South Euclid welcomes a new take-out soul food restaurant, Stay Hungry 216

SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio — For the past three years, residents living near the Glengate Mall off South Green Road have seen prepared meals come out of the storefront that several years ago housed the Nevaeh restaurant. These residents, however, wondered if they would ever be able to order food from the building.

“We were using this place as a commissary, bringing food from elsewhere, but we weren’t open as a restaurant, so people were asking when we were going to be a restaurant again,” chef Eric Rogers said. , the man who owned and operated Nevaeh. “We are now open and a lot of people in this neighborhood are happy to see us. We have been very busy.

This storefront, at 359 S. Green Road, reopened this week as Stay Hungry 216, a soul food, mostly take-out restaurant. Rogers, his wife, LaToya, and Larese Purnell are partners in the newly-christened restaurant, but Rogers proudly points out that its owner-operator is Chad Lewis.

After Nevaeh closed in 2015 after a two-year stint, the ever-busy Rogers has opened several more restaurants in the area (he’s opened 18 over the past seven years), including one on Silsby and Lee Roads in Cleveland Heights. This is where Lewis met and started working for Rogers. Seeing Lewis’s commitment to the business, Rogers began mentoring Lewis so he could operate his own restaurant, which resulted in Stay Hungry 216.

“After all the restaurants I’ve started, we’ve accumulated a lot of experience, wins and losses, Rogers said. “I learned what not to do, so I’m passing that on to Chad.” In addition to the latter business, Rogers currently owns a Black Box Fix restaurant at Legacy Village in Lyndhurst and Easton Town Center mall in Columbus.

During the pandemic, Rogers, a self-taught chef who said he’s looked after the private affairs of NBA and NFL players over the years, decided to help out local seniors and provided a large number of free meals at local seniors’ centres.

“When COVID came, from my heart, from my wife’s heart, we said, ‘You know what? The elderly are the most affected by this. So we were preparing meals and delivering them to seniors’ homes. This caught the attention of the Western Reserve (Area Agency on Aging). We have partnered with them as well, as part of one of their programs. fed a thousand old people a day, five days a week. We served over 180,000 meals over a two-year period.

Learning from what COVID has done to restaurants, Rogers said it’s important to make Stay Hungry 216 primarily a take-out restaurant because sit-down restaurants aren’t doing well these days. Stay Hungry 216 has a few small tables for those who want to eat there, but large couches for those waiting for orders.

It has an open kitchen visible to customers and, as Rogers said, “We make sure we’re always clean. This is very important to us and our customers. Stay Hungry held a smooth opening week from August 17 and was busy the following days.

“We make food for the soul,” Rogers said. “It’s the real deal. You’ll bite into it and feel the love that helped make it happen.

Appetizers, which each come with two sides, include fried chicken ($14); BBQ grilled salmon ($20); fried shrimp ($19); fried catfish ($19); fried perch ($16); smothered chicken (in a rich onion sauce) ($15); baked chicken ($15); and roast beef ($16).

Also featured are Pasta and Boil Bags which include Prawn Scampi, Chicken Alfredo, Seafood Boil Bag and Jamaican Boil Bag.

Side dishes include mac and cheese, collard greens, black-eyed peas, loaded baked potatoes, green beans, and more.

Stay Hungry 216 will also be hosting Sunday brunches with a menu including fried chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, cinnamon French toast, a smoked salmon omelette and a garlic and egg bagel sandwich.

For his part, Lewis said he was thrilled to have the opportunity to run his own restaurant.

“I’m very excited,” he said. “Some days I can’t sleep because I can’t wait to get to work.

“I worked in many restaurants before meeting the chef (Rogers), but I never learned so much from him. He taught me a lot. »

The name Stay Hungry 216, Lewis said, comes from a line a customer would say to him – stay hungry. The phrase then became his Instagram nickname.

While he’s done a variety of food styles over his years in the kitchen, Lewis said, “That’s what I like. I grew up on soul food.

Stay Hungry 216 will be open from next week (week of August 22) from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. It will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Contact the restaurant at 216-727-0101.

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