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Revolver restaurant - Ohio


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ronnie, how long before your "friend" will be opening?  Is he looking to locate in the lincoln park area, or where?

He was shooting for the end of the year but that won't happen now. He figures it'll take about 6 months after finding a location to actually get it open. And, it won't be in the Chicago area; it'll be somewhere near Phoenix, AZ.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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  • 10 months later...
i did not have investors but i was around when shawn sue and peter were getting ready to open spring. i believe that most of the investors were patrons of trio and the rest were family. fortunately i did not need a business plan because i was not asking for a loan or looking for investors but i do recall chef mcclain going to an attorney and having a prospectus(i think that is the right word) drawn up. which is another word for a business plan that you give to potntial investors. maybe if peter is following this thread he could shed some more light on the situation. i also should add that no bank will give loans for restaurants unless they are secured. but there are sba loans available but those are matching fund loans(i think) i'm sure that that process is extremely tedious and painstaking but it can be done.

Michael, in light of this thread how have things shaped up in Y1? I know there has been good press, but how have things developed in the context of your original plans and vision?

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Michael, please keep us posted on your restaurant. I travel through Findlay 3-4 times a year, and I'm always looking for new places to try.

On a more philosophical level, I don't care much for the herd mentality that surrounds Chicago restaurant culture, and I really want to serve good, creative food to regular people. I know the city I'm moving back to (Bloomington, Indiana) very well, while Chicago, where I've lived the last year-and-a-half, is still more than a bit foreign to me. PLus, I don't particularly want to cook for stuck-up, condescending Yuppies - and to be successful in Chicago, unfortunately, you have to cater to those people.

Wow! Talk about arrogant condescension! You seem to forget that restaurants are a service business. If this is how you feel about customers, you really shouldn't be in the business at all - in Chicago, or Bloomington, or anywhere else.

(FWIW, I also visit Bloomington/Indy a couple times a year.)

Edited by nsxtasy (log)
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i've passed through bloomington and it is a booming metropolis compared to findlay. to be brutally honest, the risk of opening in  such small town is huge, but i can't let myself get discourged. when i drive by the packed parking lots of chain restaurant after chain restaurant i can't help think that people want something better. they just haven't found it yet. i truly believe that if you give people a quality product with great service at a fair price, you can be successful just about anywhere. hopefully i can survive the wal-mart mentality and develope a devoted clientel.

Michael, one aspect I would be interested in knowing more about is how well you're doing in a small market like Findlay.

Having grown up in a rural area, and since been back to visit, I agree I think people do want something better than the chains. I know there was a virtual celebration (revolution?) at the nearby university where my sister teaches when they discovered Revolver. I learned about your restaurant when I went inquiring about the locale for our annual birthday celebration. Anyway, it sounds like the folk in the area have really caught on:

http://www.joshwoodward.com/mod/recs/viewi...d=1&item_id=310

It sounds as if cutting edge cuisine in northwestern Ohio is working, no?

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I just looked at those reviews of Revolver by "Josh Woodward" in the link above. Very impressive. I think I just decided on where I'm eating the next time I come through town.

Incidentally, I don't think Revolver's basic information has been posted here, so here it is (including the website link):

Revolver Restaurant

110 E Sandusky St

Findlay, OH 45840

(419) 424-4020

i've passed through bloomington and it is a booming metropolis compared to findlay. to be brutally honest, the risk of opening in  such small town is huge, but i can't let myself get discourged. when i drive by the packed parking lots of chain restaurant after chain restaurant i can't help think that people want something better. they just haven't found it yet. i truly believe that if you give people a quality product with great service at a fair price, you can be successful just about anywhere. hopefully i can survive the wal-mart mentality and develope a devoted clientel.

Michael, one aspect I would be interested in knowing more about is how well you're doing in a small market like Findlay.

Having grown up in a rural area, and since been back to visit, I agree I think people do want something better than the chains. I know there was a virtual celebration (revolution?) at the nearby university where my sister teaches when they discovered Revolver. I learned about your restaurant when I went inquiring about the locale for our annual birthday celebration. Anyway, it sounds like the folk in the area have really caught on:

http://www.joshwoodward.com/mod/recs/viewi...d=1&item_id=310

It sounds as if cutting edge cuisine in northwestern Ohio is working, no?

I don't know a lot about Findlay, and I would be interested in hearing more.

