Update on Bar145° establishment in Norwalk

City may lease property to restaurant for parking lot development.
Scott Seitz2
Jul 14, 2014


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.



swiss cheese kat's picture
swiss cheese kat

$150 per year seems like a bargain for using land with a taxable value of $14,900.00.


"60 by 210-foot piece of property that falls into the city's right-of-way." - Not like any other company is going to buy it. If the property is in right-of-way then there is no practical use for it.


This is a great new business for norwalk ohio, I cant wait to attend the grand opening! Lets hope our local law enforcement shows some respect and Leniency to there patrons! Im not condoning drinking and driving by any means! but do we really need five cruisers parked across the street on their first nite in business?


Leniency? So you are ok with drinking and driving? There is a difference between leaving a business alone and just turning a blinds eye to drunks endangering others.


oops i meant theirs not theres


oops you also meant "night' not "nite".


Re: "Bar145° also will pay the city $150 per year,"

Another case of this city admin's support of corporate welfare that local citizens and other businesses subsidize with their tax dollars.


So the business, which is paying for developing the property into a parking lot from a unused lot and paying a lease fee for said lot is getting a subsidy.

Remember this is a lot in a right-of-way. More than likely this lot has no other practical use. At least it is making SOME money, rather than none.


Re: "is getting a subsidy,"

Yes. Sell it and garner fresh property tax dollars.


Sure, sell it to the people that are leasing it.

Granted I don't think they will get asking value since it is considered right-of-way and cannot be used for anything else other than a parking lot. Especially when said parking lot could be taken back if/when the need arises.


Canadian researchers have confirmed what most people suspected all along: that internet trolls are archetypal Machiavellian sadists.


Re: "Canadian researchers,"

So it's not governmental favoritism?

William Jeffers...

It's fine, just give it some criteria like a 5 years. If business booms, for years 6-10 we can up it to $129. lol. Actually, this is what any city needs to do to attract/keep businesses.


Re: "any city needs to do to attract/keep businesses."

Heck with that tax gimmick in mind, just eliminate all city business and personal income taxes.

If you subsidize it they will come?

Dr. Information

Don't play both sides of the fence Contango. This piece of property is non developable (except for whomever owns that building). Nobody is losing on this deal. The city is gaining another 150 buck for land they have gotten 0 dollars on since Norwalks existence.


Sell it. The govt. should not be in the leasing business.

Fresh property tax dollars.

In fact, the city has lots of public property on it's books that could undoubtedly be privatized and generate revenue.

Dr. Information

I agree, they should sell it.

Kottage Kat

Thank you


Bigger parking lot=more customers=more tax revenue. Do this and pick up $150 in addition to taxes or let it sit unused and maintain it. Seems like a good move to me.


Re: "$150,"

How was that amt. determined?


I doubt that an upscale restaurant will be successful in Norwalk,but if they need a weed patch to take a chance and give it to them,bunch of old misers on here

J Cooper

For all of our resident experts, its the right of way, it never been taxable, never will be, and can't be sold because its maintained as the right of way. We have a business that will be paying property tax, business tax, sales tax and generate income tax and is willing to locate in Norwalk. It has zero value other than to an adjoining property owner who is willing to improve it at their expense, easy call.


This is a "good news" story and you people have somehow pulled a $150.00 problem with our city or restaurant or "fairness" issue. Wow! Just wow!


I'll give each of you $150 to never say another negative thing on here!


I'll take the money


Is the property that we are talking about the old railroad tracks that could possibly give the east side more of a straight shot to the north side and vice versa? Can this not be developed into a road? Also is this option for all business. You ask me you are opening a big can of worms. They knew the parking situation before choosing that property . Surely no one from the city would promise this so they would buy that building. Now we are going to change the rules for some This sounds like the under handed deal that poor East Of Chicago was promised a few years back. You move in the new development from uptown and we will put light at the end of Stower. Politics even in Norwalk.

J Cooper

Where is the money coming from for this new road you propose, the city still maintains ownership and if the need arises in the future, the city maintains ownership. If no use has been found since the railroad abandoned the property I highly doubt a need is in the near future. This business is generating taxes for the city and will pay for the cost of the improvements. All I ever hear is the need for more jobs and an increased tax base, we finally find a company that is willing to bring both and all we hear is the negative comments.


"All I ever hear is the need for more jobs and an increased tax base, we finally find a company that is willing to bring both and all we hear is the negative comments." - So true.


Re: "we finally find a company that is willing to bring both,"

So big business corporate welfare (Borgers) is OK for some, but not for ALL corps. and businesses current and potential?

What about sm. businesses which is the vast majority of the locals? They hire one employee, where's their tax subsidy?

Govt. gets to pick and choose? It's called: crony capitalism or smoke and mirrors.

J Cooper

With all of your alleged knowledge, why not run for public office, oh I know, you would rather second guess others and enjoy being negative. The smoke and mirrors is you wanting it both ways, you complain the city doesn't do anything to attract business and when they do, you do nothing but find fault.