The Cashmere Cricket is back in town.
After a four-year absence, the popular Cuyahoga Falls Riverfront Square District establishment has opened north of its former location with entrances on the Front Street walking mall and Riverfront Parkway.
The reincarnated Cricket opened Jan. 12 with a new chef and a new menu and hopes to be known more as a restaurant/bar than a bar/restaurant, said Owner Jimmy Knoch.
The new menu, a mix of casual Mediterranean and Italian dishes, features a few old favorites, Muffaletta and Turkey Ruben sandwiches and Cricket Wings, slow-roasted bone-in pork shanks with a mango barbecue and soy sauce. Customers can choose from small plates, salads, sandwiches, pizza and calzones. Most items are in the $7-$8 range.
New Chef Adam Mazur, who has worked at Big City Chop House in Akron, Sylvester’s in North Canton and Akron’s Vegiterranean, cooks in an all-electric kitchen, something unusual in the restaurant business.
Manager Nici Hefflefinger said the space, formerly an ice cream shop and coffeehouse, had no kitchen when it was leased. Installing ventilation required for conventional restaurant ranges would have been cost prohibitive so they got creative with the menu and its preparation. “He’s (Mazur) putting out excellent food,” said Knoch. “We’ve been getting raves.”
Hefflefinger said Mazur’s food, including sauces and dips all made at the restaurant have been a big hit.
The new Cashmere Cricket also will feature at least eight microbrew or craft beers on tap each month. This month’s offerings include Great Lakes Dortmunder, Founder’s Centennial IPA, Southern Tier Old Man and Troegs Hopback Amber Ale. Hefflefinger said the bar also will carry 20-25 bobbled craft brews and an extensive list of martinis. Ladies can get $5 martinis 4-9 p.m. each Thursday.
Knoch has put a lot of himself in the new location. In addition to creating a kitchen at the new location, Knoch and a carpenter friend built the large, L-shaped bar. He also commissioned a local artist to transform a salvaged finial and lighting rod from a razed Canton mansion into lighting for the bar area. The liquor cabinet behind the bar is a repurposed trophy case from Knoch’s church.
The restaurant portion of the Cricket seats 60-65. The deck overlooking Riverfront Parkway can accommodate 36 in warm weather and Knoch said he plans in spring to build a patio that will seat 12-15 along the walking mall.
Knoch said he was happy to be back on the Riverfront. “I like the area. . . I think it’s growing and we can be a little niche here.” He said he regretted having to close the first Cricket in 2007 following a dispute with his landlord. During the Cricket’s four-year hiatus, Knoch started and ran a bar at Fedeli Restaurant in Canton.
The Cashmere Cricket is located at 2235 Front St. in Cuyahoga Falls beside Hibachi Japan. Free covered parking is available in the “Green” parking structure on Second Street or on Riverfront Parkway. Hours are 4 p.m.-1 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to midnight on Sunday. Payment is cash only and an automatic teller machine is available on the premises.