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Meet Theresa!

June 14, 2013, 12:00 AM  |  Posted by Emily Richardson in The Team

Theresa is often one of the first faces you’ll see upon walking into the diner. She is our coffee counter manager, and she’s awesome. I talked with Theresa to learn a little more about her, so you know who’s carefully pouring your latte and brewing the diner coffee just right next time you stop in!

Before moving to Austin for a year and riding her bicycle back to Cleveland, Theresa grew up in Lakewood and worked with Phoenix Coffee. She got into coffee during this time and found a home in the coffee community, travelling in the barista competition circuit as a judge and taking the opportunity to network with others in the field. This is what drove Theresa to pursue coffee as a career. Fast forward to today: she is an integral piece of The Katz Club Diner, lending expertise, enthusiasm and an organizational eye to our prominent coffee and pastry counter.

I asked Theresa what it is about coffee that keeps her interested and passionate, and she had a lot of great things to say. “Coffee is the second most traded product on Earth, and it has the potential to change the world for the growers and the people on the other end buying their beans.” She mentions Rising Star Coffee Roasters and says that she is happy to see more companies in America taking a more direct approach to purchasing coffee beans. “It supports the farmers and creates the opportunity to understand the priorities and challenges on both ends, which builds a more sustainable system that benefits everyone.” On the creative side, Theresa likes that coffee is ‘an ever-changing medium – no two beans will ever taste the same’.

When she’s not behind the coffee counter, Theresa lists her interests as cycling, arts and crafts, the outdoors, and keeping up with her (adorable) toddler. Oh, and her favorite items under our collection of domed cake plates? The housemade cream cakes and scones.

TKC philosophy: a local, from-scratch approach to diner fare

May 31, 2013, 12:00 AM  |  Posted by Emily Richardson in The Katz Club

Rising Star espresso, Hartzler milk, latte art by Andre!
Katz Club pop-tarts!
locally purchased and scratch-made mushroom bacon swiss burger.
cold meatloaf sandwich - mom's recipe with local meat and local lettuce!
Rising Star espresso, Hartzler milk, latte art by Andre!
Rising Star espresso, Hartzler milk, latte art by Andre! Katz Club pop-tarts! locally purchased and scratch-made mushroom bacon swiss burger. cold meatloaf sandwich - mom's recipe with local meat and local lettuce!

The Katz Club Diner is decidedly different from your average greasy spoon. Much of the menu stays true to the identity of the American silver diner car, but The Katz Club is a far cry from that cartoonish image that many people have of a disgruntled short order cook slinging grease to a counter full of patrons.

As many know, Chef Katz comes from a fine dining background, and he brings this perspective and attention to detail to a more casual setting on Lee Road. This means neatly rolled omelettes, housemade bacon, and twinkies from scratch. This means ingredients purchased from local farmers, not big box food suppliers. This means you know where your food came from, and who made it!

New Creation Farm in Chardon provides the diner’s beef and pork. Order a diner cheeseburger or a cold meatloaf sandwich, and know that you are supporting a local facility that operates in a completely humane and sustainable way. Order a thick chocolate malt or an artisan cappuccino, and you’re getting milk from Hartzler Family Dairy in Wooster.

The Katz Club Diner purchases its eggs from J & R Farms in Oberlin, its maple syrup from Snake Hill Farm in Chagrin Falls, and its coffee and espresso from Rising Star Coffee Roasters. We also utilize produce from Rittman Orchards, greens from Great Lakes Growers, and feta from Lucky Penny Creamery.

In addition to our commitment to supporting local and sustainable growers and suppliers, our kitchen works nearly around the clock to make as much of our food in house as possible. Our burger and hot dog buns, like all the baked goods on the coffee counter, are made from scratch. Bacon and corned beef are cured in house. Satisfying soups are made with care, not with store-bought base!

As we’ve welcomed the first guests into The Katz Club Diner, we’ve begun to tell the stories of our recipes and relate the conviction and care that we put into producing them. This is no easy task in the context of a fast-paced diner car full of hungry Clevelanders, but we wouldn’t do it any other way.

We couldn’t be more proud of where our food comes from and how its made, and we would love to tell you all about it when you stop in – take a load off at one of our diner stools and ask us about that fried egg sandwich!

Welcome to The Katz Club!

May 07, 2013, 12:00 AM  |  Posted by Doug Katz in The Katz Club

Dear Friends,

Welcome to The Katz Club Diner and thanks for reading our new blog.

Since I was a boy, I have always wanted to be a chef. I catered my first “event” when I was 14. It was a dinner party for my Grandmother Florence and her friends. I made tiny cucumber sandwiches for hors devours, rack of lamb, and mini chocolate soufflé cakes for dessert The group loved it, and for the first time I saw how food -- my food --could bring people together.

