The former Jekyll’s Kitchen spot, one of our favorite hideaways, has been renovated into a new destination dining location that banks on the views of Chagrin Falls. 17 River Grille, opened by Lindey’s Lake House Restaurant owner Rick Doody in August, features an American contemporary menu of steaks, seafood and more. Doody, who grew up in Chagrin Falls, was inspired to expand the outdoor patios and deliver high-quality food in a setting that’s memorable for local diners. “We felt like this had the ability to be an iconic location that only comes around once every 40 or 50 years,” says Doody, whose wife Wendy Berry of W Design led the redesign. “We basically gutted the restaurant and reoriented everything toward the waterfall.”
Jekyll’s Kitchen won many local battles for best views in Cleveland, so Doody wanted to maximize that by offering visitors more of an uninhibited view of Chagrin Falls. While renovating the restaurant, Doody expanded the lower deck and created a third terrace built off of the bar with four additional tables. “It’s probably our most popular deck,” says Doody. “We’ve added more windows, more patios and more views of the waterfall.”
Doody worked with operations manager Tim Davin, who also grew up in Chagrin Falls, to create a cocktail menu that pays homage to longstanding businesses around the city. Hunters Hollow ($10), named after a former upscale tavern, is Davin’s take on a dirty martini, while the Popcorn Shop ($12) takes a different turn. By soaking the local shop’s Movie Original Popcorn in a housemade Irish cream overnight, Davin creates a sweet and salty cocktail by combining the infused cream with Jameson in a glass rimmed with salt and sugar. “Every year I make my great aunt’s recipe for Bailey’s Irish Cream for Christmas, and I was just thinking about what we could do if we used popcorn in that recipe,” says Davin. “If you’re sitting at the bar, you’re staring right at the Popcorn Shop.”
On The Menu
Don’t fix it if it isn’t broken. Doody pulled 60-70% of the 17 River menu from Cedar Creek Grille in Beachwood, keeping traditional fan favorites such as the Cedar Plank Roasted 60 South Salmon ($27). But there are surprising new additions, too, such as the Steakhouse Wedge Salad ($9.50) with baby iceberg lettuce, heirloom tomato, red onion and Tillamook cheddar in a smokey bacon dressing, and The 17 Burger ($16) with two smash patties, white American cheese, onion straws and a housemade tangy 17 sauce. “We start with tremendously, great, simple high-quality ingredients, and we don’t overcook it or over sauce it,” says Doody.
When You Go:
17 River St., Chagrin Falls, 440-893-0797, 17rivergrille.com