Oct 19, 2013 at 14:23 o\clock

Stevenson's Bar in Euclid re-opens in new location with new grill -- but the burger still rules |

A competitor of mine found this article on the internet and passed it to me. We had been discussing this very idea, and it proves I was right, so I think it is helpful concepts that consumers must know. I hope you find this as helpful as I have.

Stevenson's Bar in Euclid re-opens in new location with new grill -- but the burger still rules |
"Sure smells like burgers," said Tony Erba, as we stepped out of the car Saturday.

That might not seem like a big deal; the parking lots of many joints smell that way.

Here, though, it smells like a happy ending for Stevenson's Bar.

The circa-1920 bar-restaurant has reopened in a new location - the 800 Club spot on East 200th Street.It ends a yearlong saga that at times made owner Bruce Cerne want to walk away from the business and chuck his beloved sidekick.

You know, that 18-by-24-inch grill that he used to cook more than 500,000 burgers over 24 years.

"I took the grill with me from the old spot," said Cerne, who partnered up with former Stevenson's employee Paula Morales on the new spot. "I'm using a different grill, but I might set it up at some point."

Cerne is overseeing the kitchen; Morales the rest.

"We still want to have this feel like an old, neighborhood place, " said Morales. "But cleaner."

Yes, the new location is cleaner.Though I must admit, I felt too dizzy to notice when I walked in. The floor, you see, wasn't warped, like the old location - and I wasn't used to it.

That was part of the problem with the old locale, according to the City of Euclid, which had threatened to shut Stevenson's unless a number of structural and electrical code violations were addressed.

Cerne found himself in no man's land, between the city and an absentee landlord. He's home now, even if it looks different than the old spot - a well-worn hole in the wall that was beloved by chowhounds, bar flies and night owls.

"I loved the old place," said Erba, a longtime regular. "But if you took someone three who isn't a weirdo like us and they saw those broken down coolers stocked with one beer there they'd be like, '[what?].'"

You can take just about anyone to the new spot. It's clean, but not bland - and there is an old bowling machine, like the old spot.

The litmus test, however, came down to the burger.

The menu boasted:

"In the Beginning, there was Bruce, and Bruce was good. But then Bruce made Hamburgers, and Bruce's Hamburgers were great!"

I ordered a Cheeseburger With the Works - a staple at his old locale. Tony had the Big Guy.

What followed was silence - too busy eating. After depositing the last morsel into his mouth, Erba issued the verdict:

"If anything, the patties were thicker and had better texture and the buns were an improvement over past trips to the old Stevenson's," he said. "Man, great burger."

To Cerna, that adds up to "happy ending."

"Despite all the hassles of the last year," Cerne said. "I have to say things ended up as well as I could've imagined."

Get the latest on Cleveland's food and dining scene: Follow @clevefood
0 Comments | Permalink