First Look: Boss Dog Brewing in Cleveland Heights, Opening Soon

It’s been 15 months since Josh and Jason Sweet were handed the keys to the building that for 20 years was home to Lemon Grass Thai Cuisine in Cleveland Heights. In the meantime, the pair has completely transformed the property from a dim and dated eatery to Boss Dog Brewing (2179 Lee Rd.), a crisp new bar, brewery and pub. With the finishing touches now being applied, the owners have announced opening day as Thursday, November 2.
It was a massive undertaking that begin with a complete demolition of the 5,700-square-foot main level and 3,000-square-foot lower lever. Walls were knocked down, tile floors jack-hammered up, drop ceilings removed, basement footers added, support columns and beams installed, concrete slabs poured, and a shiny 10-barrel brewhouse prominently positioned so that it’s visible to guests and passerby alike.

The Sweets teamed up with Richardson Design to achieve a cohesive look. Attempts were made to bring the brewery into the dining room, says Josh. In addition to the large picture windows that separate brewhouse from bar, there’s a dramatic light fixture assembled out of repurposed kegs. Mini fermentation tanks will become patio accents.

Apart from opening and brightening up the entire interior, the most significant improvement was the installation of a large glass garage door panel. Not only does it introduce a ton of natural light into the dining room, in warm months it will open directly onto the patio, which is in the process of being tripled in size from its original dimensions. Guests will be able to enter the brewery from either the front or the rear of the building.

Jason, who worked for years at Fat Head’s production facility, has been busy brewing the pub’s initial offerings. By opening day, four beers – Chief Chinook Pale Ale, Buck IPA, Dog Pound Brown, and a double IPA – should be ready for consumption. The plan going forward is to have 10 house beers supplemented by another 10 guest beers from Ohio producers. In addition to onsite enjoyment, the suds can be popped into a crowler or growler for take-away.

An all new kitchen will turn out “gastropub” fare that should appeal to most tastes and budgets.

“This will be a family place where you can bring everybody,” Josh says of the brewpub.

Bar snacks like chipotle-maple nuts and garlic knots will be paired with small plates like Korean-braised beef sliders and smoked blue mac and cheese. Soups, salads and deck-oven pizzas join a short rib torta, pulled pork sandwich and beef or black bean burger. A half dozen entrees, priced in the $19-24 range, include braised short rib, cedar-plank salmon and bone-in pork chop. A build-your-own pierogi option lets diners mix and match fillings with toppings.

Boss Dog will be dinner-only to start, with weekend lunch coming online a few weeks after opening. 

About The Author

Douglas Trattner

For 20 years, Douglas Trattner has worked as a full-time freelance writer, editor and author. His work on Michael Symon's "Carnivore," "5 in 5" and “Fix it With Food” have earned him three New York Times Best-Selling Author honors, while his longstanding role as Scene dining editor garnered the award of “Best...
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