Latitude 41n’s Kathy Brown Hits the Spot
If you happen to be in Cleveland, Ohio and are looking for a casual place with a friendly atmosphere and good food, look no further than Latitude 41n.
Located in the avant garde Detroit Shoreway Neighborhood, one of many of Cleveland’s neighborhoods that are being reinvented, Latitude 41n (5712 Detroit Avenue; 216-961-0000; EatatLatitude41n.com) is popular among its residents and Clevelanders who venture to the neighborhood to check out the art studios, community theaters and trendy night spots and restaurants.
“It’s just a good area to be in,” says Kathy Brown, proprietor of Latitude 41n, about the hipster neighborhood. “It brings a lot of people down [to the neighborhood].”
Kathy, 59, should know, the New Yorker-turned-Clevelander, has been on the Cleve’s, one of the city’s many nicknames, culinary scene for more than 35 years and is enjoying watching the Midwestern city on the edge of Lake Eire blossom again.
“A lot of these areas in Cleveland are reinventing themselves and it’s kind of been fun to be a part of this one,” says Kathy, about the restaurant that is across the street from popular night spot Happy Dog (5801 Detroit Avenue; 216-651-9474; HappyDogCleveland.com).
Kathy has owned and sold several restaurants, including the once popular Snickers Restaurant in the 1980s, and taught culinary arts over the years in Cleveland, she says.
One of Cleveland’s popular brunch spots, Kathy prides herself on serving up hearty classic American meals using the freshest ingredients and gourmet pizzas created by Louie Lusardo, Latitude’s executive chef and operations manager. The restaurant also offers a large variety of vegetarian dishes.
“It’s good basic food with some good personalities and it seems to work,” says Kathy.
Easy Good Times
If it’s not the good hearty good food served up from breakfast into the night then it’s the casual friendly service that keeps people coming back.
When Kathy got the idea in 2007 to open Latitude, an “upscale diner,” she was “itching” to get back to serving up good food to people, but after a lifetime of being the belle of the night putting together fancy dinners and offering a full bar serving up trendy drinks, she was ready to let down her hair and kick back a bit.
She wanted Latitude to be a welcoming environment where she could really get to know diners.
“I wanted to do more of an order at the counter [and] be able to meet and greet the public,” says Kathy, who believes customers like the relaxed atmosphere. “I love meeting and greeting with the public. We spend a lot of time with our customers getting to know our customers.”
“People have fascinating stories. When you put them in an atmosphere where they want to talk about themselves and where you can learn about them and they can learn about me it keeps them coming back and they bring new people and those people bring new people,” continues Kathy, who is enjoying the slower pace putting together breakfast and keeping the alcohol selections simple to beer and wine.
She also wanted her guests to feel comfortable. So, she turned the former paint store in the Gordon Square Arts District into a diner/lounge with an outdoor patio and offered coffee and Wi-Fi.
The combination of casual comfort and good food has been a hit with locals and visitors.
“I think that they liked that relaxed atmosphere where they can come in and kind of be themselves and have a cup of coffee and not feel pressured into listening to a million different specials,” she says.
Cleveland has been good to Kathy and she likes the city.
“It’s a great city. It’s got everything you could want,” says Kathy listing off a variety of things Cleveland has going on from art, museums and theater to sports. “I believe Cleveland has everything that I want in a city life and you don’t have to go all that far to be away from it either. So, it’s got everything you could want without the big city headaches.”
In addition to the entertainment and social options, the Forest City has a vibrant culinary scene.
“We have a wonderful restaurant scene in the city,” says Kathy, but she hopes Cleveland visitors will make Latitude their first stop to eat.
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