Samira's Brings New Energy to Riverfront Parkway
New restaurant has more affordable menu with the same striking riverfront views.
With the opening of Samira, Restaurateur Nick Dadich said he will bring new energy to an old power plant along the Cuyahoga River.
On Dec. 14, Dadich opened his new restaurant, Samira, at 2291 Riverfront Pkwy., formerly home to The River Brasserie and Bar and, originally, LeFever’s. Constructed as a power plant, the building still features architectural details from its beginnings, but the menu and the atmosphere are all new.
Under his direction, Samira trends toward casual, but elegant, affordability. Entrées range from $15 to $25 and sandwiches and pizzas are available anytime, Dadich said.
“We wanted to make it affordable,” Dadich said. “We still get people who come in here on their anniversaries and order their filets, but now we also get a younger crowd, who come in their jeans, their Crocs and their North Face jackets.”
The previous restaurant, which Dadich said suffered from bad management and bad style, was white-tablecloth formal with a higher priced menu to match.
Dadich said he hopes to continue to attract the younger customers who are looking for a clean, safe and trendy restaurant to patronize.
Dadich’s changes seem to be a hit. On New Year’s Eve, just two weeks after opening, the restaurant had one of the 10 biggest nights in the history of the location, Dadich said.
“In the first four weeks we were open, only five meals were returned to the kitchen,” he said. "In the industry, it’s not uncommon for patrons to return 15 a night."
Long noted for its striking views of the waterfall below, Dadich said the restaurant always has been a popular destination for romantic occasions and said he expects reservations to fill quickly for Valentine’s Day.
In addition to the more affordable menu, Samira offers more than 40 wines by the glass and nearly 30 choices for beer drinkers, including microbrews, Dadich said. The restaurant also will expand its already generous martini menu, he added.
Entrees of pork, fish, beef and pasta highlight a menu that also includes grilled thin crust pizza, and a long list of sandwiches.
Dadich said he and Executive Chef Michael Fiala expect to change the menu seasonally and continue to use locally produced food when possible.
Samira can accommodate up to 110 people for a private party and can host more formal banquets or casual parties such as baby or bridal showers, Dadich said. He said he hopes to expand the restaurant’s patio, which currently seats 80, for summer.
“It’s always a hot spot in the summer. People love to be by the water,” he said.
The location was closed just three weeks for minor renovations, said Hostess April Green, who has been greeting customers at the restaurant for 10 years.
Dadich retained Green, Fiala and the rest of the staff from the previous operation.
Dadich and a partner bought the restaurant after Dadich was approached by the previous owners who offered to sell to him at a “very competitive price,” Dadich said. The previous owners were in real estate and ended up with the restaurant by default, Dadich said.
“They just wanted out of the restaurant business.” Dadich seized the opportunity.
Dadich and his wife opened Delanie’s Neighborhood Grille, named for their first daughter, in Tallmadge in 2002. Dadich said Delanie’s has grown every year and now is run on a day-to-day basis by his wife, Rana. The new restaurant is named for the couple’s younger daughter, Samira.
Dadich described himself as an unlikely restaurant owner. Although he had worked in restaurants since he was 16, “I’d never been a manager and I’ve never taken a business class,” he said.
Dadich put aside his nearly finished secondary education degree when the opportunity to own a restaurant came up.
Samira is open 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday and is closed on Sunday. Call 330-923-4233 for reservations.