The Ironwood Cafe brings culinary experience in fine cuisine to the table

One of Ironwood’s specialties is house-smoked BBQ pork over kettle chips with cheese sauce. Photo by Eric Eakin

It is not often that you find a neighborhood tavern rooted in fine cuisine. But that is the case with the Ironwood Café.

The owners of the Ironwood Café bring years of combined culinary experience to the table. In addition to the Ironwood Café in Westlake and the second location at Kamm’s Corners, the restaurant group also operates Southside and Press in Tremont, and Market and Wine Bar in Rocky River.

Joe Dubbs, Ironwood Café chef, part owner and operator, is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University. His passion is barbecue and that is evident from looking at his restaurants’ menus.”Our barbecue has come a long way,” Dubbs noted.

Offerings range from appetizers like “porkos,” or house-smoked pulled pork served over kettle chips with jalapeno peppers, house-made cheese sauce and scallions, to the CLE pork sandwich with Stadium Mustard, barbecue sauce and country slaw. The smoked chicken flatbread is topped with Gouda cheese and cilantro lime crème, and St. Louis-style ribs are served with a trio of homemade sauces. Apple wood-smoked beef brisket dinners are featured on Fridays. The Ironwood Café also specializes in off-site catering, pig roasts and clambakes.

The Westlake location is offering an in-house clambake, with seating in the restaurant, on the patio and in the nearby Copper Cup party center, on Oct. 8. Dinner includes your choice of a half-chicken or strip steak served with clams, salad, clam chowder and potatoes. The Kamm’s Corner restaurant is having its in-house clambake on Oct. 17, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The meal features house-smoked chicken or beef brisket, accompanied by clams and sides.

The menus at the Ironwood Café restaurants vary seasonally, but customer favorites remain. “The two locations mirror each other,” Dubbs said. “We’re a neighborhood bar at the end of the day and we alter our menus to reflect the neighborhoods we serve. We opened our Westlake restaurant in 2002 and our success there offered us the opportunity to open a second location in December 2014.” 

Each location specializes in homemade soups, daily affordable specials and a lengthy draft beer list, with banquet facilities and a friendly and attentive staff.

Visit to learn about upcoming events, Browns game food specials and weekend beer features. Both Ironwood Café locations are now booking holiday parties. The Westlake restaurant is at 688 Dover Center Road; phone 440-835-9900. The Kamm’s Corners restaurant is at 17209 Lorain Avenue; phone 216-860-1190.

To suggest a restaurant for consideration in the Restaurant Spotlight feature, email Cynthia Eakin at

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Volume 7, Issue 19, Posted 10:24 AM, 10.06.2015