The owner of Zar Nightclub in downtown Akron bought the site of the former Ohio Brewing Co. in the old O’Neil’s department store for $155,000 at auction Thursday.
Jeff Lorenzo said minutes after the auction that he hadn’t decided whether he would seek to lease the space to another bar operator or open his own pub/restaurant in the 17,000-square-foot space that fronts Main Street just south of Lock 3 Park.
“It’s a great property,” Lorenzo said.
The old Ohio Brewing Co. site, at 222 S. Main St., is one of three properties that sold Friday morning at consecutive auctions held in the former brewery.
Also sold was the former Schermesser Funeral Home, to a funeral director who declined to be identified. He said he planned to open a funeral home there. The property, at 1446 S. Main St., sold for $159,500, including the $14,500 “buyer’s premium.”
The third property sold was townhome lots — the second phase of the Bramble Woods development — in Doylestown. A Columbus developer, Ron Sabatino, representing T&R Properties Inc., bought the 5.5-acre property for $198,000, including the $18,000 buyer’s premium.
The auction for each property was “absolute,” meaning the highest bidder won, and there was no minimum bid.
Mac Biggar, with Hanna Chartwell Commercial Real Estate, was the auctioneer for all three properties. The auctions were in the bar area of the former Ohio Brewing.
The event attracted several dozen bidders and onlookers, including Jeff Pickett, owner of the Barley House bar and restaurant, also located inside the old O’Neil’s building. Pickett did not bid, saying he was just curious.
The old Ohio Brewing space has been vacant since the brewpub left in 2009, and had earlier been listed for sale with an asking price of $950,000.
Lorenzo’s purchase is subject to the approval of U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Western Pennsylvania. The space is owned by Gary Reinhart, who was involved in a Damon’s ribs operation at the Main Street location for a time. Reinhart lives in Pennsylvania and the property is part of complicated bankruptcy proceedings involving Reinhart.
The funeral home closed about two years ago; a Schermesser funeral home on Turkeyfoot Lake Road in Green remains in operation. Biggar, president of Hanna Chartwell of Cleveland, has said the Schermessers decided on an auction after being unable to sell the property.
The lots in Doylestown are part of an estate of the now deceased developer. The lots include lights, curbs and utilities.
Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or firstname.lastname@example.org.