Burgers, bands and bourbon

Restaurant/bar establishment that serves high-end food and beer set to open Norwalk location, hire 30 full-time and 20 part-time workers.
Scott Seitz
Apr 21, 2014


If everything goes according to plan, Bar145° will soon be calling Norwalk home.

Ken Russ, co-owner of Legends contractors and Jeremy Fitzgerald from Bar145°, made the announcement during the Tool Time event Saturday at the Huron County Fairgrounds.

Bar145° also has locations in Toledo, Columbus and Kent, which were all built by Legends.

Legends will also be the contractor for the Norwalk location, at the site of the former Bob Evans restaurant on Milan Avenue, as long as city council approves a job creation grant agreement for Bar145°.

Russ was beyond excited when talking about Bar145°.

“This was the right location and Norwalk is the right choice and has the right people,” he said. “I’m really excited for them.”

Once city council adopts the job creation agreement, contractors will begin renovating the former Bob Evans.

Russ said, if all goes well, Bar145° will be open by July.

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

“This is chef-quality food,” Russ said. “Everything is fresh; nothing is frozen.”

Bar145° has 30 different kinds of bourbon and 30 different types of craft beer.

Bar145° is considered a “gastropub.”

A gastropub refers to a bar and restaurant that serves high-end beer and food, according to an online definition.

The 145º part of the name represents the temperature of a medium-rare burger.

The existing Bar145° locations are known for offering a high-energy, contemporary atmosphere and live entertainment. The company's tag line "Red Chucks, White China" emphasizes a culture clash having all the food served on white china while the employees are sporting red Chuck Taylor tennis shoes.

“The food is phenomenal,” Russ said. “It’s really gourmet or build-your-own burger. There are like 200 variations. These are some of the best burgers you will ever have."

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).

“I think this is something that’s really been missing for our community,” Russ said. “I think it’s really great for Norwalk. There will be live entertainment three to four nights a week.”

A quick browsing of the Bar145° menu for its Kent location showed a variety of burgers with fries at about the $11 price range.

The Norwalk Bar145° is set to employ 30 full-time and 20 part-time employees.

Russ said customer service will be the No. 1 priority at Bar145°.

“The owners are hands-on,” he said. “These owners are top-notch. They care about customer service and they care about the quality of the food and they understand customer service.”

Russ said the Bob Evans building is in good shape.

"It’s a 20-year-old building,” he said. “We will do extensive remodeling and change the look quite a bit. The building, itself, is solid.”

Russ gave high praise to Ellen Heinz, Norwalk Economic Development Corp. executive director, for her work with preparing the job creation grant agreement for city council.

“Ellen made everything happen very quickly and I really appreciate that,” Russ said.

Here is the current menu for the Bar145° in Columbus:

* House Truffle Fries Rosemary, Parmesan,WHITE TRUFFLE OIL, served with Roasted Red Pepper Aioli $6
* Fried Green Beans Tempura Battered Green Beans, served with Sweet Peppers & Sweet Chili Sauce $7
* Fried Onion Wedges Tempura Battered Onion Wedges, Sea Salt, garnished with Cumin Ranch & served with Bourbon Steak Sauce $5
* Sweet Potato Wedges GLAZED SWEET POTATO WEDGES, Cinnamon & Sage, served with Cinnamon Butter $6
* Warm Bavarian Pretzel Bites Butter Baked Pretzel Roll Bites, garnished with Chopped Bacon & served with Cheddar Chive Sauce $6
* House Truffle Fries Rosemary, Parmesan,WHITE TRUFFLE OIL, served with Roasted Red Pepper Aioli $6
* Fried Green Beans Tempura Battered Green Beans, served with Sweet Peppers & Sweet Chili Sauce $7
* Fried Onion Wedges Tempura Battered Onion Wedges, Sea Salt, garnished with Cumin Ranch & served with Bourbon Steak Sauce $5
* Sweet Potato Wedges GLAZED SWEET POTATO WEDGES, Cinnamon & Sage, served with Cinnamon Butter $6
* Warm Bavarian Pretzel Bites Butter Baked Pretzel Roll Bites, garnished with Chopped Bacon & served with Cheddar Chive Sauce $6

