LOLA BISTRO was opened by Michael Symon in 1997 in TREMONT In 1998, a year after the restaurant’s opening, Symon was included as one of Food & Wine magazine's "Best New Chefs”. Lola moved to East 4th Street in downtown Cleveland in 2005. The upscale restaurant became a cornerstone of a revitalized East 4th Street offering Symon’s take on several Midwestern meat dishes. As Symon rose to fame from his victory on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef” and his role on ABC’s “The Chew”, Lola became a symbol of Cleveland’s downtown restaurant scene revival. Signature dishes included beef cheek pierogi which was named to Forbes’ top 10 food dishes of 2015.
Lola was loved by the Cleveland public and the city’s celebrities alike. In an on-field interview during the 2019 MLB All Star Game in Cleveland, CLEVELAND INDIANS' shortstop Francisco Lindor mentioned Lola as one of the city’s best restaurants. Lola closed in 2020 due to economic issues spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Symon’s business partner Doug Petkovic noted that the restaurant’s sales had fallen to 30% of what they had been before the pandemic. He gave credit to the staff for making Lola’s success possible over the years. Mabel’s BBQ which is also located on East 4th Street remains Michael Symon’s only currently (2021) operating restaurant in Cleveland.