Chef Steve Schimoler runs one of the most striking restaurants in Cleveland, Crop Bistro & Bar in Ohio City. And, he's planting the seeds for a few more.
Crop diners eat under the soaring, ornate ceiling of an historic bank lobby. Schimoler picked another old bank for a more casual, music-centric version of his restaurant. Crop Rocks is scheduled to open in the Waterloo Arts District in 2014.
Retired Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Terry Stewart plans to fill the bank's former vault with part of his huge vinyl record collection.
A self-taught chef, Schimoler was 23 when he opened the first of three restaurants in Long Island. Next, he moved to Vermont where he worked as vice president of product development for Cabot Creamery and later restored a 200-year-old grist mill into a rustic restaurant.
Schimoler relocated to Cleveland in 2005 as director of innovation and development for Nestle North America.
He opened Crop Bistro & Bar, originally in the Warehouse District, in 2007. Crop was initially imagined as a test kitchen (the name is an acronym for Customized Restaurant Operations Platform) for Schimoler's various food research and development businesses.
Two more restaurants, Crop Kitchen & Vine and Cropicana, are scheduled to open in 2015 as part of the Flats East Bank revival.
Stop by Crop on a Friday night and you just might catch Schimoler, a drummer and musician, performing with his band. Can you guess the name? Cream of the Crop.