, he said. It results in “very limited recycling materials” for the restaurant, save for a few liquor bottles.

“It’s about quality and doing something sustainable,” he said.

While many companies keep an eye on sustainable efforts, Musk also emphasizes education. He is a co-founder of Big Green, a non-profit that builds outdoor modular classrooms.

“The focus is to teach science through the growing of food,” he said.

“They used to be called science gardens; now they are learning gardens,” Musk said. A few hundred exist in several cities, with the concentration being in the heartland: Denver to Pittsburgh, Chicago to Memphis. They allow for outdoor, interactive teaching, resulting in a 25 percent increase on science-tests scores - as well as an increase in students’ vegetable consumption, he said.

His approach with Next Door, though, is to create a restaurant with a simpler focus, an energetic vibe.

“We want to be sure this is a place where people can have fun,” Musk said.

What are the Pinecrest development places about? Check out our previous coverage:

City Works

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill

Graeters Ice Cream

Pinstripes

Shake Shack

Silverspot Cinema

Sweeties Big Fun

Whole Foods

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