Leo’s Italian Social to Open Thursday
Alex Hall, 09-04-2019

The view of the new Leo's Italian Social on Front Street in Cuyahoga Falls.
Stephen Mulé
The newest addition to the Cuyahoga Falls restaurant scene, Leo’s Italian Social (2251 Front Street), plans to officially open its doors at 10:45am on Thursday, September 5th. A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place with Mayor Don Walters and the Cuyahoga Falls Chamber of Commerce on hand to help welcome the new business to the city.

Leo’s Italian Social is the newest restaurant concept from the Chef | Art | Pour restaurant group, whose most popular concept—Burntwood Tavern—now has 15 locations, including two in Florida. Burntwood founder and Chef | Art | Pour CEO Bret Adams told the Falls Free Press that the Cuyahoga Falls Burntwood location is the busiest of all the locations. “We thought ‘what better venue to launch Leo’s than that environment?’” Adams said. “It’s been a great venture for us.”

Chef | Art | Pour is not only the parent company of Burntwood Tavern and Leo’s Italian Social, however, as the group has also opened two other concepts: M Italian in Chagrin Falls and Rose Italian Kitchen in Solon. According to Adams, the “Northern Italian, red sauce, big portions” of Rose Italian Kitchen and the “little lighter, little cleaner” fare of M Italian have come together to create the menu for Leo’s. Everything is made from scratch, and the restaurant features a wood-burning pizza oven as well. “We basically took the Rose menu and the M menu and sort of blended them to find some common ground, with a couple new things,” Adams said. He described some of the dishes as whimsical twists on timeless dishes, like Pizza Margherita with prosciutto and an egg on top, while timeless classics like shrimp tempura and calamari remain. There will also be vegetarian and vegan options, including the very popular new Impossible Burger.

The “Pour” part of the Leo’s concept also harvests signature cocktails from other concepts in the restaurant group, such as the Jack and Jill (Blueberry Infused Vodka with Blueberries and Fresh Lemon) and Pair of Cucs (Pear Infused Vodka with Fresh Lime and Cucumbers), but new cocktails have been created just for Leo’s as well. Electric Lemonade, for instance, will be featured in addition to the Rosé All Day concept, where patrons can choose from a wide array of rosé wine.

The “Art” portion of the parent company’s name is evident at a first glance inside Leo’s, but outside as well. A giant pergola has been constructed as a shelter over a broad portion of the patio, which features high-top and standard table-and-chair seating. Sectioning off the patio area from the public sidewalk are a variety of planters, and inside the patio area are bocce ball courts as well. Inside, the space is bright and welcoming, with wood floors, rustic-finished walls, and garage door-style windows that will let the air in during the warmer months. Live music will be featured inside and outside, as is the practice at Burntwood Tavern.

Adams is excited to bring Leo’s to the Falls community, as he sees the downtown transformation as a considerable accomplishment. “If you look at the before and after,” he said, “with the boutiquey shops and very quaint environment...for us, on top of the fact that our landlord is the same at Burntwood as it is at Leo’s, the city’s just been great. We can’t really say enough about the community and what they’ve done.” Beyond the enthusiasm for the community, Adams said “we’re excited...our goal is to take care of every guest that walks in the door.”

Mayor Don Walters said "Leo's Italian Social is yet another amazing addition to Downtown Cuyahoga Falls," suggesting that its establishment shows how "[p]rivate investment continues to grow" and touting "many more building renovations in the pipeline." The Mayor went on to celebrate the growth of the downtown area, saying "If you haven't been Downtown lately, you haven't been Downtown!"

For more information about Leo's Italian Social, visit the restaurant's website at www.leositaliansocial.com.

© 2020   Falls Free Press