Joe Karpinski and Colin Cook figure they have the perfect destination spot for a brewpub.

Their upcoming Lock 15 Brewing Co. - located at 21 W. North St. in Akron on the bottom floor of the Cascade Lofts building - is just steps away from the recreational Towpath Trail. And, as you might expect, it's also just stroll from lock 15 along the Ohio & Erie Canal and the historic Mustill Store.

Karpinski and Cook, who are shooting for a May opening, expect their seven-barrel brewpub to become a dining and beer-drinking attraction along the Towpath.

"This is a very unique spot," Cook said. "Our proximity to the trail. Our proximity to downtown. We're a place a lot of people will want to go."

They are busy now renovating the space, which will feature a full bar, dining room with seating for about 120, brewhouse behind glass, an exposed kitchen and a 100-seat outdoor beer garden.

Once open, Lock 15 will be a rarity in the Akron region as it will be a full chef-driven restaurant and brewery.

Karpinski, 34, of Kent and Cook, 37, of Akron are cousins. Karpinski, who works in information technology, will oversee the brewing. He's been homebrewing for about a dozen years.

Meanwhile Cook, who manages Blu Jazz in downtown Akron, has the hospitality experience, having opened a few restaurants in the Philadelphia area with Chef Kevin Sbraga before returning to his hometown of Akron.



Lock 15 will offer 10 house beers, with six year-round: a hefeweizen, pilsner, porter, IPA, imperial coffee stout and pale ale. And yes, the pale ale will feature Cascade hops. There also will be three rotating seasonal brews and a rotating experimental one, along with guest beers from other local breweries.

"I'm trying to hit all the major styles and perfecting those recipes," Karpinski said about the beer menu.

"Our big goal is to create a lineup that is diverse, eclectic and consistent," Cook added.

The Lock 15 beers will have names paying tribute to Akron. For example, there's already a Mustill Mild. The Mustills were known for selling English ales at their shop.

Lock 15 will distribute its draft beer to local bars and restaurants.

The food menu also will be eclectic.

"Some German sausage-based dishes. Some Belgian-style mussels and frites. Some English pub food. Some Southern pub food," Cook said.

It will be twisted in a garden direction, with healthy and vegan options available. Lock 15 also will use raised beds nearby to grow fruits and vegetables.

"We want to create an atmosphere that's very family friendly here, as well, just given the fact that we're on the trail," Cook said. "A big part of what we do is community based. There are a lot of communal tables. There's a lot of seating that's intended to be for people . to sit and chat and create a social experience."

They plan to be open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday, and offer brunch on Sunday. The brewpub will be closed on Mondays.



Lock 15 shares the bottom floor of the Cascade Lofts with The Trailhead events center. The building is located at the corner of West North and North Howard streets and is owned by Akron developer Tony Troppe.

"Those with know-how come to NoHo, North and Howard," Troppe said. "These guys are pros. They know how. They know how to brew. They know how to cook. They know how to serve."