Revolution Rotisserie & Bar has come far since its early days as a chicken-and-pita-sandwich pop-up in Findlay Market. After expanding into a full restaurant on Race Street in 2015, Revolution is extending its reach with a second location in Pleasant Ridge.
Revolution will replace what was formerly Emanu East African Restaurant at 6063 Montgomery Road.
“We are just incredibly excited about the community (in Pleasant Ridge),” says co-owner Nick Pesola. “It’s very engaged with their restaurants. There’s a nice balance of urban-suburban authenticity to it.”
The current trajectory has the new restaurant opening its doors in September. However, Pesola is well aware that unforeseen obstacles could bump the opening to October.
“I’m definitely known for pushing the limits and getting things done quickly, but at the same time, we also want to make sure that when we open our doors in Pleasant Ridge, we’re ready to go,” Pesola says.
Having signed the lease for the new location in June, Pesola is now working to perfect the restaurant’s interior so it features a similar atmosphere to the Over-the-Rhine location, which mixes a Southern farmhouse feel with metropolitan accents. He is also putting a substantial amount of resources and effort into renovating the restaurant’s exterior.
“We’re going to do some painting, new signage, lighting and really pretty up the exterior,” he says. “I think it’s really going to pop.”
The “pop” Pesola speaks of won’t be limited to the outside — with an updated menu and new chef in the kitchen, Pesola plans for the food to pop as well.
With the recent addition of Executive Chef Dana Adkins — formerly of Eli’s BBQ, Cooper’s Hawk and The Eagle OTR — Revolution will continue the restaurant’s highly regarded and artful approach to rotisserie and decadent meat-focused dishes, but with a new focus on refining already popular dishes.
“Nick and I have the same mentality, ideology on food and people and how we embrace the current environment,” Adkins says. “We really give people an experience that’s different because we’re not trying to do too much; we’re actually kind of simplifying it. My focus really is polishing what we’re already doing and doing it better.”
Despite having joined Revolution less than two months ago, Adkins has already added his own flair to the preparation of Revolution’s roasted carrots and is bringing in locally grown produce from neighboring farms. He has also had a worthwhile impact on the baby back ribs with his dry rub, which general manager Scott Johnson has seen result in gleaming reviews from customers.
“I think we’ve gotten a lot of good compliments on even the minor tweaks we’ve already done,” Johnson says.
Similarly to Adkins, Johnson joined Pesola’s team at Revolution less than two months ago. He is expected to manage the second location.
While Johnson takes the helm as manager in Pleasant Ridge, Adkins will oversee all culinary operations at both of the locations.
The Pleasant Ridge location is expected to boast a similar menu to the OTR space, but Pesola plans to place a stronger emphasis on Revolution’s dinner menu to tailor to the family-driven Pleasant Ridge community. To meet the demands for the dinner crowd, Pesola will lean on Adkins to keep creative in the kitchen.
“We started doing baby back ribs, porchetta, churrasco steak and Dana is working on developing a bunch of other rotational meats like prime rib, duck, lamb and some fish items,” he says.
While Adkins’ carnivorous creations are expected to change seasonally, Pesola’s expanding franchise should have no problem meeting the needs of both the OTR and Pleasant Ridge communities regardless of season.
Having worked in restaurants since he was 15 years old, Johnson is convinced both Revolution’s fare and general concept are sound and worth investing himself in.
“It’s what I like,” he says. “It’s not fine-dining. It’s a little bit more causal and definitely a neighborhood place.”
REVOLUTION ROTISSERIE & BAR is slated to open in September at 6063 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge. More info: revolutionrotisserie.com.