When Market Garden Brewery opens — finally! — this coming Monday, June 27, it will further cement Ohio City as one of the region's preeminent entertainment districts. But more than that, perhaps, is the fact that Ohio City will be one giant step closer to becoming a "brewery district." In addition to granddaddy Great Lakes Brewing, and newcomer Market Garden, there is hope of luring other brewing startups to the neighborhood.
For now, however, we'll have to make do with the fabulous offerings by GLBC and Market Garden, which is under the capable leadership of Andy Tveekrem, former brewmaster for Dogfish Head Brewery (and, years ago, Great Lakes). A sample of Tveekrem's brews reveal an award-winning level of quality, balance and drinkability. Among the 12 house-brewed beers are Scotch Ale, Viking Pale Ale, St. Emeric Stout and Pearl Street Wheat. Additionally, a dozen taps will be reserved for guest beers from around the region. Down the road, Tveekrem and his team will be adding small-batch spirits to the mix.
The build-out may have taken a tad longer than expected, but it is surely worth the wait. The nearly built-from-scratch property will seat approximately 320 on opening day, with another 180 to come when the rooftop patio opens next year. Inside, two large bars ("Because two bars is better than one," owner Sam McNulty wisely points out.) and numerous booths are constructed from warm, dark woods. Outside, protected on three sides by the restaurant and brewhouse, is a spectacular beer garden. Wood-slab communal tables, built around semi-mature trees, are positioned beneath a towering brick fireplace and chimney.
"The beer garden is going to be great place to spend the summer," McNulty says, "but also the winter thanks to the wood-burning fireplace and heaters."
As for the food, chef Mike Nowak says the intent was to craft an approachable brew pub menu that pairs well with beer. "Like at Bar Cento, we will still keep the menu seasonal and as local as possible," he says. Of course, much of the ingredients will be sourced from the West Side Market, which is located all of 20 feet from the brewery.
Starters will include meat and cheese boards, soft pretzels, Scotch egg and currywurst (sausage with fries and curry ketchup). In the sandwich department are half-pound burgers, chorizo Sloppy Joe, and a Cubano. Entrees include buttermilk fried chicken, steak frites, and lobster rolls. A small taco menu will offer trios of flour tortilla-stuffed rolls filled with smoked pork, chili-marinated chicken, rock shrimp and house made chorizo. Prices for the food range from $4 to $17.
"It's definitely been a long, interesting route to get here," adds McNulty, "but we're super excited to be opening another business here in Ohio City."