Remember That Place

Submitted by Sudhir Kade on Sun, 06/01/2008 - 18:59.

 That Place


On May 31, 2008 NEO bid a fond farewell to the University Circle dining instution for three decades, namely That Place on Bellflower.  That Place, located specifically at 11401 Bellflower - has always carried a singular charm that has long permeated the historically significant Tudor-themed Coach house.  The space has long been accented with contemporary overtones like eclectic sculptures and an impressive collection of Joseph Glasco abstracts. The unique layout of the eatery exposes entrants to the kitchen space immediately upon entry and opens into a lovely bar room featuring a gorgeous wine rack and strong Tudor accents.  This room opens up to a lovely patio garden as well as an extension of the restaurant with additional seating and adjoining conference room.  Staff response was uniformly one of somber acceptance reflecting upon the imminence of permanent closure - many confide that this was 'a long time coming' - 89 year old matriarch and owner of the establishment Isabella Basile has determined that the time was right to close permanently.  She looks forward to enjoying retirement and the fruits of a still-significant set of real estate holdings throughout the UC area.  The vibrancy and spirit cultivated by Isabella and Co will be missed by thousands of regulars who've frequented this Circle institution.  Many of her loyal staff, including head Chef Tom Crane have remained with her and the restaurant for decades and will also be missed.

Throughout its lifetime, That Place has been rightly known for its food.  Eclectic contemporary fare presented in hearty portions - it was only fitting that the eatery offered their signature dish, a Beef Wellington special to send off customers in style. 


Future plans for the space are just now filtering in - rumor has it that the entrepreneurs behind trendy mainstays Table 45 and Parallax will be the next occupants and bring a more-upscale (and quite possibly more pretentious) establishment.  I was saddened somewhat to learn an extensive financial investment would leave the space undistinguishable.  Further disappointment followed news of a six month timeline for completion.  The space adjoining the Barking Spider, Arabica, and other UC mainstays will now sit, silent and empty til winter, or beyond.

I remembered many lunches with faculty colleagues and a few rather poignant college dates during the early nineties that punctuated my visits spanning the three decades of Cleveland history.  Good times, good food, good fun.   That is how I'll (simply) remember That Place on Bellflower.

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Wait staff perspective

  Some may find it hard to believe, but I am so entrenched in Cleveland that I can also list a stint at That Place on Belleflower as a server in the nineties. 

Sudhir, I know your pain.  We always want a touchstone.  Some place (that place) to go back to and to have as a reminder of our spiritual quest to become whole.  I don't think we ever become whole, but the journey is bittersweet, nonetheless. 

Thanks Isabella!

(and thanks Sudhir for this posting)
"That Palace" always seemed so authentic and enduring compared to so many restaurants that  appear suddenly, pretentiously, and then disappear just as quickly. The food was always good, the atmosphere even better. I dined at "That Place" only about once a year, but it was always a treat. Cheers to Isabella, enjoy your retirement and thanks for gving Cleveland a great "Place" for so many years.

That Place REDUX

More to come...stay tuned :)  Sudhir, my source assures me that you will like the resurrected That Place.  He promises it will not be pretentious--more of an Alsatian brasserie/bistro, which, by the way, was sort of the food concept, when I worked there.

I only hope that someone bronzes Isabella's stilletos for display and that the large Joe Glasco pieces stay.

Rich Time


One of the richest years of my life, but I didn't know it then.  My tax return filed that year showed $9,000.  I rented a tiny little place and tutored at Tremont School, worked the lunch and, often, dinner shift at That Place on Belleflower and came home on the RTA 6 line at 1:00 a.m. with drunks and prostitutes.  I swam on my days off and rode my bike everywhere.  Not such a bad life.



Above--reminiscing about my time at a great restaurant--That Place renamed L'Albatros by Charles Michener (?) for the great Zack Bruell after a golf term (?) --is this a faulty recollection (?)

A double eagle, or albatross, is a score of 3-under par on an individual hole. Scoring an albatross is one of the rarest feats in golf.

The term "albatross" is most commonly used in the U.K.

Here's a chance to rename another great third place--Three Birds is under a new owner with deep roots in the tavern business and deep roots in Lakewood:

It's best to stop by and pick up a card to submit--we had a charming night last night after visiting points along the old streetcar route Detroit Ave--Stina di Napoli, The Beck Center/Cleveland Artists Foundation and Three Birds to be renamed???  Don't submit Reminice.  That is one of my entries.

I plan to go back and visit Breadsmith, too--

(Ask Sabine about regional art !)