This past spring, The Aviator Event Center & Pub opened in the former space of the 100th Bomb Group at 20920 Brookpark Rd., Cleveland. The innovative and avant-garde dining and event facility overlooks the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, providing guests with stunning runway views and a dining experience fit for royalty.
Recently, we had the opportunity to sit down with The Aviator's president and co-owner, Khadar Soussou, to talk about the restaurant and event center's first few months in business and what we can expect to come from the business in the future. Here's what he had to say.
When did The Aviator officially open?
The Aviator officially took flight on April 2, 2022.
How many private events and weddings have you all hosted since opening?
We have been very fortunate to come into Cleveland at a time when event needs are at an all-time high. With our one-stop shop model, we have been able to host over 200 events since our opening.
What have these first few months of business been like for you all?
It has been an amazing ride so far. We are blessed with a great team of professionals to make it all happen. The excitement continues to grow!
What has been one of the main challenges that you have faced?
It has never been easy in the hospitality business. It is the most criticized business out there but with great people, we believe we can overcome it. Finding those people is not always easy but we have been fortunate enough to put together an amazing team to bring The Aviator vision to life.
What are some of your favorite items on the pub's menu?
Great question! We are becoming known for our Smash Burgers. It took us about a month to perfect the burger. The goal was for a thin, crispy yet juicy patty. Mission accomplished. Our No. 1 seller is our Braised Short Rib. Put your fork in it and it absolutely falls apart.
What are the different ways that people can experience The Aviator?
Host an event, be invited to an event or just stop in to enjoy our restaurant.
What is your background in the industry?
I grew up in a family business, Royal Park Fine Wine. The entrepreneurial blood was in me from a young age and I knew that I wanted to create a destination that focuses on exceptional hospitality and creative twists on food.
What makes The Aviator's event center so spectacular for private events and weddings?
Outside of brand new event spaces, we are a one-stop shop. We take the guesswork out and act as an event consultant to all of your clients.
What else should we know about The Aviator?
Stay tuned for our own hosted Aviator events. We have big plans for 2023!
For more information about The Aviator, to make a reservation or inquiry about The Aviator's private event spaces, visit AviatorCLE.com.