Foodies all around University Heights are gearing up for a very sweet addition to the Fairmount Circle Shopping Center, located just outside the main entrance of John Carroll University. Sweet Melissa, a popular west side Cleveland restaurant known for its fresh twist on old favorites and big, customizable salads, is setting up in the former location of North Park Grille, which closed in March.
Matthew Ullom, owner and creator of Sweet Melissa and Café Melissa, said that people who have never dined at Sweet Melissa will not know what to expect.
“I wanted to open a restaurant where I wanted to eat; a place that is simple and unique,” said Ullom. “I wanted it to be fresh while being able to cater to people’s dietary needs.”
The restaurant has a large selection of vegetarian and vegan options, as well as old favorites prepared with salmon, chicken or beef. Ullom describes his restaurant as unique in the fact that every item can be tailored to a person’s specific dietary needs.
“We are all about the best possible food,” Ullom explained in his mission statement. “We use the absolute freshest, healthiest ingredients we can ﬁnd. We shop organic when we can and we shop local when we can. This means there are no antibiotics or hormones in our meats or poultry. It also means that our milk is always organic, and our eggs are farm-fresh, brown eggs.”
Students, faculty and staff at JCU, as well as the surrounding community, expressed excitement about University Heights’ newest place to grab a bite.
“John Carroll University is excited to have Sweet Melissa at the Fairmount Circle Shopping Center,” said Tonya Strong, director of media relations and communications at JCU. “It will be a welcome addition for our students, campus visitors and neighbors.”
Susan K. Infeld, mayor of University Heights, said she is also excited about the addition of Sweet Melissa to the shops at Fairmount Circle.
“It completes a fine selection of restaurants on John Carroll Boulevard, and its opening is eagerly anticipated by local foodies,” Infeld said. “As someone with a sweet tooth, I’m looking forward to sampling their award-winning desserts.”
Shaker Heights mayor Earl Leiken also expressed his excitement about the addition of Sweet Melissa to the shopping center.
“We’re extremely pleased to learn that Sweet Melissa will be moving into the city,” he said. “It’s one of the growing numbers of independently owned restaurants and shops in Shaker Heights and is sure to become a new family favorite. I know it will be a valuable addition to the Fairmount Circle shopping center as well as to the two cities which share the facility.”
Technology that will allow JCU students to use their Carroll Card at the restaurant is currently in the works. Students will also be offered a 10 percent discount with their student ID.
“I can’t wait for Sweet Melissa to open outside of John Carroll,” said sophomore Alora Cinicola. “I’ve been to the one in Rocky River and their tofu Thai fry is seriously the best.”
The Fairmount location will feature a to-go coffee bar and convenient options for students on the go, including breakfast options, juices and smoothies.
This sweet spot is scheduled to open its doors sometime after Thanksgiving break.