Newdle Bar Opens in Downtown Kent


Brian Smith

Ashleigh Grenfell of Streetsboro serves patrons at the soft opening at the Newdle Bar on South Water Street. Newdle Bar is a new bar that features top shelf sake and will have live music on Fridays. Photo by Brian Smith.

Kate Murphy

Hiroshi Tsuji and Josalyn Barton think they have created the perfect combination of atmosphere, food and entertainment to make the Newdle Bar on the corner of Haymaker Parkway and South Water Street the place to be.

With a sleek, modern feel, a 42-foot-long bar and pictures of rock artists such as Bob Marley, The Beatles and David Bowie covering the walls — it is anything but your typical Asian restaurant.

“This is exciting. It’s different,” Tsuji, owner of the Newdle Bar, said. “The atmosphere is completely different than my pervious restaurants.”

Tsuji is no stranger to the business. He has had more than 12 different restaurants during his extensive career and at one point was manning four different ones at the same time.

“He has been a wonderful mentor,” Barton, general manager of Newdle Bar, said. “I have learned so much from him. He has really pushed me and made me grow, and we work really well together.”

Barton used to be bar manager at one of Tsuji’s former establishments, Hiroshi’s Pub in Beachwood. When Tsuji was approached about opening a restaurant in Kent, he asked Barton to jump on board with him.

The concept of the Newdle Bar comes from New York City. Japanese noodles and noodle bars are very trendy in the city among its residents.

“We wanted to do something different and this was it,” said Barton. “But we wanted to incorporate something we knew was already a success which is his sushi. We went to New York and ended up finding out these big bowls of homemade Asian noodles are a huge trend. So we really stated focusing on that.”

Tsuji and Barton are focusing on a healthy menu with a cool night scene.

“It’s a very healthy type of food,” Tsuji said. “It’s chicken with no filling or additives — very pure chicken. The difference between this and my previous restaurants is it is more of a drinking place.”

Newdle Bar has its grand opening for dinner Friday from 4 to10 p.m. It will be open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 to 10 p.m. for dinner on weekdays. On weekends, the bar will be open until 2:30 a.m. with live music on Fridays and a DJ on Saturdays.

“We want to be competitive with the other businesses in the area, but we also really want to fit into Kent’s community and be fair with our prices,” Barton said. “We’re just so excited to be here, and we’re trying to figure it all out. We want to make sure this becomes staple in this community. We want to be here for a long time.”

Randy Ruttenberg, principal of Fairmount Properties, a real estate development company, is proud of the development in Kent and especially with the new addition of the Newdle Bar.

“As owners of this project, we are hugely excited to have this establishment here,” Ruttenberg said. “Not a lot of people know but Hiroshi Tsuji is one of the original sushi guys in Cleveland, and he is a phenomenal operator. He is so good with his people, and the food is amazing. I really hope everyone comes out and tries it.”

Contact Kate Murphy at [email protected].