* Caramelized Onion Brioche Croutons, Aged Swiss $4/6
* Roasted Vegetable Chili SEASONAL VEGETABLES, Black Beans, served with Grilled Focaccia $4/6
* Chef’s Daily Soup Bold Flavors & Seasonal Vegetables $4/6
* Winter Caesar Salad GRILLED HEARTS OF ROMAINE, Sarvecchio Parmesan, Oven-Roasted Tomato Purée, House Caesar Dressing $9
* House Greens with Toast Artisan Greens, Beets, Radish, Tomato, Carrot, Cucumber Relish, Tilla ook Cheddar, Poppy Seed Vinaigrette $8
* Wedge with Sweet Potato & Bacon Baby Iceberg Lettuce, Caramelized Sweet Potato, Chopped Bacon, Crispy Onions,BROWN BUTTER SAGE VINAIGRETTE $9

* Balsamic Bleu Burger STELLA BLEU CHEESE, Arugula, Shaved Carrots, Balsamic Reduction, served on a Pretzel Roll $11
* Simpleton Burger Cream Cheese, HOUSE -CURED BACON, Roasted Cremini Mushrooms & Sweet Onions, served on an Onion Roll $11
* Apple Pie Burger SPICED APPLES, Cream Cheese, served open face on Buttered Brioche $11
* Americana Burger American Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Red Onion, Pickle, & Mayo, served on Brioche $10
{Add House - cured Bacon for $1!}
* Monte Cristo Burger Aged Swiss, Sliced Ham, Blackberry Jam, served on French Toast $11
* Egg & Toast Burger Fried Egg, Potato Croquette, Hollandaise, served open face on Grilled Focaccia $11
* Porchetta Melt HOUSE - MADE PORCHETTA, Provolone, Spiced Apples, served open face on Grilled Focaccia $11
* Roasted Turkey & Stuffing Herb - roasted Turkey, Seasonal Stuffing & Maple Demi Glace, served open face on Grilled Focaccia $11
* Black Bean Panini House - made Black Bean Veggie Burger, ORGANICAGED GOUDA, Roasted Tomatoes, Baby Spinach, Red Pepper Aioli, served panini - style on Grilled Focaccia $10
* Burger of the Month Trust us. We’re professionals.
* Feeling creative?
Build your own burger, sandwich, or salad with our custom STACK -YOUR -OWN Menu!

* CHORIZO SCOTCH EGG HOUSE - MADE CHORIZO WRAPPED EGG, served with Fig Jam & Grilled Focaccia $8
* LOADED FRIES House Truffle Fries served Poutine - Style with ROASTED DUCK CONFIT & ORGANIC GOUDA GRAVY $7
* BAR WINGS FRIED CONFIT DUCK LEGS, Cayenne Hot Sauce, served with a Shaved Carrot, Celery, & Bleu Cheese Salad $8
* BAR TACOS Your choice of BRAISED SHORT RIB, SMOKED SALMON, or BLACK BEAN VEGGIE, House Slaw, Chicago-Style BBQ, Organic Aged Gouda $11
* ROASTED BONE MARROW Roasted with Stella Bleu Cheese & Parmesan, served with Bourbon Cherries & Grilled Focaccia $8
* LOBSTER MAC & CHEESE Poached Lobster, Organic Aged Gouda, Roasted Tomatoes, Asparagus Tips, topped with Pomme Frites $11
* FOIE GRAS MEATBALLS Trio of FOIE GRAS INFUSED MEATBALLS, served with Blackberry Jam $8
* CURED MEATS & CHEESE BOARD Selection of Cured Meats & Artisan Cheeses $14

* Truffle Fries ... 2
* Onion Wedges ... 2
* Sweet Potato Wedges ... 2
* Fried Green Beans ... 2
* Mac & Cheese ... 3
* Maple Bacon Mac ... 3
* Fried Brussel Sprouts ... 3
* Potato Croquette ... 3
* Artisan Greens Salad ... 3
* Daily Vegetable ... 3

Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf served with a side of Truffle Fries $9
Braised Short Ribs served with a side of Truffle Fries $9
White Wine Broth, Fennel, Olives, served with Grilled Focaccia $8
Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Golden Waffles, Maple Syrup & Demi Glace $9
Roasted Tomatoes, Sarvecchio Parmesan, Oregano, Ricotta $9



Boy does this look good! Just what Norwalk needs. Thanks to Ellen Heinz and the administration for helping these guys make it happen!


