Old Brooklyn’s Drink Bar and Grill to Become Opal on Pearl


For the past five years, the Drink Bar and Grill has served as a popular watering hole for the Old Brooklyn neighborhood. That bar closed this past weekend. But the property won’t sit idle for long as industry veteran Tony Mellon has purchased the business and will open Opal on Pearl (4250 Pearl Rd.) in mid-July.

“What appealed to me about the space was that it was already built out and was turnkey,” Mellon explains.

Mellon, who describes the previous business as a craft cocktail-heavy speakeasy, will shift the format into one that is more wine-focused.

“I’m not calling it a wine bar because I’m not a sommelier and I don’t want to pretend that I know more than I do, but after 30-something years in this business, I know what people want,” he says.

In addition to the wine list, Opal will carry local craft draft and enough booze to fashion basic cocktails. The beverages will be paired with sharable small plates like warm olives, burrata, artichoke dip, stuffed dates and flatbreads. Cheeseboards will be outfitted with Old Brooklyn cheese, naturally.

“My concept is like, if I was traveling and I stumbled upon a cool little bar, what would I like to eat,” Mellon says.

During his 30-plus years in the hospitality industry, Mellon has worked with names like Michael Symon, Sergio Abramof, Karen Small and Eric Williams at places such as Caxton Cafe, Johnny’s on Fulton, Lola and Flying Fig, where he worked for 13 years as manager.

Mellon says that he moved to Old Brooklyn from Tremont 13 years ago and has watched as it steadily progresses in a manner not unlike his previous neighborhood.

“There’s everyone from families to young, up-and-coming businesspeople to older people,” he explains. “There’s a nice mix of people in this neighborhood and I’m hoping to capitalize on that.”

If all goes as planned, Opal could be open as soon as Friday, July 13th.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.