Sauce the City Express opens at MetroHealth CH
For the past month, Victor Searcy Jr. and his staff have been helping to feed employees, patients, and visitors at MetroHealth Cleveland Heights Medical Center at 10 Severance Circle.
Searcy's Sauce the City Express opened July 31 on the second floor of the medical office building, offering a different featured menu item, and a selection of gourmet coffees, each weekday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Searcy is a graduate of Benedictine High School and Kent State University, where he honed his entrepreneurial skills.
Sauce the City is known for its chicken and flavorful sauces. Since February 2022, Searcy has operated a takeout-only spot in the Cedar Green shopping center, at 14480 Cedar Road in University Heights.
Before that, he operated out of a multiple-restaurant complex in Ohio City for several years. Sauce the City also is a fixture at First Energy Stadium and Rocket Mortgage Field House during football and basketball seasons.
Sauce the City Express operates out of the kitchen area on the medical building's second floor. Because the building doesn’t have a full kitchen, Searcy and his staff cook and prep all food items at the University Heights location—just over three miles away—and transport everything to the Cleveland Heights campus.
The public is invited to stop in for takeout, but Searcy sees feeding the employees who work at the medical center as his top priority.
Searcy and MetroHealth have history together. In the spring of 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Searcy organized a “Feed the Nurses Challenge.”
“All of the medical people were getting worn out,” Searcy said. “We established a plan that we would do pop-ups at the different hospital systems.”
The challenge paired donors and local restaurants via social media, enabling them to provide lunch for healthcare workers at other local hospital systems, in addition to MetroHealth.
“Ever since then, we’ve had an open-door relationship with MetroHealth,” he said. “Everyone from the administration on down knows who we are.”
For the past three years, Searcy has occasionally provided catered meals for MetroHealth staff and has been a featured guest vendor in MetroHealth’s main campus cafeteria.
Recently, Searcy started getting more feedback from employees based at Cleveland Heights. They told him they wished they could enjoy Sauce the City, too.
That feedback made its way to MetroHealth’s Dining and Nutrition Services Department.
“They told me that they really needed some help with expanding the food options out at Cleveland Heights,” Searcy said. “I’m not going to say no. I love a challenge.”
To accommodate the new MetroHealth location, Sauce the City in University Heights is now open from 5 to 9 p.m. on weekdays. Weekend hours remain the same.
Angela Townsend is a senior writer in the Department of Marketing and Communications at The MetroHealth System.