Opening a new restaurant in Cleveland is no small feat, especially when the dining scene is buckling from a global pandemic. While restaurants are hurting, many are striving to stay strong by expanding operations and offering new concepts such as Dave’s Cosmic Subs and Hola Tacos.
Dave’s Cosmic Subs
With more than 30 sandwiches on the menu and psychedelic decor, Dave’s Cosmic Subs will blow your mind. Owner Dave Lombardy says it’s the attention to details that helped gain a loyal customer following and continue to create new fans. The 23-year-old business is now expanding beyond its 25 locations. Thanks to a deal with Aramark and Cleveland Clinic, Lombardy plans to open five more locations in the next year and expand in Atlanta, California, Florida and Vermont. “During the pandemic, you have to find different ways to accommodate customers with apps, carryout and curbside pickups,” says Lombardy. davescosmicsubs.com
Last December, Juan Vergara, owner of Barroco Arepa Bar, opened Hola Tacos as an outdoor stand with minimal patio seating. Specializing in Mexican wood-fired street tacos, it was a quick hit, inspiring Vergara to expand to two sit-down locations: first, on Larchmere Boulevard in August, and in Willoughby’s former Brim Kitchen and Brewery spot in September. The Willoughby location will be a two-story hybrid, offering menu options from Hola Tacos and Barroco Arepa Bar alongside Pulpo Beer Co., the area’s first Latino brewery. “For us it’s been all about adjusting, evolving and innovating,” says Vergara. hola-tacos.com