Great Lakes Science Center is revamping its café. And it’s considering hosting happy hours and Cleveland Browns tailgate parties on its sprawling patio, with an impressive view of Lake Erie.
er already hosts plenty of weddings and private events. But it wants to attract the young professionals who live and work downtown – and its location on North Coast Harbor could be the lure.
“People are more focused on the lake,” said science center vice president Sue Allen. “We want people to know we’re not just a geeky science museum that sits between the Rock Hall and First Energy Stadium.”
The museum has hired Chicago-based Levy, which handles food and beverage for the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland. Levy started in October running the center’s catering operations and café on the lower level, which overlooks the lake at the William G. Mather steamship the center also runs.
The new menu currently features items like a rustic grilled cheese with brie, spinach and tomato jam and a chicken sandwich with dill mayonnaise and bacon cole slaw.
Soon, the space will be renovated and the menu will be fresh-cooked to order, rather than precooked and set out cafeteria-style.
Ingredients are fresh and local, executive chef Chris Hawk said, and premaking food would waste the taste.
“We’re really going to try to bring Cleveland into the science center,” said Hawk, who just moved to Cleveland from California. “Everything will be different.
The 10-year contract with Levy includes all of the Science Center’s concessions, special event catering and daily lunches for the on-site ninth grade students from Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s MC2STEM school
“We interviewed several qualified hospitality partners as we neared the end of our former contract, and while the decision was difficult, in the end we felt a new direction was needed to take our guest experience to the next level.” Science Center President & CEO Kirsten Ellenbogen.
The science center plans to add new lighting to its façade to make it look more inviting. It has attracted downtown residents one Saturday a month at its classic Hollywood double feature movie night in the Dome theater.
The museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays when the Browns are not playing at home.