MEDINA — After a year of preparations, Serenite Restaurant and Culinary Institute will open March 29.
A $300,000 state grant secured in the beginning of 2017 enabled a restaurant closed since March 2015 become a recovery center.
Serenite Restaurant will feature French cuisine with dishes like escargot, duck confit and frog legs, as well as more familiar dishes like filet mignon and seafood. The restaurant is located in the former Medina Steakhouse and Saloon at 538 W. Liberty St., which is leased by the Recovery Center of Medina County.
The building is being rented for $66,000 per year and the lease and will continue through May 31, 2019.
The restaurant also has the culinary institute component that teaches members in the recovery community everything about working in a fine-dining restaurant.
Participants in the program also learn life skills, receive recovery support and are paid to attend. They also will undergo an apprenticeship at another fine restaurant.
Brandon Chrostowski said Serenite was named with the Serenity prayer in mind. The prayer is used by many people in recovery.
“It’s more than just a name,” he said. “It has a deeper meaning.”
Chrostowski also founded Edwins Leadership and Restaurant Institute at 13101 Shaker Square in Shaker Heights, which teaches formerly incarcerated adults skills to work in fine dining and hospitality industries.
A documentary about Edwins, “Knife Skills,” was nominated for an Academy Award this year.
He said Edwin is his middle name but for the restaurant and institute, it means “education wins.” He said the program has had success in the rehabilitation community.
Serenite will serve alcohol, which has drawn criticism.
The site was formerly called Robby’s Recovery Center, but the founder of Robby’s Voice cut ties with the recovery center.
Rob Brandt, whose son died of a heroin overdose in 2011 and who was against the presence of alcohol at the recovery center, served as interim board president. Brandt could not be reached for comment.
Chrostowski said fine dining does include alcohol and the skills the participants are learning will take them to a job beyond Bob Evans or other non-alcohol-serving establishments.
Serenite is a full-service restaurant that seats 60 people. Chrostowski said more information about the grand opening will be released at a later date. Reservations can be made at www.opentable.com. Add Serenite to the search option.
Contact reporter Cindy Breda
at (330) 721-4012 or
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