Ohio Haunted House Restaurant open, making cinematic, foodie dreams come true

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CLEVELAND HEIGHTS (WJW) — Have you ever wanted to have dinner with Beetlejuice? How about Slimer? Jaws?

If you’re a horror movie fan, or just like good eats and fun, a new restaurant in Cleveland Heights will make all of your cinematic and foodie dreams come true.

The Haunted House Restaurant’s grand opening is Tuesday.

Despite the name, it’s not a real haunted house with scary people and creatures jumping out at you.

The theme? Scary movies and “scary good food.”

“As soon as you walk in, you think movie,” said partner and Browns DJ Ryan Wolf. “You smell popcorn, you see the marquee. It’s a homage to the movies that we grew up with.”

The entrance of the restaurant is designed like a movie theater, with movie posters and overpriced candy. There’s a popcorn machine to add to the scent of the movies to the atmosphere.

As you move into the restaurant, there are giant murals depicting characters from “Beetlejuice,” “It,” “Jaws” and “Halloween.” Scary movies are playing on the TVs.

“I’m a fan of horror movies,” said Wolf. “My parents used to take me to them all the time, so the concept came from the love of horror movies, thriller movies, and we wanted to design the restaurant like a movie theater.”

Wolf and his partners, Andre Scott, Jeremiah Burks and Christopher Thomas, also wanted it to be about the food and the experience. When the three approached Wolf about wanting to open a restaurant, he said he was quick to come up with a plan.

“In 15 minutes,” he said, “I thought about having the restaurant The Haunted House. I needed people to question, what is the haunted house restaurant, is it scary? I didn’t want it to be scary because I wanted to care about the food, wanted to have that experience.”

The restaurant, which is family-friendly, boasts an all-day brinner, or breakfast and lunch, along with American cuisine and drinks with names based on movie characters and titles.

The chef is Darnell “SuperChef” Ferguson, who has appeared on several food competitions and TV shows. Wolf saw his work at an event in Columbus prior to becoming involved in the restaurant and said his food was amazing and based on superhero characters.

That’s where he got the inspiration for the restaurant and its menu.

Some of the appetizers on the menu include Scooby Snacks, which are nachos with pulled chicken; Nashville Massacre, or fried hot shrimp; and Chucky Rolls, which are southern egg rolls with chicken, greens, mac and cheese and sweet potato puree.

Main dishes include The Lurch Burger, a beef patty with caramelized onions, smoked gouda and more; The Grudge, which includes salmon with fried asparagus; and the Birdbox sandwich, a fried chicken breast with cajun mayo, brown sugar slaw, white American cheese and Haunted Sauce.

Then there are the drinks: The Candyman, Creepy Crawlers Mojito, Ecto Cooler and The Mist.

Music will be from the 1980s, with most songs from horror and thriller movie soundtracks to “take you back” to that era.

“We still want to make sure it’s a feel-good vibe,” said Wolf. “Kids can come in and it’s familiar music that you can sit down and sing.”

The Haunted House Restaurant is located at 13463 Cedar Road in Cleveland Heights, where the former Melt restaurant once operated.

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