COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the restaurant industry, effectively shutting down establishments and forcing others to offer limited services. However, one Cincinnati business owner isn’t letting the challenges of the pandemic complicate his goals.
Chanaka De Lanerolle, a University of Cincinnati alum and Sri Lankan immigrant, pushed to reopen Teak—a former Mt. Adams establishment—as the newly minted Teak OTR. The launch took place Friday, July 17 at its new location on 12th and Race streets, the epicenter of Over-the-Rhine’s eclectic food scene. In a press release earlier this month, Lanerolle said he chose to reopen Teak in OTR because the area’s revival is similar to one he witnessed in Mt. Adams during his many years working there.
In addition to carrying over his experiences from owning The Celestial, Longworth’s, and the Mt. Adams Fish House, Lanerolle is also fitting Teak OTR with the best culinary tools at his disposal. With kitchen staff from previous endeavors onboard, as well as an affordable menu popping with bright, eastern flavors, the restaurant promises to live up to—and exceed—its former glory. Lanerolle says that one important adaptation is offering small bites, such as dumplings, in addition to classic dishes like pad Thai and stir-fry.
Though he was prepared for the launch, Lanerolle says the timeline was interrupted by a few hiccups. “I was planning to open at the end of last year, but construction took longer then I thought,” he says. “Then, when we were about to open, our industry got shut down. It was a hard decision, but I finally [decided] to open. My kitchen and sushi staff had been waiting.”
Teak OTR, 1200 Race Street, Over-the-Rhine, (513) 421-8325