When longtime Timber Lodge Steakhouse owner Ron Levitt decided it was time to retire and step away from the restaurant business, he knew he needed to bring in someone local (and private) who was committed to keeping the restaurant's fine reputation as one of the premier steakhouses in Northeast Ohio.
Ron had been in the restaurant business for his entire adult life and was the owner of Timber Lodge for the past 16 years. His hard work and attention to every detail of his business during those years have made Timber Lodge Steakhouse what it is today. With such a successful restaurant—ranked No. 1 by customers on Trip Advisor for more than three years now—there were many things for Ron to take pride in, but being an independently owned steakhouse and not selling out to a chain was very high on the list.
So when the new owner, Lynn Zarcone, came on the scene and discussions began about a smooth transition of ownership, the two were quickly able to work out a deal that allowed both Lynn to fulfill his longtime dream of owning a restaurant and Ron the opportunity to step away quietly after such an outstanding run in the restaurant business.
"I think it was the perfect storm of timing and opportunity for these two to do business with each other, and it was the right time to pass the torch," says Lynsey Curren, Timber Lodge's front-of-house manager who has been there since 2013. "Ron was never going to sell to a chain, but he was ready, and the time was right. With Lynn, he found the perfect person to take over and to continue with what he grew."
Anyone who knows of Timber Lodge's reputation will be glad to hear that new ownership doesn't equate to a new menu or operation style.
"This restaurant has done so well for so long that I'm not looking to make any major changes at all," Lynn says. "Maybe a couple of minor things, like expanding the wine list and doing a few themed-type meals that will add a little something new, like the Bastille Day menu that we did in the summer, which offered some new French dishes that we hadn't done before. But other than that, it's going to be business as usual around here."
In case you're wondering, at Timber Lodge, "business as usual" means a friendly, well-trained staff and nothing but the freshest meats, seafood, vegetables and fruits for their customers. Their steaks are sliced from only the highest-quality cuts of beef. Fresh fish and chicken are prepped daily by a kitchen staff that shows up to work every morning, eight hours before opening. The cooler is loaded with fresh greens for salads and vegetables for side dishes. Near the kitchen, you can find boxes upon boxes of the largest Idaho potatoes around. And, of course, several of Timber Lodge's famous roasted prime ribs can be seen cooking in the rotisserie oven every afternoon as the restaurant prepares to open for their faithful dinner crowd.
Not only does Timber Lodge offer the best dinner menu around, but they also continue to do great business for their famous Sunday Brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., which offers a full gourmet breakfast menu and classic lunch menu items. The wildly popular Sunday-only brunch special bloody mary for an unbelievable 99 cents keeps guests coming back week in and week out.
Guests can reserve the porch for a private event or family gathering as well. Seating is available for 12 to 20 people during regular business hours. Or if you need a larger space with more seating for guests, Timber Lodge also offers the use of their dining area during off-hours in the afternoon. This is one area of the business that Lynn says he would definitely like to expand.
"We're really looking to do a lot more catering," Lynn says. "We would like to deliver more parties, especially with the holidays coming up, and also to cater parties right here at the restaurant before we open up for dinner. We can easily host a day party here from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with no problem, and that's something that I'm really trying to push so more people are aware of that."
Thankfully, one thing Lynn does not need to make more people aware of is the kind of quality food and service customers will continue to get when they stop in for their next visit. Chances are the next time you are at Timber Lodge, Lynn himself will stop by your table to make sure everything is as great as advertised.
"Lynn is a very personable person," Lynsey says. "He's just the kind of guy who can talk to anyone about anything and make it interesting. He's a natural in the hospitality business."
For further information on catering, special events and other services Timber Lodge offers, call 330.725.6288 or stop in at 2809 Pearl Road in Medina.