Butcher & the Brewer will be a mash-up of concepts.
There’s the butcher shop and deli with fresh, locally raised meats.
And the 41-foot bar.
And the restaurant with its communal tables.
And the exposed kitchen.
And the speakeasy downstairs with its own entrance.
And the communal bathroom space with one main sink and stalls for both men and women.
Oh, and don’t forget the brewery with the 10-barrel, custom-made, Specific Mechanical Systems brewhouse.
All of these amenities will be stuffed into a 13,000-square-foot space along Cleveland’s East Fourth Street, a lively downtown strip filled with high-end restaurants and bars a short walk from Quicken Loans Arena and Progressive Field.
“A brewery will be a great fit and it won’t be in competition with anybody,” co-owner Jason Workman said last week during a tour. “It just creates a better district with a little more variety. And we can bring a different audience than the restaurants.”
Butcher & the Brewer owners Workman, Chris Lieb and Jeff Leonard — who also operate the Tremont Taphouse in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood — are shooting for a late spring opening. The interior now is a construction zone, as workers are transforming a shell into the city’s newest brewpub.
Brewer Eric Anderson, who once brewed with Buckeye Brewing in Cleveland, is focused on getting the brewery up and running. The stainless steel brewhouse will sit in the back against a wall filled with dark green tiles. There will be no glass separating it from the bar and restaurant, making it the focal point when customers enter.
“It’s going to be pretty striking,” Anderson said.
The brewhouse also will sit in front of a giant, wide staircase with steel rails that leads downstairs to the bathrooms, fermenters, serving tanks and speakeasy.
There should be eight Butcher & the Brewer beers on tap when the brewpub opens, with the ability to go up to 15 later. Growlers will be available.
Anderson is planning an eclectic line-up, including French, German and Belgian-style beers. He has a room set aside for sours. And he’s working on an “albino stout.”
“It’s a stout with a lot of wheat and a lot of oat and espresso extract and white chocolate,” Anderson said. “Tasty. People drink with their eyes.”
The beer won’t be the only interesting part of Butcher & the Brewer. The food will be served when it’s ready — not when an entire party’s meals are ready.
“It’s meant to be a shared experience,” Workman said. “Always a plate of food in front of you. Always a beer in front of you. That’s kind of the goal. Instead of bringing everything out where everybody stops talking and eats dinner at the same time, you kind of have a progressive experience.”