Market Avenue Wine Bar (2526 Market Ave., 216.696.9463) will stay on Market Ave. “I’m ecstatic,” says owner Greg Bodnar. “Staying on this street has always been my main goal.” After 15 years at the same location, the city’s oldest wine bar is being pushed out by landlord Great Lakes Brewing. Bodnar’s plan involves the purchase of Talkies Film & Coffee Bar (2521 Market Ave.) which will be renovated to accommodate both a coffee shop and the new Market Avenue Wine Bar. The two businesses will be self-contained and possess separate entrances, though the coffee shop may be utilized as the wine bar’s private-party space in the evenings. By early September, Talkies will become Koffie, an international-travel-themed café featuring travel and guide books, more seating and, yes, better coffee. The next-door theater and seating space will be converted to the wine bar and should open in early October. “I want to make it feel the same but not, if you know what I mean,” says Bodnar. Much of the same furniture will be used, but the footprint will be larger and a much-improved kitchen will allow for a more ambitious menu. The combined sidewalk space in front of both businesses will accommodate a larger outdoor seating area.
As mentioned in this page’s Geauga County farm piece, many operators of roadside farm stands purchase what they sell from other growers. Not so with Sirna’s Farm & Market (19009 Ravenna Rd., Auburn, 440.834.0696). Owners Craig and Annie Sirna grow, raise and pasture pretty much everything they sell. Using traditional sustainable farming techniques, hoop- and green-houses, plus state-of-the-art hydroponic systems, the couple can crank out a dizzying array of seasonal treats. Both city slickers, the Sirnas moved out to the country in 1997 and planted a little garden. That garden soon became a 45-acre working farm with free-range chickens, grass-fed beef and a roadside store. “I’ve done 30 years of work in 10 years,” jokes Craig. Specialties include brown cage-free eggs, award-winning sweet corn and all-natural sausage. You can also find the Sirnas at area farmers markets.
Speaking of local eats: Fresh Fork Market, a foods distributor, is pairing with area restaurants to launch a series of local-foods wine dinners. The first event will take place on Tuesday, August 5, at Lago, with others following at Grovewood Tavern, Flying Fig, Light Bistro, Molinari’s, Sara’s Place, Fire and Sapore. Contact the individual restaurants for details.