It’s curtains for Press Wine Bar
(2221 Professor Ave., 216-566-9463), says owner John Owen. Come the end of the month, the four-year-old finer-dining Tremont restaurant will close. When it reopens in spring, it will do so with a different name, chef, concept and design.
“The wine bar concept obviously didn’t work,” Owen says. “We’re trying to be more of a neighborhood tavern, a place where people can watch a sporting event or just grab a shot and a beer.”
Management is working with designers to create a more casual environment. Chef Josh Smith will preside over an approachable menu of snacks, starters and high-quality sandwiches. There will be no entrees.
The largest physical changes will take place in the large back room. That’s where approximately four duckpin bowling lanes will be installed. Popular along the East Coast, duckpin features 10 short, squat pins and softball-sized balls with no finger holes. Bowlers get three balls per frame instead of the usual two. String-based pinsetters will right the fallen pins.
The room will likely also include some pinball machines and dome hockey, but no classic arcade games, says Owen.
“We’re looking for things that are interactive,” he notes. “Not just staring at a video game.”
When it does reopen, it will do so under the moniker Hi and Dry, which is the name of the tavern that the Southside replaced. Sherman DeLozier, Southside owner and partner to Owen, says the name is intended as a tribute.
“I had my first date with my wife at the Hi and Dry, so it’s always had a special place in my heart,” he says.
Long before there was Fat Cats or Lola or Fahrenheit or Dante there was the Hi and Dry, an affordable neighborhood tavern that went through a few changes of ownership. DeLozier, who admits that fine-dining was never really his thing, says that he appreciates the time and place when everything wasn’t so high-brow in Tremont.
“I’d love to bring some of those elements back,” he says.
Look for the new-old Hi and Dry to open in April with “bar hours,” 4 to close seven days a week. Lunch might be added down the road.