I would think that a restauranteur would want to open a restaurant in an area that is relatively underserved in terms of his particular cuisine, but with a potential for success. Part of that potential relates to the overall economy. The track record of other, similar restaurants may be an indicator of the environment there - or, they may be an indicator of circumstances specific to those particular establishments that might not apply to the prospective restauranteur.

I know that northwestern Ohio has not had the greatest economy in recent times, perhaps due to the general hard times in the domestic automotive industry, which is (I think) a good part of the economy there. My impression of Toledo, 50 miles to the north and a lot larger, is largely that of a blue-collar town. That's another frequent stop of mine in my travels. In terms of creative food, they have Diva, Erika Rapp's excellent contemporary American restaurant downtown, but not much more. They had another excellent place called Matthew's Creative Cuisine, but it closed a year or two ago - not a good sign. These are not the only places in town, but they are probably among the most interesting and creative. They also have long-time favorites like Mancy's, a reasonably good steakhouse with several offshoots, and a hot dog stand called Tony Packo's, but every town has a steak place and a hot dog place.

Findlay has about 40,000 people, and about 70,000 in Hancock County overall. I ate at a restaurant there called Diamond River a couple of years ago. It wasn't overly creative, but the food (American) seemed pretty good. I believe it was a single, standalone restaurant, not a chain. When I was traveling through earlier this year, it had closed, and morphed into a barbecue restaurant, the Red Pig Inn (one of two locations). I'm not sure what that says about the restaurant business in Findlay; as I noted above, sometimes restaurants close or change because of unique circumstances, rather than the overall environment.

I'm a bit more familiar with Mansfield, which is where I am usually headed and which (at 50,000) is only slightly larger than Findlay. Mansfield has a fairly impressive restaurant business for its size (and blue-collar demographics), with one pretty darn good contemporary American place in town (Brant's Bistro), and another outstanding one just east of town (the Cabin, technically in Ashland). And, of course, the usual steakhouses, hot dog places, chains, etc. The fact that there is sufficient demand in Mansfield to keep those places in business would lead me to conclude that Findlay ought to be able to support a nicer restaurant that's doing things a bit more creatively, etc.

Again, these are only impressions of an out-of-town visitor and I would be interested in hearing more about the community and its restaurant business (even if they contradict these impressions).

Edited by nsxtasy (log)
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In terms of creative food, they have Diva, Erika Rapp's excellent contemporary American restaurant downtown, but not much more.  They had another excellent place called Matthew's Creative Cuisine, but it closed a year or two ago - not a good sign. 

There is also Cohen and Cooke, which was in Bowling Green and now in Toledo suburb Maumee. Chefs Jeremey Skyles and Michael Sadar worked at a number of Bay Area restaurants and earned a good reputation.

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  • 1 year later...

I live in Connecticut, but by a freak chance I was in Findlay this weekend (to watch my daughter compete in the dressage nationals). Once again, I experienced better living through egullet. My husband and I brought my daughter and two of her friends, and Michael and his entire staff could not have been more accommodating--fitting in an extra person at the last minute, moving our reservation earlier. The food was wonderful, playing up excellent ingredients with expert seasoning. The pork belly with chili, fennel, and orange, for example, was remarkably low in fat, and you could taste each of the flavors separately but they danced together. Tempura Lake Erie smelt with pickled red onions and smoked paprika aioli reminded my Chicago-born husband of the ones he caught in his youth, "only better." The Lake Erie yellow perch also tasted fresh as could be; it came lightly floured and fried, on a bed of rich potato gratin and earthy mushrooms, for which slightly bitter pea shoots were a perfect grace note. The terrific local skirt steak was accompanied by a bowl of polenta that was gobbled up by the young riders. They went on to gobble down the Valrhona chocolate (what? no Ohio chocolate? :wink: ) creme brulee, with more help from me than I should have given.

My one suggestion to Chef Bulkowski would be a somewhat lighter hand with the salt. I am by no means a saltophobe, but my husband and I found several of the dishes a bit oversalted.

What serendipity to have the opportunity to try Revolver! Surprising to anyone from a bigger city, or the East Coast, the prices are as friendly as the service. Michael and Debi have really succeeded in this project--bravo! And thank you.

(Also, I'll credit the Aretha Franklin playing on Saturday evening with my daughter's fourth place finish on Sunday. Thanks again!)

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