The sun has set on the Sunrise Diner in Akron’s Firestone Park neighborhood.
Opening earlier this year, the breakfast-and-lunch place lasted only a few months. That’s a short life even by restaurant industry standards.
I and others had high hopes for the place at 1510 S. Main St., north of Wilbeth Road. Chef Ernie Cornelius, whose earlier gigs included cooking at European-style cafe and bakery Blue Door in Cuyahoga Falls, and friend Steve Lentini were investing a lot of creativity and heart into the place.
Sunrise served hand-cut bacon and Cornelius' homemade sausage patties. Cornelius baked the place’s hamburger buns… and so on.
I read on social media that Cornelius and Lentini had left the business in the hands of a third partner after a dispute, and this past weekend I drove past the place to see what was up.
Already, the small building — which has housed an eatery since the 1940s — is home to a Hibachi Xpress, one of a handful in the area operated by Joe Salem. A Hibachi Xpress worker was outside painting the exterior brick — long covered in white paint — gray.
Cornelius is now chef at The Kitchen, which operates inside the Cashmere Cricket at 2235 Front St. in Cuyahoga Falls. On Facebook, he encourages “familiar faces” to stop by.
Earlier this month, he promoted a wine dinner at the Cashmere Cricket, noting that while “we continue to pursue a new space [for a diner], I’ve been keeping myself busy.”
In case you missed it…
An Akron area couple purchased the New Franklin building that previously housed Prime 93 and Bricco Prime for $517,000 at an auction last week.
You can read the story I wrote here: https://bit.ly/2KBZF6C.
The couple declined to be identified last week, and still wasn’t ready to be identified earlier this week, at press time.
The woman of the couple said last week she wanted to inform family members before their purchase became public.
They plan to keep the property at 4315 Manchester Road a restaurant and event center.
The woman previously was a general manager at an event center. Her husband is in management.
The building at 4315 Manchester Road encompasses 26,000 square feet, including a large banquet facility. The building with a big front porch was the home of popular Portage Lakes spot Anthe’s Restaurant from 1969 to 2007. Before that, it was the Sunset Inn.
A buyer’s name is not public record in private auctions. Once a deed is filed with Summit County, however, the owner’s name will be available.
Bricco Prime closed in April after the building’s owner, James Pulk, and the buyer of the Akron area’s Bricco restaurants, Dave Sharp, failed to come to terms on a lease.
This Saturday is the annual Ukrainian Festival, featuring kielbasa, homemade pierogi, stuffed cabbage rolls and a host of yummy traditional treats, at the Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Akron’s Firestone Park neighborhood.
The fest — featuring eating, dancing, music and more — will run from 1 to 8 p.m.
Adults can enjoy a Ukrainian beef while listening to Polka music. Two bands are set to play, with music scheduled for throughout the day. Traditional ethnic dancers will perform at 3 p.m. A bounce house will be available for children.
Again, the baked goods available will more than fill tables stretching the length of the air-conditioned church basement. Available will be butter-rich paska bread, along with kolach rolls, sweet varenyky (pierogi stuffed with fruit), keiflies (cookies made of cream cheese pastry wrapped around a filling), pliatsok pastry and more.
The church is at 1866 Brown St., just north of East Waterloo Road. Look for the big tent. Parishioner David Griffiths, who helps to cook for the festival, said in an email to me that he is always struck by how big this event tends to be with such a small parish.
“Reminds me a bit of Shakespeare,” he said, quoting from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream": “Though she be but little, she is fierce.”
Griffiths added, “just in a nicer, friendlier way.”
Ukrainian items will be available for purchase. Admission is free. For details, go to the church's Facebook page (Holy Ghost Akron) or website hgucc.org.
Send local food news to Katie Byard at 330-996-3781 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow her @KatieByardABJ on Twitter or on Facebook.