Artist's rendering of Terrestrial Brewing expansion.
Late last year, Terrestrial Brewing
(7524 Father Frascati Dr., 216-465-9999) announced a multidimensional plan
to activate its entire building in Battery Park. In addition to the five-year-old brewery, owners Ralph Sgro and Ryan Bennett began building out a full-service restaurant next door and a live-entertainment venue and event space upstairs. In pursuit of those goals, management hired chef Penny Tagliarina to join the team as Director of Culinary Operations.
But just weeks later, Tagliarina announced that she was relocating to Phoenix to accept a new job opportunity, leaving Sgro and Bennett with a major hole to fill.
“It delayed the project a bit until we could find someone,” explains Bennett. “And then we brought Michael in. We liked everything he had to say.”
“Michael” is Michael Lovano, a young but exceptionally experienced chef. Terrestrial’s new executive chef has worked at One Red Door in Hudson, Lola downtown, and Summer House in Lakewood, where he was Chef de Cuisine. He says that the idea of working in a brewery has always appealed to him.
“It sounded really exciting,” Lovano says. “I’ve always liked the idea of brewing beer and being around that culture and side of industry.”
While the timeline might have shifted, the concept has not. The 2,400-square-foot space next door, vacant since 2017, is being transformed into a 70-seat full-service restaurant and bar. The eatery, described by Sgro as “40-percent fancier than the taproom,” will serve elevated gastropub food.
“Putting the menu together is probably my favorite part so far,” says chef Lovano.
An early draft includes starters like duck poutine with raclette cheese and waffle fries, seasonal pierogi with shifting fillings, pretzel bites with beer cheese dip and a Wagyu corn dog. For mains, there might be short rib grilled cheese, smash burger, gnocchi with basil, mint and pea pesto and a grilled hanger steak with fingerlings.
With plumbing inspections behind them, the team is moving onto drywall and eyeing an April opening. Until then, Lovano will be cooking up Sunday brunches at the brewery.
As for the event space upstairs, core samples are being taken in advance of footers being poured to support the elevated wraparound deck off the second-floor space. At 2,400 square feet, the loft-like space lends itself to live entertainment, dinner-and-a-show events, beer dinners, overflow dining and private affairs. The team envisions a 150- to 200-person club that will attract regional and out-of-state talent.
“We want to play up the live music and brewery vibe,” says Sgro.
The goal is to start playing in late spring or early summer.