Family Style

Dennis Koury brings his late brother's beloved Italian restaurant to a historic Mentor spot.

Frank and Pauly's called the BP Building home for years, so it makes sense that the restaurant's revival is occupying another high-profile address. Earlier this year, Dennis Koury reopened the popular Italian restaurant at Mentor's historic Sawyer House as a tribute to his late brother Wayne, the restaurant's original owner. "[People got engaged] at Frank and Pauly's or they had their anniversary there," Koury says. "I had so many requests, I thought it would be nice to reopen in my brother's memory."

CM | How did you find the new spot?

I was looking around to reopen Frank and Pauly's, and I found this famous, historic building, the Sawyer House. ... It is one of the first stone homes in Lake County, built in 1843. ... The home is an old mansion. We seat 250 people and have several banquet rooms. The facility is elegant and historic, and the deal was right, so I took a chance.

CM | What can we expect from the new Frank and Pauly's?

We do lunch service as well as dinner service and we have a vintner's cottage, which holds 10,000 bottles of wine. We're going to be opening that as a nightclub, which will be called Pauly's After Dark with live jazz. During the day, it's a retail store that will sell bottles of wine at the state minimum. We'll have our own label — two wines, a white and a red. We are also working on having a fantastic patio that we're starting construction on soon.

CM | What's on the menu?

All the famous [Frank and Pauly's] items: the lasagna, the shrimp oreganata, the salad, the focaccia bread, the bruschetta. So much of it is the same, and everything is made from scratch. Basically, it's the same recipes that made my brother successful. He was a chef, and he loved his cooking and his cuisine. He created a lot of the menu. He used to travel all over the world and pick up the best items.

CM | What are your favorites?

I love the shrimp oreganata and the spaghetti with the white clam sauce. Those are my two favorites. And, of course, the Frank and Pauly's salad, I have that almost every day. I'm 100 percent Lebanese, but it's all Mediterranean.

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