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Iconic Nighttown restaurant in Cleveland Heights sold to new owners

Posted at 6:45 AM, Jan 05, 2021

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — Nighttown, a Cleveland Heights jazz club that has been around since 1966, has been sold to a new owner. Previous owner Brendan Ring said he sold the club and the new owners want the essence of the restaurant to stay.

Change is hard and like of many of us, Ring experienced a lot of it in 2020.

“My wife had a couple of health issues this year that kind of brought things into focus a little bit and Covid has brought focus and for all of us, what's important and what's really important,” Ring said.

Those changes followed him from home to work in Cleveland Heights. Ring says keeping his restaurant, Nighttown, open during a pandemic has been an uphill battle.

“I've been taking care of Nighttown since 2001. I've been there since 1992,” Ring said. “My blood and sweat are in those walls.”

Ring was the first in Cleveland Heights to close his doors before the state shutdown forced others to do the same. He reopened and ended up shutting down a second time after he says he got fed up enforcing new covid health safety guidelines, which forced him to start thinking about what's next.

“I took the decision that when these folks approached me, it might be time in my life to go smell the roses a bit with my wife,” he explained.

Ring says the city's $83 million “Top of the Hill” development project created interest in his property leading to a deal signing the business over to new owners. According to the city’s website, the project includes “261 market-rate luxury apartments, over 11,000 square feet of first-floor commercial/retail/restaurant space, close to 25,000 square feet of green space, and a structured parking garage resulting in approximately 550 parking spaces.”

Construction is currently taking place right next door and is expected to end in the first half of 2022.

“I think really, really bright days are ahead for Cedar Fair month in Cleveland Heights with what's going on.”

Change is never easy, but Ring says he's leaving Nighttown and his work family in good hands.

“It's the employees that made Nighttown. Most people have stuck around [with] me for two and a half decades, and they're the ones I am proud of,” he said. “In life everything moves on. Right. Everything in Life is a Broadway play and all the play will continue at this particular stage [the] director is stepping down.”

Ring plans to stick around and help with the transition for at least six months. He expects Nighttown to reopen by June or July.