Woodsweather Café — the sequel — opens in the Northland

09/04/2012 7:41 PM

05/16/2014 7:36 PM

The funky graffiti-painted Woodsweather Café’ fits in with its West Bottoms warehouse neighborhood.

But that urban look wouldn’t do for a new Northland restaurant sitting on a prime intersection surrounded by shops and residential.

So the new Woodsweather II, at 2510 N.E. Vivion Road, is in a sedate brown building that is a bit spiffier inside with shiny concrete painted floor, and sectioned-off dining areas – one in the front that will be more of a sports bar.

“This area is more residential so we’ve ‘niced’ it up a bit but we don’t want people to think we are preppy,” said John Cuezze, manager. “We still have the same comfort food and family-friendly service. But if you put the Corner Café, Applebee’s and Stroud’s in a blender you will get Woodsweather II.”

It offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, just like the West Bottoms location — French toast, biscuits and gravy, omelets, pork tenderloins, burgers, Italian steak sandwiches and more, as well as a few new items like grilled pork chop, grilled rib eye steak and grilled beef filet.

Daily specials include Wednesday’s meatloaf, Friday’s cornmeal crusted catfish filet or hot boiled spiced shrimp, and Saturday’s bow tie pasta or Fanny Jo’s Fried Chicken.

Cuezze said he’s ordered the Caesar salad with house-made dressing nearly every day. The cheesecakes, made by a family friend using her grandmother’s recipes, also have been popular with customers.

The menu features Cuezze family photos as well as those of owner Tony Civella.

Woodsweather II also has a dozen beers on draft and hopes to double that soon, and a variety of specialty cocktails. Part of the dining room also may be cleared later in the evening for dancing.

The Cuezze family recently sold the West Bottoms restaurant but still own the building. It will continue operating as a Woodsweather.

Cuezze said both restaurants also are tweaking the spelling of the name, forgoing the Woodswether spelling — which was like the West Bottoms street — for the easier to remember Woodsweather.

Bitterman is back in retail

For 76 years, the Bitterman family has been satisfying our sweet tooth — from vending machines at streetcar stops to supplying more than 5,000 wholesale accounts throughout the country.

But it hasn’t a retail location since 2000, when Bitterman Family Confections relocated its headquarters to 3107 Gillham Road and closed its downtown retail outlet to concentrate on wholesale.

That’s about to change.

In early October, the Bitterman old-fashioned candy counters will be back at Bitterman Eye Candy, a candy store and vintage market set to open at the Gillham headquarters.

The store, which will be open Thursdays through Sundays, will offer a variety of treats from across the nation, including cinnamon bears, chocolate peanuts, malted milk balls, smiley face gum, healthy snack mixes, candy bars and seasonal favorites.

Bitterman Eye Candy also will rent booth space to vendors selling vintage furniture, clothing, jewelry, home décor and other items, as well as unique new novelties. On First Friday weekends the new shop will have special events and workshops – like chocolate tastings.

Leslie Bitterman, sales manager and granddaughter of the founder of Bitterman Family Confections, says she still gets calls from out-of-towners looking for the candy store.

“Probably five or six calls a month. It makes me feel great because it is through the generations — the generations of my family and the generations of our customers,” Bitterman said. “Everyone has a story about our store which is really touching to me. Everyone loves candy and they all have a story about their favorite.”

Quick bite

The Country Club Plaza’s Three Dog Bakery will move nearby, nearly doubling its space. The bakery and retail shop for dogs at 612 W. 48th St., will close on Sept. 17 and reopen Sept. 18 or 19 at 602 W. 48th St.

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