Great food and good times were an inextricable part of my family life. Starting with my my Great Grandmother Mary, my Grandma Florence, and my Mother Linda, I come from a long line of great home cooks. Our family ate much of what most Americans ate back then, but with the addition of recipes reflecting our eastern European heritage. But my mom’s recipes always tasted best! Even today some of my favorite foods are still my mom’s meatloaf, stuffed cabbage and matzo-ball soup, my grandmother’s liver and onions, plus of course, our frequent week-end treat the burgers and fresh cut fries my family enjoyed at diners like Mawby’s,

The Katz Club Diner, is a by-product of a wonderful bit of serendipity. I was searching for space to build a commissary kitchen when I a learned the diner was available. Here was a genuine Pullman diner lovingly restored then plagued by a string of mis-starts, re-muddlings and neglect, just waiting to be rescued. It was hard not to fall in love with that sweet little underdog of a restaurant. The chance to share a little of my own family food history, to rehabilitate a beautiful piece of Americana, and to become part of a great old Cleveland neighborhood was too good to pass up.

So here it is.... The Katz Club Diner! Our menu revisits the foods and fun of the past ...just re-designed and improved! We’ve also re-designed the business side of the restaurant to fit the demands of busy lifestyles.

The Katz Club offers:
-Catering. Creating unforgettable celebrations, is a natural extension of what we do. We can cater occasions large or small.
-Online Ordering. Our entire menu can be easily ordered online for convenient pick-up. Our nifty system will even let you know when your order will be ready.
-Our “Coffee Counter Carry Out” offers a better local alternative. Enjoy fresh brewed Rising Star coffee drinks, teas, juices and other beverages and awesome house-made pop-tarts, whoopie pies, cookies muffins and other fresh baked treats.

After months of planning, construction, and recipe tasting we’re proud to share it all with you!

Since 2000, I’ve had the great pleasure of growing a business that I truly love in own my home town. We’ve helped create an expanding local food community by working with small farmers and purchasing local ingredients whenever possible. We have aided in the redevelopment of grand older communities by locating restaurants in these areas. Finally, we’ve been one of many local restaurants that have put Cleveland on the map as a national foodie destination. None of this could have happened without the love and support of my wife Karen and my kids Abe and Amelia, my parents Linda, and Bob, and my in-laws Jerry and Nancy. As I said earlier, I always knew that I wanted to be a chef, but I never realized all that a culinary life might become for me.

Thanks to you as well, dear friends. I am ever grateful for your continued support.

Warmest regards,

Doug

Meet the Team!

May 07, 2013, 12:00 AM  |  Posted by Doug Katz in The Katz Club

Meet The Team

The Katz Club Diner would simply not be without the hard work, and dedication of the entire team, including our amazingly organized and versatile General Manager Jeannie Starks, tough but tender (and oh so talented) Katz Club Culinary Manager chef Matt Baber, Pastry Chef Matt Melvin (our in-house “sweet genius”), our awesomely efficient and creative, Assistant to Chef Katz, Emily Richardson, our skillful and steady diner Chef Chris Bork, our ever cool, collected and wise Director of Operations, Todd Thompson, our incredibly kind and comforting fire House Manager Michael Kittle, and our ceaselessly charming Director of Catering Suzanne Redford plus everyone in the greater fire family who has lent help and inspiration throughout the development process.

Beginning Wednesday, May 21st, the restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner dinner 6 days a week, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday 7:00 a.m. to 12 Midnight. Join us for “fun food that feeds the soul.” Please explore our website to learn more about this very special place. We hope it becomes a special place for you as well.

Here are a few of the faces you’ll see behind the counter at the diner.

Jeannie Starks-General Manager
Duane Gilleylem-Assistant Manager
Matt Baber-Culinary Manager
Chris Bork-Chef
Theresa Szentendrei-Barista

stack of coffee cups

Diner
favorites

shortrib chilaquiles
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soft scrambled local farm eggs, black beans, crispy tortillas, salsa verde, pickled chiles, amish cheese, cilantro & local feta
$17

roasted hangar steak
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smash browns, brussles sprouts, sauteed onions, pastrami, parmesan aioli & classic chimichurri
$27

romaine hearts salad
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roasted beets, green beans, baby red potatoes, bleu cheese, grape tomatoes & balsamic vinaigrette. add smoked local chicken for $4
$9

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Bar Car

The Bar Car at the Katz Club was the result of one question, what is our kind of bar? It had to be a sleek, cozy, hand crafted, Cary Grant gibson in a wifi world kind of place. A Raymond Chandler mahogany bar top mystery with ice tinking in a highball glass sort of joint. Traditional and familiar, but worlds away from anything that happened before five o'clock.

libation specialties

Hand made cocktails & Champagne

the menu

Freshly shucked oysters, world-class cheese and a selection of small plates

The best ingredients, people with a passion for cocktails and an intimate setting make the bar we have always wanted.