Former Steelyard Tavern to become Never Say Dive
If you’ve enjoyed a cocktail at any of Cleveland’s best watering holes, odds are good that Eric Ho, Dan Watson or Tommy Shaffner had a hand in its creation. The talented bartenders currently work – or have worked – at places like LBM in Lakewood, Spotted Owl in Tremont and Porco Lounge in Ohio City, among many others.
Soon, the trio will join forces to open a bar of their own in Old Brooklyn called Never Say Dive. Located in the former Steelyard Tavern (4497 Broadview Rd.), which closed before Christmas, Never Say Dive aims to bridge the gap between dive bar and cocktail lounge.
“What we’re going to do here is take the kind of cocktails from all the top cocktail bars we’ve worked at around town, like Porco and Spotted Owl and LBM, but serve them in more of a neighborhood bar setting,” says Watson. “This kind of concept is really taking off in places like New York and Chicago. We want to do the best cocktails we can possibly do but serve them in a really approachable environment for everybody.”
The interior of Never Say Dive has the unmistakable appeal of a timeless corner tavern. Behind the customary glass-block windows sits a two-room space with handsome wooden back bar and yards of warm wood paneling. The plan is to beef up the bar's vintage features while retaining it’s well-worn charm.
“It’s like a cool, old bar that your grandfather would drink at,” says Watson. “And we’re going to keep that comfy, cozy, nostalgic-type feel of it.”
Unlike your average old-man saloon, however, Never Say Dive will offer chef-driven small plates courtesy of John Hagerty, who will split his time between there and the Green Kitchen at Little Rose Tavern.
Ho estimates seating at around 55 when you combine the bar, tables and standing rails.
The latest estimates call for a spring opening.
“I’ve lived in Old Brooklyn for 17 years,” adds Shaffner. “I’m really excited to put my heart and soul into something in the neighborhood.”
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