Shaker Council OK loan to Midnight Owl Brewing Co. in former Van Aken District Bakery


SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio — The City Council has approved its half of an $80,000 forgivable loan from the Small Business Administration to help a local craft brewery move into the former Lucy’s Sweet Surrender Bakery in the Southern District of Van Aken .

In total, Midnight Owl Brewing Company will invest more than $1.4 million in a 10-barrel brewery and 84-seat restaurant, with plans to open in early 2023 alongside Mendel’s Kansas City BBQ, working opening this fall, sharing 7,000 square feet of space at 20312-14 Boul. Sorrow

With five to seven full-time employees and four to seven part-time employees expected to be hired, Midnight Owl will produce nearly $55,000 in projected local payroll taxes over five years, senior development specialist Katharyne Starinsky told the board on Monday. economic (May 23).

This greatly exceeds the requirements of the SBA Shaker Partnership Loan, launched jointly with Cuyahoga County in 2014, resulting in 12 projects totaling more than $2.4 million in private investment, leveraged by approximately $356,000 in forgivable loans. – split 50-50 by city and county ($178,000 each).

“Funds can be used to upgrade commercial space and purchase equipment, but cannot be used for inventory or payroll,” Starinsky noted in his May 17. memo to council.

In total, the city-county SBA program has resulted in local income tax deductions worth $526,000 for Shaker since its inception by helping create 76 full-time and 145 part-time jobs.

“Additionally, this project is female-owned, which supports the city’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) goals,” Starinsky noted.

The Council passed the legislation at first reading on Monday with an emergency clause to allow Midnight Owl to secure funding for their project so they can place orders for equipment, which have a six-month deadline, said she added.

Midnight Owl will mainly produce draft beer, with over 80% of the beer to be sold on site. Hours of operation will be Tuesday through Sunday, serving lunch and dinner, closing Fridays and Saturdays at 11 p.m.

Last month, the council authorized the city to act as an intermediary agency for a $350,000 loan to two new companies from the state’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) authority to upgrade the old bakery and before that, Chandler & Rudd specialty grocery stores.

“Their rental space will undergo extensive interior renovations,” Starinsky added. “Exterior renovations to the building will include a new storefront, signage and the addition of an outdoor patio.”

Starinsky and the city’s director of legal affairs, William Ondrey Gruber, also noted that Mendel’s Kansas City BBQ and Midnight Owl received the required voter approval on May 3 to serve alcohol in what is moreover a dry district, as well as many other establishments which had to go to the ballot. in the past too.


Elsewhere in the Van Aken district, the council on Monday confirmed part of a conditional use permit – indoors only at this stage – for 1899 Golf to open a leisure bar and restaurant with nine golf simulator bays this fall at the north end of the Shaker. Square.

The ever-busy space has been home to Pearl Asian Kitchen for five years, though its predecessor, the original Pearl of the Orient restaurant, has become a favorite at Shaker since it opened in 1978.

The city’s planning commission gave approval on interior plans earlier this month, along with a parking gap that could allow for outdoor greens, though those design plans are still pending.

Responding to a question from Vice Mayor Sean Malone, a spokesperson for 1899 Golf told the council that the interior walls of the simulator provide a full enclosure for swing clubs and any ricocheting golf balls.

These indoor simulators will also be “removed somewhat” from the current restaurant, the spokesperson added, while Mayor David Weiss said the Urban planning commission has already been assured that there will be “no wind turbines” or other branded miniature golf features installed on the proposed greens.

Tesla Supercharger

Also at Shaker Plaza, the council on Monday granted a right-of-way license to Tesla to install an electric vehicle charging station on the lower level of the city parking lot, adjacent to the mall and the RTA Blue Line fast terminal.

This 12-space “supercharger” will replace 15 parking spaces and supplement EV stations installed by the city and in the nearby Van Aken District parking garage.

Although the supercharger only works on Teslas, state data shows that of the 98 electric vehicles registered in Shaker, 68 of them are Tesla models, noted the city’s sustainability coordinator, Michael Peters, in his May 23 report. memo to council.

“This location will establish the Van Aken District as a regional electric vehicle charging hub, benefiting residents and businesses in the city,” Peters said. “A supercharger location, which to date is rarely found far from an interstate highway (I-271 and I-480), will be an attraction for EV drivers who will then likely patronize local Shaker Plaza businesses. and Van Aken district.”

In addition to increasing accessibility and providing much faster charging times, Weiss, who received board approval to enter into the license agreement, said there would be no cost to the city ​​and that the Van Aken district will appear on all Tesla on-board maps. .

Tesla will also consider adapting the superchargers so that other makes and models can eventually use them as well.

Peters noted that additional DC fast chargers, similar in capacity to Tesla superchargers, are also set to be installed as part of a Northeast Ohio Regional Coordinating Agency (NOACA) program on Tuttle. Road later this year.

“These will be compatible with almost any electric vehicle and alleviate concerns about limited initial compressor availability,” Peters added.

Liquor license

The city also signed a liquor license bid for Paloma’s, a “taco concept” bar and restaurant located in the vacant retail space at 20041 Walker Road in the Van Aken District, adjacent to Pocket Park.

Gruber told council there were no objections from city departments to the license, which would allow spirits to be served until 2:30 a.m.

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