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Beachwood restaurant closes due to rising prices from inflation

Cash money
Posted at 10:25 PM, Apr 29, 2022

BEACHWOOD, Ohio — It’s the tale of two Beachwood restaurants at Chagrin and Richmond. On one end of the building's parking lot, Cut 151 is full and inside tables are occupied. Just next door to Cut 151, Blu is empty.

Brad Friedlander owns both restaurants and had to make one major decision.

“I decided to concentrate on the restaurant next door, Cut 151,” said Friedlander. “We were able to get that open for five lunches and seven nights, but we couldn’t keep them both open.”

Coronavirus led to Blu’s demise, from the labor crisis and inflation.

Friedlander says he is paying dishwashers $16 an hour and cooks over $20 dollars and he still can’t get employees in the door.

“We used to have 135 employees at these restaurants together, and now we’re probably down to 25 or 30 employees,” said Friedlander.

We’ve told you a lot about menu prices rising and businesses competing for workers, but Friedlander said he just couldn’t handle it anymore at Blu.

“We sold a lot of lobster rolls and king crab legs, they doubled in price so we can’t charge $140 dollars for crab legs,” said Friedlander.

Back in March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said food prices increased nearly 8% compared to the same time last year.

The Ohio Restaurant Association explains it is seeing that problem locally.

“The delivered goods coming into the back of the restaurant are up at levels that we haven’t seen in 20, 30 and sometimes 40 years,” said Friedlander. "That inflation is on everything from chicken to seafood to beef to supplies and that’s assuming you can even get it."

For now, Friedlander said he is focusing on Cut 151 in the meantime and putting the chapter at Blu on pause.

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