We had the chance to sit down with the Executive Director of Ooh De Lally, Tim Steinbach, to get the low down on the new nonprofit restaurant coming to the Dundee Neighborhood. They are on a mission to ensure “a seat for everyone at the table,” by serving customers delicious food while simultaneously providing avenues for success to formerly incarcerated individuals.  

What’s the story behind the name? 

The name “Ooh De Lally” was inspired by a tune from the ’70s classic movie, Robin Hood—a fitting homage to a tale of camaraderie. As Tim puts it, “We are a band of people who do good together.”  

Why the Dundee neighborhood? 

The restaurant is located in the former home of Mark’s, a beloved neighborhood gem that closed its doors in 2023. Ooh De Lally is a natural fit for the close-knit Dundee community. Steinbach and his team deliberately chose this location to bring their vision to life, knowing it would resonate deeply with the spirit of the neighborhood. When visiting the space, you’ll notice a few nods to the former restaurant that sat on Dundee for 20 years. 

Who’s making it all happen? 

More than a restaurant, Ooh De Lally is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering formerly incarcerated individuals in the culinary and hospitality industries. The concept is inspired by Edwins, a Cleveland, Ohio award winning French fine dining restaurant, bakery, and butcher shop which focuses on supporting formally incarcerated individuals through job training. Ooh De Lally’s innovative approach is made possible through the generous support of The Sherwood Foundation and Metro Community College’s I80 RAP Program.  

How does the program work? 

Offering rotational experience from prep cooking to front-of-house positions, participants in the I80 RAP Program receive invaluable training and support for long-term success. They have the flexibility to continue their journey at Ooh De Lally, pursue outside opportunities with references from their experience in the restaurant, or further their education at Metro Community College. 

What is on the menu? 

Ooh De Lally will be sourcing local ingredients and serving upscale comfort food. Tim shared there is even a nostalgic mac ‘n’ cheese inspired by the beloved Marks restaurant. His menu recommendations? The lobster rolls and scallops are a must-try! 

Who created the artwork in the restaurant? 

Step inside Ooh De Lally, and you’ll find stunning pieces of commissioned art by the talented Eduardo De Guardo. Tim says they were happy to work with De Guardo in planning pieces for the space as he is not only an artist but someone with lived experience.  

Opening Month! 

With its doors set to open this March, Ooh De Lally invites you to join them at their new location on 4916 Underwood Avenue. Come for the food, stay for the community. 

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