CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Chef Dante Boccuzzi is adding another restaurant to his Cleveland-area empire.
This time, he’ll open his doors downtown. “It’s something that’s very exciting for me,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to have a restaurant downtown.”
Boccuzzi is taking over the former Chinato restaurant space, located at East 4th Street and Prospect Avenue.
He has big plans for a new Japanese restaurant, Goma. It will also have a downstairs speakeasy, Giappone, the Italian word for Japan.
“It’s basically a bunch of Italians opening a Japanese speakeasy,” he joked.
Boccuzzi spent time in Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan. He formerly worked as the executive chef at Nobu in Milan, Italy.
He now owns 10 restaurants across the Cleveland area:
Dante Next Door
DC Pasta Co.
Dante’s Inferno in Progressive Field
Goma is Dante’s second sushi restaurant, after Ginko in Tremont. But, he said don’t expect the same food.
On top of the full sushi bar, he said, “the difference between Ginko and Goma is Goma’s going to have a hot kitchen there so we’ll be able to introduce a whole other part of the cuisine.” He said it’s “going to be fun with a lot of energy. Just a cool place to hang out.”
With the most recent news of The Greenhouse Tavern closing, the face of the hot downtown corridor is changing.
But, Michael Deemer with the Downtown Cleveland Alliance said the fact that chefs like Dante want to quickly fill the spaces show East 4th continues to be a Cleveland anchor.
“That’s just a terrific example of one of our really successful chefs in Cleveland recognizing the opportunities the downtown market represents.”