Tuesday, August 22, 2017 Medina 78°
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Local Medina County News

County has competition for recovery center site

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    The former Medina Steak & Seafood restaurant at 538 W. Liberty St. in Medina is shown Monday.

    LAWRENCE PANTAGES / GAZETTE

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The owner of the shuttered Medina Steak & Seafood restaurant said Tuesday he has two offers for the building — one for a lease from the county government for an addiction recovery center and the other from an area restaurateur to purchase it.

The disclosure by Medina Steak & Seafood owner Ken Collins came one day after the Medina County Probation Department said it was looking at the restaurant as a possible site for people in substance abuse treatment.

“I have two proposals, but nothing has been signed yet,” Collins said.

Collins owns Berea Union Depot Taverne and said he has been in talks with the county and would-be restaurant operator Scott Ita of Lakewood.

Medina Steak & Seafood, 538 W. Liberty St., Medina, has been closed since February 2015.

County Chief Probation Officer Veronica Perry said Monday that a $300,000 state grant was secured to open an addiction center this year.

She obtained a letter of intent to open the facility from county commissioners Monday.

County officials were in talks with Collins to sign a two-year, $120,000 lease for the building.

Perry said Tuesday the county has no backup options for a center if the deal with Collins falls through.

She had said the county ultimately could use the grant funds to purchase the building if the center was a success. The asking price for the building and land with 50 parking spaces is $469,000.

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction provides such grants to help counties open centers offering services to recovering addicts.

The center is envisioned as a safe place for those who have completed their addiction recovery and want to remain connected to a “sober-living” environment.

Although the regional opiate epidemic spurred the need for the center, Perry said it would welcome those who have battled addiction to alcohol and other drugs. It would offer activities such as enrichment classes and vocational training.

Ita said Tuesday he is hopeful about reaching a deal with Collins.

He said he envisions serving primarily American fare but with the occasional nod to his Slovak heritage and a few ethnic dishes such as stuffed peppers and pierogi.

“We’re planning on a July 1 opening and will serve moderately priced American fare with everything made in-house,” Ita said.

Ita, 44, grew up in Lakewood and has been working in restaurants for years. The Medina location would be his first venture as an owner.

He said he would be the head chef at the new Livery Street Coach House and would hire one sous-chef and a full wait staff if a purchase agreement is reached.

Contact reporter Marina Malenic at (330) 721-4063 or nmalenic@medina-gazette.com.



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