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Update on Bar145° establishment in Norwalk

Scott Seitz2 • Jul 14, 2014 at 10:54 PM

Norwalk city council is considering legislation that would authorize a lease agreement of real property not currently needed for city purposes to Bar145°.

Bar145° wishes to use about a 60 by 210-foot piece of property that falls into the city's right-of-way.

Law Director Stuart O'Hara said Bar145° will develop that land into a parking lot for the restaurant.

O'Hara added at Tuesday's meeting Bar145° will pay for all the development.

Bar145° also will pay the city $150 per year as part of the lease agreement if city council approves the legislation.

Mayor Rob Duncan said Bar145° hopes to be open by early August.

Bar145°, known for its burgers, bands and bourbon, will be located at the former Bob Evans property on Milan Avenue. It is expected to employ 30 full-time and 20 part-time employees.

The establishment is considered a “gastropub” — a bar and restaurant that serves high-end beer and food. The 145º part of the name represents the temperature of a medium-rare burger.

Patrons can build their own burgers by filling out a "stack-your-own" sheet. First there is the choice of burger patties (beef, turkey, chicken, smoked salmon, black bean), artisan breads (eight varieties), local and artisan cheese (nine varieties), fresh additions (11 choices), premium toppings (11 choices) and sauces and spreads (14 choices).

It also will offer 30 different kinds of bourbon and 30 different types of craft beer.

The co-owners are Jeremy Fitzgerald and George Simon. Milan resident Dan Frederick is the project architect.

Fitzgerald and Simon previously told the Reflector what local residents can expect from Bar145° once it opens.

"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.

"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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