The soul of the restaurant will stay the same, but soon new owners will take over one of the most popular places to dine in the metro-east.
Jenny Cleveland and Eric “Ed” Heath, the owners of Cleveland-Heath in Edwardsville, recently sold their restaurant to St. Louis area natives.
Keith and Kari McGinness will soon take over the restaurant with a cult following. The couple doesn’t plan to change the restaurant, Cleveland said, noting that most customers won’t notice the switch.
“The truth is our staff has been running the restaurant anyway,” Cleveland said. “And, those familiar faces will stay the same.”
As for Cleveland and Heath, the couple plans to move to Salt Lake City where they will take on jobs with a local restaurant group. They plan to transition slowly from Illinois to Utah to keep things running smoothly, Cleveland said.
“People tend to panic when they get this kind of news,” she said. “It’s still a great place. Nothing will change.”
Staple menu items will stay on the menu. Customers, however, will soon get to know the new owners. Keith McGinness, a Collinsville native, started working at Shoney’s at age 17.
He’s remained in the industry since then. In his most recent role, he served as the director for 25 Applebee’s locations. His wife Kari, who grew up in St. Louis, has held several positions through the years, from bartending and serving to management, with an emphasis on the front of the house.
“The people coming here are really invested in the community,” Cleveland said. “We really want people to understand that this a positive change.”