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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

All Systems Go for Downtown Eatery, Church-Based Brewery From Barrio Group

Posted By on Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 1:56 PM

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We just announced that Barrio will be a new fixture at Progressive Field as part of the sweeping changes set to debut for the 2015 Tribe season. But long before you can build your own taco at the ballpark you’ll be able to do so a few blocks away on Prospect.

All systems are go for the long-planned opening at 503 Prospect, a high-profile space in the Arcade that’s been vacant since Indigo Indian Bistro closed all those years ago.

Much larger than either the original in Tremont (806 Literary Rd., 216-999-7714) or the second location in Lakewood (15527 Madison Ave., 216-226-7714), the new Gateway spot will seat approximately 200 guests.

“It’s a really nice space,” says owner Sean Fairbairn.

These are exciting times for Barrio Restaurant Group partners Fairbairn and Tom Leneghan, that’s for sure. But there’s more brewing than just the two new Barrio outposts.

Last year, Scene broke the news that the Barrio owners were hoping to convert a former church – St. Gregory the Theologian Byzantine Catholic Church in Lakewood's Birdtown neighborhood – into a microbrewery and restaurant. In June, the planning commission gave the group approval to move ahead with their plans. And now that Barrio Gateway is set to open, the group can focus their attentions on their next project.

“Birdtown is a go,” says Fairbairn. “As soon as we get [Barrio] downtown open, we are going to start construction over there.”

When it opens this summer, Birdtown Brewery and Pizzeria (2035 Quail St.) will feature a small brew system, prominently displayed on what was the altar. A large round bar will extend from there, and tables will fan out from the bar. A lower-level space will be converted into a game room/private dining room, says Fairbairn.

"Our plan is to create a neighborhood and boutique-driven brewery that is all about Lakewood pride," Fairbairn told Scene.

Management already has begun assembling the components for its 3.5-barrel brew house. A new kitchen will have to be built as part of the planned pizzeria.

“This is going to be really cool, something a little different from what we’re doing at Barrio,” adds Fairbairn.

The team is estimating an opening date sometime this summer.

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