Peggy Dennis and Mark Kohn transformed the historic Oak Harbor Hotel, while retaining the well-known façade's historic charm. But inside the duo refurbished the guts by restoring the century-old hardwood floors and hanging glittering chandeliers. They remodeled the dining room to house their restaurant – which serves a variety of locally grown produce and locally raised meats. They also renamed the venue to The Beekeeper Inn, a nod to their own passion for apiculture. Together they run the banquet hall and restaurant, taking breaks in their day to tend the family farm, harvest honey, or net a new swarm of bees. Mark even uses the Inn's upstairs space as a Krav Maga practice studio to teach self defense classes.
Sandi's Village Cafe warms customers with house coffee, lattes, and cappuccinos in flavors such as french vanilla. To complement the beverages—which also include chai tea—the staff serves breakfast food such as cinnamon rolls and later-day eats such as paninis and salads. To end things on a sweet note, customers can order butterscotch sundaes or ice-cream cones with one of the cafe's seasonal flavors.
Nagoya Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi's well-traveled owners, Mel and Barb Ayers, unite the culinary artistry of Japan with chefs selected from around America for their talents and showmanship. The result—set in a convivial restaurant with an outdoor patio and tableside hibachi grills—draws a bridge between the artistic elegance of Japanese cuisine and the family-friendly atmosphere of an American steakhouse. Meats sizzle on hibachi grills as chefs perform knife and spatula tricks for dazzled onlookers, who must refrain from leaning in too close lest a tower of onions suddenly catches fire. The spectacular dance of flames results in entrees of filet mignon, sea scallops, and lobster tails, all of which pair nicely with sushi such as a crab-filled california roll or a Volcano roll drizzled with fresh magma.
In the 1930s, a glimpse inside the brick building at 2350 Cleveland Road might have revealed Al Capone and his associates sipping coffee in the midst of a tense conversation. These days, though, the atmosphere inside Red Gables Mesquite Grill is relaxed and intimate, with white tablecloths and the scent of a mesquite fire drifting through the air. Over that fire, chef Jamie Pribanic grills Certified Black Angus steaks that he claims are the finest in the world. The Plain Dealer writer Debbi Snook stopped by to taste them herself, and came away impressed: “The medium-cooked rib-eye instantly became one of my all-time favorites”, she wrote. “Hearty structure but tender chew, pepper-rubbed, vaguely charred and whispering of cowboy terrain.”
The seafood at this grill is no afterthought. Diners can slurp oysters flown in fresh from Cape Cod, dip steamed Alaskan King Crab legs into drawn butter, or slice into the crimson flesh of wild Chinook salmon. Pours of wine or beer and a slew of house-made desserts complete the dining experience.
Originally opened as the Top Hat Drive-In in 1953, Sonic has grown into a burger-franchise mecca that today operates out of 3,500 locations across the country, making it the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants. Sonic specializes in made-to-order American classics—including burgers, hot dogs, milk shakes, and marshmallow Ford Thunderbolts—which customers pick up from the drive through or receive from skating car hops without ever having to leave their cars. Unique menu items include toaster sandwiches stacked on thick slices of texas toast, as well as the brand’s signature tots and fresh limeades.
Sonic’s numerous awards include a 2011 Zagat survey ranking it among the top five fast-food restaurants in three categories: Best Value Menu, Best Milk Shake, and Best Drive-Thru. The benevolent eatery has also donated more than $2 million to public schools throughout the country through their program Limeades for Learning, which helps to fund educational projects and retirement plans for classroom guinea pigs.