The Cleats In Mentor Is Changing Its Name But Not Its M.O.
The franchise is going independent and changing its name to the Happy Moose
The Cleats in Mentor is changing its name but not its owners or its mode of operation.
Brothers Chris and Jim Tsilianidis have run the Cleats franchise for the last four years, but they have decided to go the independent route.
Consequently, the former Cleats (and, before that, Hooters) will close February 3 and, after a few weeks of remodeling, it will re-open as the Happy Moose.
And to the Tsilianidises' father -- Pat Tsilianidis, who also helps run the restaurant -- this isn't so much another change as it is a return to form.
"Before Hooters, I had a restaurant here," Pat said, referring to the Alexis Family Restaurant. "The name may change but people here know us."
In the 90s, Pat Tsilianidis leased the land to Hooters who ran a restaurant there for 10 years. After the lease expired, his sons wanted to go into the family business so they opened a Cleats franchise.
Now, they have decided to return it to an independent restaurant, as it was back in its Alexis Family Restaurant days. But that doesn't mean the family plans to change everything.
"We want to keep the identity we have," Chris Tsilianidis said. "We want to be family friendly."
Chris explained that the Happy Moose will be what Cleats was before -- a sports bar where you can be comfortable bringing your family.
The Tsilianidises specifically want to embrace their restaurant's family friendliness, while still remaining a sports bar. It even influenced the restaurant's new name.
Chris Tsilianidis explained that they were considering the Thirsty Moose but they wanted to emphasize happiness more than the drinking. (Of course, that doesn't mean you won't be able to get a beer there.)
With the name change, the Tsilianidises plan to make some upgrades to the decor and the menu. For example, they are installing new 60- and 70-inch screen televisions.
And, as per the food, Chris said they will be keeping the favorites while hopefully taking them up a notch.
Specifically, the Happy Moose will offer a lot more wings sauces and better burger options.
"We know what our customers have liked over the last five years and we're not going to stop offering those things," Chris said.
"We're going to focus on gourmet, really high-end burgers," he said.
One more thing that won't be changing is the Tsilianidises' involvement in the city of Mentor. Chris said they still plan to offer scholarships and sponsorships to Mentor High and Lake Catholic students and teams.
"We're going to keep giving scholarships every year because we appreciate the community and what it has done for us," he said.