With Heck's Café rolling merrily along in Ohio City and BRGR 9 doing "better than expected" in the Warehouse District, owner Fadi Daoud has made another move. Earlier this month, he purchased D'Vine Wine Bar from the original owners who opened it about 14 years ago.
"The place has a great reputation," Daoud offers as his motivation. "It's the only wine bar downtown."
The new owner says that while the wine bar has been doing fine, the neighborhood around it had lost a little sparkle.
"It's not so much the place itself as it is downtown in general that lost some charm over the past few years. But now I see downtown coming back; it's happening again."
Some updating inside and out will take place in the coming weeks and months. A new menu with wine bar-style food like small plates, pizzas, tapas, and a few entrées will also be unveiled. Longtime chef Robert Broka is staying aboard.
D'Vine is at 836 West St. Clair Ave. Learn more at 216-241-8463 or dvinewinebar.com.
NEW IN HUDSON: On April 28, the 53-year-old Hudson mainstay Reserve Inn closed its doors. And on Monday, June 11, Lager & Vine Gastropub & Wine Bar opened in its place.
Owners Cliff and Katie Cravens have spent the last month gutting and rebuilding the dated restaurant, which had failed to hold its own against newer spots in the area.
Cravens was most recently the operating partner for Fleming's Prime Steakhouse, while Katie spent more than a decade at the Cleveland Chophouse.
"We did a total 180 on what was there," says Cravens. "We replaced the carpet with wood floors. We covered the walls with 120-year-old reclaimed barn wood from a barn in Ravenna. We added brick to the walls."
The restaurant will accommodate 140 guests in a bar and dining room. A patio will be added next spring.
Lager and Vine is the first restaurant in Ohio to carry wines on draft, offering Napa Valley wines by the glass, flight, and bottle. While new to Ohio, kegged wine is commonplace out west, where it is appreciated for its environmental friendliness. It's great for consumers, too, because it is dispensed by low-pressure nitrogen, an inert gas that prevents oxidation in wine.
Craft beer is sold as well, on tap and in the bottle.
The chef is Austin Stewart, who most recently opened multiple Brick House Tavern locations. He's presiding over a menu of small plates, sharable appetizers, flatbread pizzas, steaks, and fresh-cut seafood.
"The gastropub label has less to do with the food than it does the beer and wine selection and the atmosphere," adds Cravens.
"I feel like many of the restaurants in Hudson do a great job, but diners have to get a little gussied up to go into them. I want you to feel comfortable coming in to grab a bite with your girlfriend, or just coming off the golf course with your buddies."
Lager & Vine is open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. every day except Sunday. Expect the spot to stay open a little later on Friday and Saturday evenings. Lunch service is set to debut soon.
You'll find them at 30 West Streetsboro Rd. Call them at 330-650-1717, or check them at out at lagerandvine.com.