Solon will soon have a new dining option in Birdigo, a chicken concept to open in the former Mama Jo’s Pizza storefront at 32975 Aurora Road within the next month.
The concept was created by Jay Leitson and Izzy Schachner of 56 Kitchen, and Michael DuBois and Adam Kemelhar of Imperial Wok, both with locations in Solon. Marc Glassman of Marc’s grocery stores, Mike Fratello, former Cleveland Cavaliers coach and NBA analyst, and Bob Reiner, former president of Joshen Paper & Packaging, also helped develop the concept.
“Chicken is a super hot craze right now and hopefully it’ll keep going, and it’s an economical protein,” Leitson said in January. “Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we closed our restaurants the first month or so and spent that time developing recipes for Birdigo. So, it’s been in the works for a while now.”
The menu will feature chicken in a number of ways, such as rotisserie, fried chicken, tenders and sandwiches, as well as other proteins and sides. Chicken served at the concept will be “all-natural and antibiotic-free,” Leitson says. Plans also call for each parent restaurant, 56 Kitchen and Imperial Wok, to develop sauces inspired by their menus.
Operating first as a test kitchen offering only pickup and delivery, customers will be able to order by phone or online.
Leitson and Schachner are also preparing to open another Solon restaurant, Elle, an upscale French and Italian eatery at 33730 Bainbridge Road in the former Harvest Kitchen space. The pair is aiming for a summer opening with chef Patrick Capuozzo heading the kitchen. Capuozzo has experience in the kitchens of Parallax, Nora and the Flying Fig, all in Cleveland.
– Becky Raspe