News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Akron Children's Hospital

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Social Issues

Hodges Downtown offers some of the food trucks' playful fare
Chef/owners Chris Hodgson and Scott Kuhn have other big plans
This story is part of a special series.

Vivian Goodman
The Hodges sign grabs attention on Euclid Avenue.
Courtesy of Zach Duvall
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

The Cleveland chef who zoomed to fame in the Great Food Truck Race has taken a pit stop. His trucks will still roll, but for now, he’s parked himself in the kitchen of his new downtown Cleveland restaurant. For this week’s Quick Bite, we visit “Hodges.”

Cleveland's rolling chef plants himself downtown

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (6:15)

Images with audio

Kuhn and Hodgson make it a point to meet once a week over dinner.

Kuhn and Hodgson make it a point to meet once a week over dinner.

Farm to table is a philosophy the partners share.

Farm to table is a philosophy the partners share.

(Click image for larger view.)

Chris Hodgson is the proprietor of two food trucks in Cleveland as well as the chef/owner of Hodges. Hodgson’s “Dim and Den Sum” was the first food truck to hit the streets of Cleveland in 2010. His second truck, “Hodge Podge,” came in second last year in the Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race.

Hodgson’s managing partner at “Hodges,” his first “bricks and mortar” restaurant, is Scott Kuhn, the proprietor of several Cleveland restaurants .

Hodges opened late last month. It took over the former Zinc Bistro in the 668 Euclid Building. It’s an enormous space, 4,400-square feet, with room for 140 patrons inside and another 140 on the patio and outdoor bar.

Both chefs are Clevelanders

Kuhn, now in his mid-30s, grew up in Solon and opened his first restaurant not long after completing his culinary training at the University of Akron. In seven years, he’s expanded his empire to Westlake, Burton, and Cleveland’s Little Italy as well as western Pennsylvania. 

Hodgson, now 26, graduated from Hawken and trained at the Cordon Bleu in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“I grew up working in restaurants around here. Lopez Bar and Grille was my first restaurant gig. Eric Williams, who now owns Momocho, was kind of the first guy who took me under his wing and helped me out.”

The improving economy is helping this new venture. Hodgson says patrons who had stopped going to restaurants are starting to come back.

Aiming for an ambience that’s warm and fun

Hodgson and Kuhn put in a much bigger grill and created an open kitchen. that looks right into the dining room. Hodgson’s put on some special touches, “I got a branding iron so I ran around branding H’s everywhere. It’s been a really fun experience.”

Global , playful comfort food   

The Dim and Den Sum and Hodge Podge trucks will be key to a new catering business Hodgson and Kuhn are setting up. And they’ll keep rolling on the streets of Cleveland , but with a more limited schedule. Like the food on his trucks, Hodgson says the fare at “Hodges” will be “playful, global comfort food.”

“You’ll see classics from corn dogs but instead of actual corn dogs, it’s a lobster, a lamb, and a duck corndog, so a trio of corndogs. Instead of your normal white wine mussels, you’ll see mussels with Korean sausage and curry and coconut milk.”

Bar snacks are also served during happy hour including chicken liver toast and pickle jars, between $1 and $5 .

Kuhn and Hodgson have enough faith in the region’s simmering cuisine scene to dream big. They’re planning a microbrewery for Chagrin Falls next year, looking at another space in Cleveland’s Playhouse district, and hoping to feed sports fans, too.

We breathe, live, and cook for Cleveland so we just want to see great things happen. We actually tried to name the new company, “Hometown Hospitality,” because this is where we want to stay.”

Scott Kuhn and Chris Hodgson have hired 50 employees for “Hodges” and anticipate a workforce of 300 company-wide.

Related Links & Resources
Hodges website

Listener Comments:

Pears of the tree beside our deck!

Posted by: Sophia Testa (Akron, Ohio) on August 9, 2012 9:08AM
Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

Backers of legalizing marijuana in Ohio promise to be back in 2016
We should be aloud to grow more than 4 plants and not have to register with the state considering it will be a free market.

Akron says it's had no second thoughts about welcoming refugees
What business does Councilman Neal own on North Hill? I'd love to support him. I am so glad to have the refugees in our neighborhood. I have lived here for 25 ...

Scarborough says the University of Akron is trying to rebuild relationships
In order for the University of Akron to grow and become a desirable place for students across Ohio and elsewhere, it must address the crime problem in the Akron...

Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite wants to end pay-to-play sports fees at Ohio's schools
You can bet Hite and Husted will also rush to the rescue of the Academic Challenge team, the speech-and-debate squad, the Science Olympians and the chess club. ...

Ohio lawmakers consider new gun bills
States that have gun restrictions/cities have reduced gun violence is false. CHICAGO has some of the toughest gun laaws/restrictions but yet fun violence is off...

Cleveland's public transit system considers fare increase for 2016
I work with individuals with disabilities. Yes some of my folks need more help than the average person. As a whole, the group I work with however can manuver ju...

Community group sues to re-open part of Wadsworth hospital
My father was part of the founding group of citizens which started the "new" Wadsworth/Rittman Hospital. For some reason the leadership for the future of the ho...

The Cleveland Museum of Art presents painters who loved their gardens
brilliant masterpiece, Greetings from

Ohio Sen. Tom Patton proposes bill for firefighter cancer benefits
Thank you Senator Patton. On behalf of all of those who love our firefighters; we appreciate that someone is standing up for them and their continued health. ??...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University