When the owners of Rudy’s Pub
on Van Aken Boulevard in Shaker Heights learned they had to close their doors last summer, the group of regulars who had been going to the bar for the past nine years were frantic.
“We had grown men crying at the bar,” recalls co-owner Amanda Elfers, who owns Rudy’s with her fiancé Quintin Jones. The doors closed for good on October 3. Then, some friends and regulars told Elfers about the vacancy left on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights when the Cedar Lee Pub and Grill closed for good in mid-October.
Elfers drove by the place, and on November 13 she and Jones took ownership. Rudy’s Pub will open once again at 2191 Lee Road on Friday, Dec. 11.
In addition to their loyal clientele from their previous location, Elfers and Jones look forward to meeting new customers on the popular Cleveland Heights bar and restaurant strip.
“I think we will fit in really good,” says Jones, adding that Rudy’s will be a “grown and sexy spot. Everyone has their specialty around here.” Other owners on Lee reportedly are eager for Rudy’s to open.
In fact, in addition to Rudy’s regular 50-cent wing nights, Friday all-you-can eat fish fries and ladies’ nights, Jones says he wants to work with other area bar owners on a “round-robin” type night, in which everyone will profit.
The pub has an extensive menu, including Jones’ famous fried chicken wings, pasta dishes and seafood. Jones has an extensive culinary background, having cooked professionally for more than 30 years worked with many of Cleveland’s better-known chefs and at restaurants such as Lopez y Gonzalez and Noggins. He was the first African-American chef to cook on the hot line at Oakwood Country Club in the 80s.
Elfers grew up playing piano in restaurants, and bartended while in college. After living in Russia, starting the hard rock band Seven 13 and touring South Africa, Elfers bought the former Noggins in 2006. The bar is named after her great uncle, Rudolph Vogler, who died of tuberculosis at the age of 24.
Rudy’s will have a full bar, including Elfers’ wicked Long Island iced tea. “Drink two and you’re good,” jokes Jones. “People know not to play.”
Elfers met Jones in 2009 when he walked into the pub and offered to help her out in the kitchen. She took him up on the offer and the two are now engaged to be married.
Rudy’s will cater mostly to the over 40 crowd, but everyone is welcome. Jones likens the atmosphere to the fictional bar on the television show “Cheers,” saying that patrons just chat, and watch sports.
The bar will broadcast sports games on 10 televisions, one of which is a projection television. They will have live music, mostly jazz, about once a month, karaoke nights and will have Rudy’s famous tropical parties. When the weather allows, the entertainment will take place on the back patio.
With only three weeks to open Rudy’s, Jones and Elfers have been working with a crew of close friends and acquaintances to ready the pub for opening day – painting, hanging vintage photos, refinishing the floors and other tasks.
Rudy's employs an average of 10 to 15 people and is currently hiring at least seven people in all aspects of the restaurant industry. The pub will be open seven days a week, from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Rudy's also can be rented for private parties.