Michael Symon Can’t Take The Heat Of Mendel’s KC BBQ! Mendel Is Now Opening A New Restaurant In Symon’s Old Location!

Fiamma by Mendel's will operate out of the space previously used by Michael Symon's Mabel's BBQ
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Related post: Cleveland Kosher Food And Activity Guide

Cleveland’s Jewish community has been growing exponentially over the past several years. That’s thanks to its low cost of living, warm and friendly community, safe suburban neighborhoods, excellent schools, short commute times with low traffic and plenty of parking, a revitalized core on the water with several sports teams and world class museums, and private school tuition vouchers.

One sore subject has been Kosher restaurants. DDF admin Chaikel Kaufman, Josh Bennett, and myself brainstormed for several years how to correct that, working to bring a proven concept and operator to town.

That search culminated with Mendel Segal opening Mendel’s KC BBQ last January, which has been a game-changer, serving up excellent food in an upscale environment. And it’s done phenomenally well, bringing in some $2 million in sales in its first year. That proved the naysayers, who said Cleveland couldn’t support a higher end kosher restaurant, wrong. It’s the best kosher food that you’ll find anywhere in flyover country.

I’ve been enjoying Mendel’s food since he worked at Kansas City’s Hen House grocery store kosher counter. He was cranking out the best pulled beef and fried chicken that I’ve ever had there, from when I got married to a KC girl back in 2008 until 2011, long before opening any restaurant. He followed that up with working at the KC Kosher Vaad from 2011 to 2017, while operating awesome kosher BBQ competitions in Kansas City, before opening Mendel’s Backyard BBQ, his first restaurant, located in Surfside, FL. He is no longer associated with that restaurant.

Hardware at the 2013 KC BBQ Competition:


Enjoying the afterparty at the 2016 KC BBQ competition:


Mendel’s KC BBQ is managed by Shua Lurie, who catered the 2018 DansDeals kosher cruise to Antarctica.


And then after a multi-year hunt, I was able to connect Mendel and Shua with the Cleveland Guardians to open a kosher stand, which was last there in 2018. Mendel’s Dogs and Deli (It can’t be called KC due to the division rivalry and it can’t be called BBQ due to another BBQ joint with ballpark exclusivity) opened last July and has blossomed into the best kosher stand in sports!

No other park offers up specialities like the pastrami dog loaded with house smoked deli and caramalized onions, the Po Girl sausage, loaded with cole slaw, pulled beef, potato sticks, and Mendel’s award winning BBQ sauce, the c-town dog (who still remembers the ctownbochur days here?), a dog topped with delicious chili, or delicious knishes.



And now Mendel is doing it again!

Late this summer, Fiamma by Mendel will open at Woodmere’s Eton Collection, at 28699 Chagrin Blvd, 3 miles down the road from Mendel’s BBQ. The 2,800 square foot Italian Fusion dairy restaurant near Trader Joe’s will boast a clean, rustic, and trendy ambiance perfect for any occasion.

It will be located in the space where Iron Chef Michael Symon’s Mabel’s BBQ was previously located. Mabel’s BBQ closed down earlier this year. I guess Michael just couldn’t take the heat from Mendel’s KC BBQ down the street? 😀

Fiamma (flame in Italian) will feature Wood-Fire pizza, handmade pasta, fresh seafood, and delectable salads, all meticulously crafted with an emphasis on quality and freshness. Mendel promises a top quality food and drinks and a cultural journey with the new restaurant.

The restaurant will be certified kosher/cholov yisroel/pas yisroel under Cleveland Kosher.

Every time I dine at Mendel’s, I bump into people visiting from near and far who stop to chat with us. It’s great to see Mendel putting Cleveland on the culinary map!

Read more about Cleveland’s kosher scene and activities here and start planning a trip to one of the fastest growing Jewish communities in the country!

Disclosure: I have no equity stake in any of Mendel’s restaurants, I just love to have great kosher food in my hometown, where my kids are 7th generation Clevelanders! Want to open up a restaurant here? Send an email to dan@dansdeals.com and I’d be happy to chat!

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31 Comments On "Michael Symon Can’t Take The Heat Of Mendel’s KC BBQ! Mendel Is Now Opening A New Restaurant In Symon’s Old Location!"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


This makes me want to go to Cleveland, just for Mendel’s BBQ!!


Thanks for all of your efforts, Dan, you’re the best!


Is this the same Symon as the famous Bar Symon in CLE airport?




Maybe we can get the Location in CLE to go kosher as well


Sounds fantastic. I didn’t realize the extent to which you were involved in bringing Mendels to Cleveland. Thank you!! Any word on time frame for opening of the new restaurant?

R. Moshe

Dan, I respect and applaud all that you do.
In this case it seems like gloating over someone closing shop. Businesses and especially restaurants open and close for a variety of reasons. There could be macro economic reasons, family, health or just better opportunities. Perhaps just leave it as an announcement of a forthcoming opening.


L take

M. Shapiro

Now how do we get them to be makpid on Yoshon…


Wait a week.


yes are most restaurants yashan can they try and be more mapkid so all can enjoy all year long not just after Pesach to August


Come to Brooklyn or Lakewood.

CLE Rocks

In CLE everything is earned!


7th gen?!? Wow

Shmulies Neighbor



Who is Shmuli?


Good to know for the next eclipse.

tom bradley

Is it subsidised by chabad so people will eat kosher…kidding
lots of hatzlacha
why not open in la?
there is no bbq whatsoever