Tuesday, Jul 17, 2018
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FILLING THE GAP

New eatery planned for Docks in East Toledo

Will occupy old Forrester’s site

A successful restaurateur and former Perrysburg resident plans to open a new restaurant next month in a prime spot at The Docks in East Toledo.

Rossi Penney, who once managed Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano in Levis Commons in Perrysburg, said his new Pier 7 restaurant will be a “modern entertainment complex with prime burgers, prime steaks, fishbowl drinks, a bar, a vintage arcade, a private event room, and two cabanas outside.”

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The new Pier 7 restaurant opening in July will occupy the East Toledo space that formerly housed Forrester's On The River in The Docks.

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It will be in the part of The Docks most recently occupied by Forrester’s On The River, which closed in 2015. Before that, it was the site of Admiral’s, and before that the Navy Bistro. Opening is set tentatively for the first week of July. The Docks are a row of restaurants along the Maumee River, across from downtown.

The concept of Pier 7, which will employ 40 to 45, is similar to a string of popular restaurants Mr. Penney has been involved with, including Punch Bowl Social in Cleveland’s Flats and Port Social in Port Clinton. He also was involved in another establishment in the Flats, the East End Restaurant & Bar.

Pier 7 takes its name from another restaurant Mr. Penney was involved in — Salt 7 in Delray Beach, Fla. The name refers to seven exotic sea salts used to season steaks and burgers.

Mr. Penney has a partner in Pier 7, Eric Manzo, an entrepreneur and restaurateur from Cleveland. “He has a vision for The Docks and was very passionate about bringing this (Pier 7) concept to Toledo,” Mr. Penney said.

The pair could have begun the Pier 7 concept anywhere but chose Toledo. Mr. Penney was a student at the University of Toledo and lived in Perrysburg but now lives in Avon, Ohio, near Cleveland. “My answer is, ‘Why not Toledo?’ ”

For Pier 7, Mr. Penney said he has hired some managers and kitchen staff that he previously worked with at Biaggi’s.

Mr. Penney also has been working with Scott Prephan from Five Lakes Global Realty to get the property ready after signing a lease six weeks ago.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.

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