HOWLAND, Ohio – Four veteran restaurateurs have teamed up to open The Living Room Tavern in Howland, a casual but upscale establishment for dining and nightlife.
Located in a small shopping center at 5000 E. Market St., The Living Room features a large patio for warm days and 15 TV screens for watching weekend sports. On warm days, the bar area becomes open-air with a removable window wall. The head chef and manager is Sedat Olgun, who owned Kyra Restaurant, which previously operated at the site.
Kyra closed in March at the start of the pandemic. The four co-owners started talking about joining forces on The Living Room shortly after Kyra closed. They gave the space a thorough renovation.
Olgun is one of The Living Room’s co-owners, along with Serdar Dede, who co-owns Café 422 in Warren and Boardman; Ottavio Musumeci, chef-owner of Station Square in Liberty; and Armond Nannicola, who has owned restaurants in the past. “We’re four entrepreneurs in the area, all good friends who hang around together and we decided to do this,” Dede says.
The restaurant has been in business since Sept. 10, and had its grand opening on Sept. 27.
If the name sounds familiar, it should. The Living Room was a once-popular dining establishment on Market Street on Warren’s east side. The owners wanted to bring back the moniker, but stressed that the new restaurant has an entirely different concept: It’s modern, casual and fun.
“We are reviving the name but on a different scale,” Musumeci says.
“That was a different time,” Dede adds. “We’re bringing back memories from the past, but tying it into a tavern-style look. The old Living Room is not back. This is very casual tavern-style dining.”
The Living Room’s menu runs the gamut from burgers, flatbreads, sandwiches and salads, to seafood, steaks and veal.
“It’s a bar menu but a little more high end,” says Musumeci. “It will appeal to all age groups. There’s a little bit of everything.”
Dede points out that the half-pound burgers ($10-$12) are not your ordinary burgers. They are made from a custom blend of angus beef chuck, short ribs and brisket.
“We make it in-house,” he said.
Entrees include herb crusted Lake Erie perch, some pasta and chicken specialties, flat-iron steaks, honey garlic salmon, king crab legs, Maine lobster tacos, veal chops, veal Milanese and surf and turf.
“The lobster tacos are our No. 1 seller,” Musumeci says.
The tavern offers craft beer, as well as extensive wine, cocktail and bourbon lists.
It can seat a total of about 200 indoors and outside and has a banquet room that can hold an additional 50 to 60. The restaurant employs 30.
Once the pandemic restrictions are canceled and bars can stay open until 2 a.m., The Living Room will have bands and DJs on weekends, Dede says.
Pictured: Three of the four co-owners of The Living Room Tavern in Howland – Ottavio Musumeci, Serdar Dede and Sedat Olgun – stand behind the bar. Not pictured is co-owner Armond Nannicola.