Bricco adds Italian flavor to downtown scene

A dining room of guests enjoy Italian-style meals, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, at Bricco downtown just 13 days after the restaurant’s initial opening.

Grace Murray

The City of Kent is moving forward in its downtown development project as Fairmount Properties’ Landmark at Kent, a residential and dining space formally known as Building C, enters its final phases. 

Though Fairmount Properties project manager Adam Branscomb said the residential section of the space would not be completed until April 1st, locals are getting a taste of the final project as Bricco opened its doors on the ground level of the South Depeyster Street location.

Bricco owner David Glenny began welcoming customers on January 9th and said the Italian-themed restaurant has done extremely well in its first two weeks.

Although unwilling to delve into exact numbers, Glenny said the restaurant is “right on target” in terms of projected sales – a number he expects to be in the same range as his Akron location of the same name. 

“[Business] has been great,” Glenny said. “It’s been extremely busy, and things have been running pretty smoothly. We’re happy to be one of the last pieces here.”

Similarly, Kent Economic Development Director Dan Smith said Bricco filled a niche that wasn’t previously being served.

“Bricco has a different product offering than what we’ve seen in Kent prior,” Smith said, “but I think it’s complimentary to what’s already here. We’ve got a good mix of restaurants that aren’t cannibalizing one another.”

Mirroring Smith, Glenny said the other restaurants and businesses welcomed him with open arms – in fact, he’s partnered with Laziza owner Mike Awad on new valet parking.

“I actually brought our valet service here from Akron,” Glenny said. “We’re the first to do valet here in Kent, and Mike piggybacked onto that. We’re using the same company and doing valet services for our customers Thursdays, Friday and Saturday.” 

Smith said Bricco is helping to fulfill the vision sought in the beginning phases of development – a cohesive central business district that offers something for a person of any age.

“Kent is becoming more of a destination,” Smith said. “You spend the entire day downtown and eat at a different place for every meal.”

In addition to offering a mix of businesses and restaurants, Branscomb said attracting community members outside of Kent is helping them exceed previous projections.

“The sales that we’re seeing are coming from Kent and surrounding areas,” Branscomb said, “so we’re not just appealing to Kent residents. We have a larger captive market for the restaurants, which is what you like to see.”

Branscomb said the upscale apartments, located on the four floors above Bricco, should only add to the progression.

“Right now, the apartments are about 35 percent full,” Branscomb said, “and that’s nine months before we even open. Once residents move in, more and more people will be able to take advantage of what we’ve built here in downtown Kent.”

Glenny said he doesn’t expect the apartment opening to send sales through the roof, as he assumes residents won’t be eating at Bricco for every meal, but he does expect success to continue.

“A lot of the restaurants that have opened in downtown have been fast, casual as opposed to what we offer in a sit-down, sort-of upscale restaurant,” Glenny said. “But our prices aren’t extremely high. We have the same prices as restaurants that aren’t as upscale. That puts us in a good place.”

Contact Grace Murray at [email protected]