The Winking Lizard Tavern chain plans to open a new Ohio-themed bar and restaurant in the Galleria at Erieview in downtown Cleveland late this spring or early summer. The bar – called Lizardville Local Bar Local Grille – will focus on Ohio-made beer, liquor and wines, and food when possible. “We’re going to try to tailor it to have as many Ohio beers as I can get on draft and then on the contiguous states to fill in,” Winking Lizard partner John Lane said. The bar will feature about 30 beer taps. The goal is to showcase well-respected craft breweries, distilleries and wineries in Ohio and take advantage of the fact that more people want to drink local products, Lane said. Many Cleveland-area bars and restaurants now may feature only Great Lakes Brewing Co. from Cleveland and Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. from Akron, he said, but there are many more Ohio-made beers and beverages available. He cited Rivertown Brewing Co. in Cincinnati, and distillers Tom’s Foolery in Chagrin Falls and Seven Brothers Distilling Co. in Painesville as examples. The 5,000-square-foot bar will be modeled after the Winking Lizard restaurants in Bedford Heights and Mentor, and include a large outdoor patio. “It should be one of the nicest outdoor patios in the city,” Lane said. “We’re really bullish on that spot in downtown because there’s not enough [bar-restaurant options] around there.” The Galleria is near the yet-to-open Medical Mart site and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
In other Winking Lizard news, the chain is close to inking a deal to open a second Lizardville Beer Store & Whiskey Bar on Center Ridge Road in Rocky River. The goal is to open in late spring, Lane said. The original Lizardville opened earlier this year in Bedford Heights and the new site will be similar. The concept has gone over well with customers. “It’s going fantastic, actually,” Lane said. “It’s just building and building.”