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Bar145° shooting for a late July opening for Norwalk location

Scott Seitz2 • May 5, 2014 at 10:09 PM

Local motorists might have noticed a sign for Bar145° is now in the window at the former Bob Evans property.

Crews were on-site at the Milan Avenue location Thursday performing demolition work.

"First, we removed the ceilings," said Craig Roberts, co-owner of Legends, project contractor.

Other aspects of the demolition included removal of the kitchen, drywall and ceramic tile floor.

"It's basically an interior demolition," Roberts said, adding the building is in great shape overall.

"Right now, we're just waiting on the building permits and still working on the design drawings," Roberts said.

Milan resident Dan Frederick is the project architect.

"There were a lot of things already in place like the electric and plumbing, which makes things a little easier," Roberts said.

The contractor and Bar145° co-owners Jeremy Fitzgerald and George Simon are also waiting on city council to approve a job creation grant agreement for the project, which council is expected to do at Tuesday's meeting.

Fitzgerald and Simon talked Thursday about what local residents can expect from Bar145° once it opens in late July.

"You can expect Put-in-Bay entertainment right here in Norwalk," Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald's father owns Mr. Ed's on Put-in-Bay.

Fitzgerald promised the restaurant will be like no other in the area.

"That's including Sandusky," he said. "The Bar145° will fill a void. There's really nothing else like us in the whole area."

The restaurant will feature chef-quality food and live entertainment.

Fitzgerald said acoustic musicians will perform and rock bands will hit the stage on weekends.

"These bands will come in from places like Chicago and Nashville," he said.

Fitzgerald and Simon, who also own Bar145° restaurants in Kent, Toledo and Columbus, said the out-of-state bands will conduct a mini-tour of the restaurants.

"We can offer them multiple nights," he said. "They might be in Columbus on a Friday and here on a Saturday."

Fitzgerald said this will not be a normal bar.

Bar145° is known for its burgers, bands and bourbon.

"There won't be any chicken wings or chicken chunks here," Fitzgerald said.

The hours will be likely by 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m.

A Bar145° is scheduled to open in Avon in October.

Fitzgerald said customer service is the top priority.

"That's the big reason why we've been successful," he said.

"Our employees go through an extensive training program," Simon added.

Simon also owns 40 Verizon stores, including in Norwalk.

"We are hands-on owners," Simon said. "It's really fun building a brand from the ground up.

"This is gourmet food in a bar setting," Simon said.

Simon explained why the owners chose Norwalk.

"It's nice to be able to explore a smaller market and Ken (Russ, Legends co-owner) brought this opportunity to us," Simon said. "This is a giant test for us."

Once the restaurant is complete, it will feature a 1,500-square-foot patio.

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