This spring, Brian Benchek will move from glass blowing to glass filling when he opens the BottleHouse Brewery in Cleveland Heights.
The glass artist, instructor, and longtime brewer says the time is right to launch a "brewed on premises" operation on Cleveland's East Side. "I've been brewing at the Brew Kettle in Strongsville for six years," Benchek says. "Right now there is a six-month waiting list. They are running 12 kettles two or three times a day to keep up."
So along with business partner and next-door neighbor Dave Schubert, Benchek is converting the former Zagara's at 2066 Lee Road into a roomy microbrewery. The 6,200-square-foot space will include areas for tasting and retail sales, brewing, and cold storage. Customers can brew their choice of approximately 70 beer recipes, then return two weeks later to bottle. Prices range from $100 to $150 for the equivalent of a full keg.
BottleHouse will also brew its own craft beers for sale on site and in local establishments. Guests in the tasting room will snack on an assortment of breads, cheeses, and sandwiches provided by local bakeries.
Arashi Japan has opened in the West Bay Plaza in Westlake, a space that formerly held Brendan O'Neill's Irish Pub and Asuka Japanese Cuisine. Arashi features a sushi bar, a dozen hibachi tables, and private tatami rooms. Find them at 30006 Detroit Rd. or call 440-892-8888.
Slated to open later this month, A Phiner Bistro bills itself as "world cuisine" that borrows from Nigerian, French, Italian, and American diets, among others. A play on owner Phiner (pronounced FEE-na) Dike-Jelden's name, Phiner eschews fat, salt, sugar, butter, heavy cream, and frozen veggies. For four years, Dike-Jelden ran an identical operation in Avon. The new one's at 2199 Lee Rd. in Cleveland Heights. — Trattner