Take Two on a Timely Concept

Twice-baked fingerling potato tart with aged cheddar, bacon, and chives.
Twice-baked fingerling potato tart with aged cheddar, bacon, and chives. Barney Taxel

Twenty-five hundred miles from the original outpost, Urban Farmer Cleveland upholds its local sourcing and artisan touches.

Urban Farmer Cleveland Steakhouse
Owner: Sage Restaurant Group
Location: Cleveland
Description: A modern steakhouse with a bright, airy atmosphere and in-house butchery team.
Opened: June 2014

A year before Urban Farmer Cleveland was set to open, a restaurant team from Portland, Oregon, traveled east to meet Cleveland’s farmers, ranchers, and fishermen.

“We went to Cleveland and talked to farmers and ranchers to let them know what our intentions were,” says Matt Christianson, director of culinary operations for Urban Farmer. “Since then, we have grown those relationships and their operations along with ours.”

Once a month, the restaurant takes delivery of a whole cow from New Creation Farms that feeds at least 600 people with dishes such as braised beef and short ribs. “We do all of our own grind,” Christianson says. “And we render all of the fat from the cows and use it as candles.”

With its local, organic sourcing and décor that showcases the work of community artisans, Urban Farmer Cleveland’s Steakhouse has quickly made its mark on the city’s vibrant restaurant scene. Owned by Denver-based Sage Restaurant Group, Urban Farmer presents a chic ambiance that evokes the quaintness of a restored farmhouse and the minimalism of mid-20th century modernism.

The 260-seat restaurant is the second outpost for Urban Farmer; the original location is firmly entrenched in the downtown scene of Portland, Oregon. A third iteration is slated to open next year in Philadelphia.

Meats take center stage on the menu. With three butchers who work in a temperature-controlled butchering room, Urban Farmer specializes in dry-aged beef and is also able to menu an incredible selection of charcuterie and barbecue. “We even make our own pastrami,” says Christianson, who estimates the restaurant uses about 80 percent local ingredients during the summer months and 30 percent during winter.

Connected to the Westin Cleveland Downtown and opened simultaneously, Urban Farmer serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week. Tickets average $15 at breakfast, $20 at lunch, and $70 at dinner. Urban Farmer employs about 75 people and runs the hotel’s food and beverage as well as its Starbucks.


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