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


The administration did nothing to facilitate the entrance of this restaurant to Norwalk. Russ said "Thank you to Heinz." I'm a firm believer in giving credit where it is due, but the mayor deserves not a sliver in this instance.


We need a steak House, not another bar and burger joint.


Go open one up. This is not 'another' typical Norwalk burger beer joint, it's appears to be a whole level above what we're used to here. I'm happy, and the Coors Light bucket crew can hang out at the other places in town.


Auction, this is probably the dumbest comment I have ever read. Please move to a different city.


Just Saying. We need a Steak House not another Bar Restaurant. To much Alcohol in town as it is. More Drunks on the road. I guess Norwalk will like that though, More money for the City when they get pulled over if they don't cause an accident first.

Dr. Information

Just saying. If you want to open one, feel free. Hope you have a 1/2 a million or so to do so. Just saying.


Just Saying again. I got 2 million to open one. Just Saying.


When is your opening ?

Dr. Information

Yeah, yeah. I really believe you. Open a steakhouse up then big shot. Until then, its all just talk.


Poop or get off the pot then. Just saying.


LOL~! U Guys Are the funniest people in Norwalk. Just Saying.


I totally agree. Plus when I want a burger I want an honest to goodness burger not some over priced concoction they have come up with. I mean $11.00 for a burger?!?!?!? Are you kidding me? You'd have to be drunk to think that was cheap! Also Norwalk has enough bars! Why not more of a family steakhouse? Since Ponderosa left that's what's been missing. There are enough places for people to get drunk in Norwalk. How about giving families a place where we can have a nice alcohol free meal. Or is that too much to ask?????

journey rules

I'm sure that includes a side and a drink !! And P
ondagrossa wasn't a steak house !!!


I happened to have liked Ponderosa. It was at least a place the whole family could go and eat. I wouldn't take my kids to a bar for burger and fries. I just think there are enough places in town to drink. Practically a bar on every corner or side street.

former local

If Norwalk residents really wanted a place like Ponderosa, it would still be there!!! Duh!

Dr. Information

The days of family restaurants that do not serve are over with. Alcohol sales bring people in, especially during sporting events on TV.

If you want to open a family style restaurant that is alcohol free, its a free country, OPEN ONE UP.


"Alcohol sales bring people in" They also cause drunk driving by people who have a "couple" of drinks with dinner and then they wreck and kill someone on the way home. I don't see what is wrong with a family restaurant where people can enjoy dinner with their kids. If someone can't get thru dinner without having a drink then I think they have a problem.

Dr. Information

Like I have stated all along. Open up a family restaurant that doesn't serve. Put your money where you mouth is. These owners don't care about what you have to say one way or the other. Its burgers, bourbon and bands all the way.


I've been to the one in Kent and it is really good. Not sure why they chose Norwalk but hope they do well. By the way it's "craft" beer not "Kraft" beer. There's no cheese in it.


The last article said "family style place", call it what you want, no difference to me, I love a good burger. BUT, on the sample menu, I did not see a children's menu? And how menu kids drink bourbon? Is this a new style of "family style" dining? Can't wait to try it, good luck!


The owner didn't call it family style a misinformed politician did. I do notice they have a cheap kids eat night so knock your socks off, or put up the brats with a babysitter and go have a nice night out.


Well, I do not have to worry about putting up with my "brats" they are 17. I go out whenever I want. I just wondered who wanted to call a bar/bourbon/burger joint a "family style" restaurant. Get your panties out of your butt and calm down. I take my kids with me everywhere, I took them when they were 3 too.

Lloyd Christmas

Looking forward to it! Best of luck fellas. Ill be there for sure!


From my experience, Ken Russ is a class act. Best of luck to him!


doesn't seen that location will be big enough. When bob evans was packed there, parking was a madhouse. Your adding live bands and alcohol parking will not be good or safe in that small area no room to expand parking either


Sounds interesting. Wish it a success & hope the whiners fail.

former local

Totally with you Kurt! Food looks great!

journey rules

God sakes !!! Do some of you have nothing better to do than piss and moan about spelling !!! Or about what you want ?? It is a new business coming to town and you just can't be happy !! Probably just pissed because they won't be taking a EBT card !!! I for one will try it, if I don't like it I won't go back . But they are bringing jobs here !!!!!!! It might not be the 25 dollar a hour jobs that everyone seems to think that a mayor is supposed to create but they are jobs !!!!