Downtown restaurant owners double down, adding a second location in the coming out of the pandemic

Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 8:05 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -The Warehouse District has a new neighbor on a prominent corner.

The business now fills a hole created by COVID.

Luca Sema is doubling down on downtown. In addition to Luca Italian Cuisine on Superior Viaduct, he’s now opened Acqua Di Luca on the corner of west 6th and St. Clair in the heart of the Warehouse District.

“Acqua di Luca was my favorite dream from the beginning. Even before I opened viaduct, I had in my dreams to do some seafood place,” said Sema.

Having acquired the property in the thick of the pandemic, Sema says it was difficult to pull the trigger on the deal.

“It was hard, but we did it. It’s looking beautiful,” he said.

Transitioning the former XO Prime Steaks location, which closed due to the COVID shut down, took more than six months, as Luca’s wife Lola waited for construction materials and design elements brought in from Europe.

Check out these original wood beams and exposed brick inside Acqua di Luca in the Warehouse District. Owners of the...

Posted by Jen Picciano on Thursday, June 17, 2021

An important part of this Cleveland comeback is highlighting and exposing this nearly 150-year-old building’s original design elements like exposed bricks and original wooden beams.

“We kept discovering brick and old wood everything that’s been here for over a hundred years,” said Lola.

They also took wood from the original floor and refinished it for the bar.

The Semas are ready to serve up seafood, pastas, and pizza.

Their plan is to open slowly, much like the downtown they’re dedicated to.

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