South Side Owner Opens New Restaurant on Literary & Professor
Special Report by The Tremonster
Tremont’s brand new wine bar, Press Wine Bar, is open for business on the corner of Literary and Professor, in the former Lago space across the street from Lolita. A few weeks before Press opened, The Tremonster caught up with Press owner, Sherman DeLozier, who described how his second Tremont establishment came to fruition.
DeLozier and Dave Rudiger, the long-time partners behind The South Side, both teamed up with Rudiger’s other long-time partner, John Owen, to open the new wine bar…just as Lago was on its way out of Tremont to reopen in the Flats. “John and Dave are partners at Market and Rocky River Wine Bar, Dive Bar (downtown), and now [Press],” Delozier explained, “I’ve known them forever.”
Looking back over the previous six months, Delozier described the impressive pace and scope of his new project. “We approached Fabio [Salerno, owner of Lago] in May, and we got the keys on August 1st. Since then, we’ve been slowly…well, I guess we’ve gone kind of quick…we’ve changed the place dramatically.” Highlighting some dramatic changes, he said, “What we did was we tore the whole thing apart, inside…cleaned it up…got rid of the old equipment, and brought in all new equipment for the place.”
Also, bright, eye-catching, new Press signage now lights up the corner of Professor and Literary from above the front door of the new restaurant. DeLozier described changes to the windows, as well: “On the front – there were windows there before – we took those windows out and put new windows in, so those windows actually open up. The whole place will open up.”
DeLozier continued, “We took the bar out. New bar. We took the mural out – we found extra space behind the mural – we took the mural wall down and behind that wall we found a nice space, and we built a wine cellar. So, a six or seven hundred-bottle wine cellar is going to go right in there. We have a steel bar top. We used road plates – you know those plates you drive over when there’s a hole in the road? That’s what we used for the bar top: something different – a little cool. It’s definitely a hard surface.”
When Tremonsters belly up to this bar top, they will find the drinking experience a little different: Friendly, helpful, expert Press bartenders and wait staff are always available and prepared to give guided tours through the abundant list of wines and beers. Across the room of high-top, low-top, and medium-group tables, a showcase wall spotlights wine barrels and bottles. Nearly half of this wall is taken up by the glassed-in, temperature-controlled, floor-to-ceiling wine cellar, featuring the periodic spectacle of Press staff, scurrying up a library ladder and quickly scurrying back down with restaurant patron-ordered bottles.
DeLozier broke down the variety of Press drinking options: “We’re doing wine on tap. Right out of a keg – it comes out of a keg. We’re going to have eight wines on-tap, seven beers on draft, and then fifty to sixty, bottled beers.” He estimated Press will feature, “Probably thirty, thirty-two glass-pours of wine [wines by the glass]. The list will change seasonally – we’ll get different stuff for each season.”
And then there’s the food:
“We have a full menu, too,” DeLozier beamed. “We hired Chef Rachael Spieth, Executive Chef at Georgetown [formerly Three Birds in Lakewood] and her Sous-chef, Christopher Crist. We got a great chef. I can’t wait…I can’t wait. I think people are going to love that she’s down here. A lot of foodies know who she is. People, when I tell them we got her, they’re shocked because she was there [Georgetown/Three Birds] for so long. She’s great – she’s really organized…I’m super excited about having her down here.”
Chef Spieth has put together a very unique menu for Press, including “On Your Own” appetizers ranging from the $6.50 Warm Bacon and Onion Spoon Bread (Honey maple drizzle, fried Brussels sprouts) to the $9.00 Five Spice Seared Ahi Tuna (Black bean spread, pickled red onion, apple relish); “Sharables” that range from the $8.00 Crispy Wheat Flat Bread (House made with a choice of Warm Eggplant Puttanesca, Smoked Tuna Salad, or White Bean Hummus dips) to the $11.00 Pork Rillette (Cornichons, whole grain mustard, pickled red onion, crustini);
Soups and Salads ranging from the $6.50 Roasted Cauliflower and Bacon Soup (Parsley oil, parmesan bread sticks) to the $8.00 Warm Olive and Artichoke Salad (Fresh herbs, balsamic, shaved fennel, anchovy aioli); Flat Breads ranging from the $11.00 Breakfast Pizza (Breakfast sausage, butternut squash, sage, goat cheese, poached egg, maple syrup) to the $13.00 Duck Sausage Pizza (Sliced duck sausage, white beans, cranberries, brie, orange and ginger gastrique); Cheese and Meat Boards ranging from small to large ($13.00 to $20.00) featuring sixteen items including House Made Crackers, Fromage d’Affinois, Roaring 40’s Blue Cheese, Finocchiona Salami, Orange Cinnamon and Ginger Marmalade, and Pickled Radish with Onion;
Sandwiches include French fries, BBQ fries, or house salad, and range from a $9.50 meatless version of any sandwich (with eggplant and arugula in place of meat) to the $12.00 versions, including the Crab Burger (Pan seared crab cake, mixed cabbage slaw, spicy aioli, challah bun);
Entrees range from the $16.00 Roasted Chicken Breast (Sage and goat cheese risotto, roasted cauliflower, mushroom madeira sauce) to the $24.00 Pan Seared Scallop (Orange and coriander grits, blood orange supremes, roasted baby fennel, carrot beurre blanc); Desserts range from the $6.00 Warm Mixed Berry Cobbler (fresh biscuit topping) to the $7.00 Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake (ganache and fruit compote).
Press Wine Bar is located in Tremont at 2221 Professor Avenue, on the corner of Pr`ofessor Avenue and Literary Road. Press Wine Bar has several options for hosting your next party, celebration, business meeting, or presentation. If you are planning an event for 10 or more people, call Kim at 216.566-WINE for assistance. For more information, visit www.presswinebar.com.