When Kevin and Ann Thomas announced their plans for Western Reserve Distillery, a “grain-to-glass” distillery on Madison Avenue in Lakewood, they stated that a new restaurant would be part and parcel of the operation. Just who would operate that restaurant and what the concept would be, however, was still TBD.
Now we know.
Chef Eddie Tancredi, formerly of Adega at The 9, will open Distill Table
“It’s very exciting news,” Tancredi says. “This is why I came back home. I’ve been very fortunate to work in some great establishments, but now to actually do what I’ve always wanted to do is really something special.”
Although the two enterprises will share the same parcel, they are independent operations, he explains. The Thomases will be the owner-operators of the distillery and Tancredi will be the owner-operator of the restaurant. Western Reserve will take up residence in an existing four-story building, formerly the Fridrich building (14221 Madison Ave.), while Distill Table is going into a new structure that is being built immediately next door.
Tancredi says that his vision for the restaurant was a perfect match with those of Kevin and Ann Thomas.
“I know a lot of the places I’ve worked have been high-end, but I’m from Cleveland; this is my hometown,” says Tancredi. “When it comes down to it, what I really enjoy cooking is down-to-earth. Keep it simple but do it right. Everything on the menu, people will know what it is.”
The focus of the farm-to-table eatery will be on affordable, customizable small plates, shared items, sandwiches, pizzas and a handful of chef features. Diners can build their own experience around charcuterie items like pates, torchon, rillettes, salumi and Ohio cheeses. A “Crispy Craving” section will be flush with snacks like housemade chips and pork rinds. Lunch service will feature speedy lunch combos. There will be weekend brunch.
Naturally, the beverage program will be built around Western Reserve spirits like vodka, gin, rum and whiskey. Ohio craft beers will be in tall supply.
The 55-seat interior, which is being designed by Christian Kalinyak of Burntwood Tavern fame, will feature a chef’s counter at the open kitchen, communal seating, and a bar and lounge area. An inside-outside bar will open to the patio in warm weather.
Next door, the distillery will feature a tasting room, tour area and gift shop.
The goal is to have both businesses open simultaneously, says Tancredi, which should occur in late summer or early fall.