Burgers, bands and bourbon—that’s Bar 145.
When it opened its doors in May 2011, Bar 145 became the first gastropub in Toledo, Ohio. Lending to the definition of a “gastropub,” Bar 145 was relaxed and comfortable like a neighborhood bar, but instead of nachos and chicken wings, the menu featured tempura-battered green beans, sliced pretzel bread with organic gouda sauce and “Stack Your Own” burgers featuring Niman Ranch beef, considered to be some of the finest tasting, all-natural meat in the world.
Owner-operator Jeremy Fitzgerald and business partner George Simon had all the requisite ingredients for a first-rate gastropub, but Fitzgerald had spent more than half his young life in the hospitality business. Opening Bar 145 was the culmination of a dream and a concept that Fitzgerald wanted to grow through franchising. It had to be different and memorable. It was Fitzgerald’s passion, after all.
That’s exactly why Bar 145 stands apart from every other gastropub. Of course, Bar 145 gets check marks for its great food and fine selection of craft beers, but then it veers off-road from everyone else. Bar 145 specializes in “Burgers, Bands, and Bourbon along with a myriad of other gourmet items on the menu most people try for the very first time in their lives at Bar145” and for that it stands alone as a truly unique concept poised for growth with the launching of a franchise program last year.
The three Bs are:
Burgers – Bar 145 gets its name from the temperature of a perfectly cooked medium-rare burger. When you “Stack Your Own,” customers choose from 12 artisan cheeses, 21 sauces (19 made from scratch) and 24 toppings ranging from vine-ripe tomatoes to in-house cured bacon, not to mention the Niman Ranch burger meat. Fitzgerald said. “Niman Ranch is the only beef program that is certified humane, meaning the product we serve is the highest quality of true beef flavor.”
Bands – Bar 145 offers live entertainment six nights a week, ranging from acoustic to dueling pianos to ultimate party bands from across the country and even Australia.
Bourbon – Bar 145’s bourbon selection includes more than 20 varieties, along with creative bourbon cocktails including the BLT (Bulleit, Lemon and Tonic), Kentucky Lemonade (Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Lemonade, fresh Lemon and Bitters) and Bourbon Ball Manhattan (Woodford Reserve Bourbon, White Crème di Cacao and Frangelico liqueur served up or on the rocks).
“Bar 145 definitely fills a void in the restaurant and bar industry,” said Fitzgerald, who should know. His father got into the hospitality business in 1996 and today Fitzgerald’s family operates four bars and two hotels on Put-In-Bay and Port Clinton, two of Ohio’s summer fun spots on Lake Erie.
While gastropubs grow in popularity in the U.S. – they first began in the early 1990s in London – Fitzgerald defines Bar 145 as a “hybrid, 21st-century” gastropub because it offers live entertainment.
“We are similar because we offer quality food in a pub atmosphere, but we take things to a whole new level by offering entertainment far beyond the norm,” Fitzgerald said. “Most gastropubs I have visited or researched don’t approach nightlife the way we do. Our unique blending of demographics and concepts is unparalleled. People might argue that it disqualifies us from being a gastropub, but I would argue that it just puts an exclamation point at the end.”
Bar 145 will be opening a second location in fall 2012 as part of new entertainment district located near Kent State University in northeastern Ohio, with plans to open at least three additional locations within the next 12 months. Afterward, Bar 145 projects opening a new location every six months, a combination of both corporate-owned and franchised locations. Target markets include Cleveland, Columbus and Ann Arbor, Mich.
Fitzgerald is targeting investors who have the resources and restaurant industry experience necessary for multi-unit ownership and growth within a designated territory.
While it’s traditional for most gastropubs to feature craft beers, Fitzgerald didn’t hesitate to step outside the box by spotlighting a true American whiskey – bourbon. After all, Kentucky, with 10 distilleries producing 298 different brands, is little more than three hours’ driving time from Toledo.
If you’d like more information on this gastropub concept Contact the Bar 145 headquarters at: 5305 Monroe St., Toledo, OH 43623
Web site: www.bar-145.com