BEHIND THE SCENES W/ RD+D
CRU UNCORKED RESTAURANT // MORELAND HILLS, OHIO
The recently opened, Cru Uncorked, has been very well-received since open-ing in Moreland Hills, Ohio in mid-May. Located in a custom-built, simulated French country chateau, this restaurant presents the most ideal setting for its tasteful, European menu. With a variety of French antiques, which include three fireplaces and a marble fountain at the entry, the 108-seat dining room gives off more of a country ambiance than Parisian. Yet its dishes including foie gras, halibut, summer beet salad, passion fruit parfait and lavender duck, are plated in the European tradition. Guests can choose from more than 250 differ-ent wines from various vintages. Owned by Sandy Cutler and his wife Sally, Cru Uncorked took almost five years to plan and a full year to build due to the focus on sustainability. “We worked hard with local architects and builders, including A.M Higley Construction, Richard Kawalek at Kawalek Architects and T. Allen Carpentry Co., to source materials as locally as we could,” says Sandy Cutler. “The entire building meets environmen-tal standards, with LED lighting, energy efficient HVAC and radiant heat in the floor. But it is the bar top in the small lounge that really makes a statement."
For this bar, Rustbelt Reclamation received a request for a reclaimed European material, which they sourced overseas specifically for Cru Uncorked. “We wanted a piece of natural Americana, but also French with a natural twist,” says Cutler. “The goal was to create a bar that simulated a French wine barrel, which is responsible for the taste of the wine. We thought a reclaimed piece of wood could add his-tory and age to the building.”
For the custom bar surface, Rustbelt Reclamation sourced reclaimed European white oak salvaged from an 18th century Euro-pean barn that used to house old, custom-wood wine presses. The job was challenging due to the bar’s unique shape and the tapered slats used to achieve the non-concentric, inside and outside radii that were needed. Each slat was produced individually in order to match the request-ed compound curve of the bar top. To accurately fabricate each slat piece, Rustbelt Reclamation used its CNC machine to mill custom jigs, allow-ing the craftsmen to produce the bar to a greater accuracy and with greater speed than by hand. Integrated steel reinforcement components also were utilized to maintain the overall stability due to natural wood movement. The crescent-shaped bar, measuring 144 inches long and 2 inches thick, is finished with a commercial grade poly-urethane sealer and topcoat with a dull sheen. This makes it durable and able to withstand the rigors of the restaurant. “It took much craftsmanship to hone the bar top down, while keep-ing the beautiful grain and getting it to curve,” says Cutler. “However, the benefit was that Rustbelt Reclamation is a local company that could provide a signature, story-telling piece in the restaurant. The feel of the bar was an important component to our restaurant.”
TABLES / SEATING / CLADDING / BAR / JOCKEY BOX / BARN RE-BUILD
At 100 years old, this barn’s revitalization will allow for another century of admiration of the craftsmanship intrinsic to Northeast Ohio. Like the barn, everything in it is locally-made, sourced in the USA, and has a unique story to tell - care of Rustbelt Reclamation.
The wood that adorns the interior was harvested on-site from both the horse barn and a nearby mechanic’s barn. By using materials saved from the very property it sits on, the historic integrity of the structure was upheld and also reinvigorated with new purpose. Preservation of the building and re-use of materials that came directly from the horse barn itself were essential to the revival of this property. A once uninhabitable structure now showcases window and door casings, chair rails, a replica horse stall, and furniture fabricated with dimensional pine salvaged from the mechanics barn. In addition, the horse stall boasts an original door and what once was wall cladding, is now a decorative element as bead board. The light fixtures are period reproductions made in America using traditional techniques that have gone by the wayside for over 60 years.
Below is the 'before' photo of both the first and second floors of the barn. We would like to thank the following partners for their work in making the above, 'after' photos a reality: RSA Architects, Etling Contracting, Tri-County Electric Service, Gellin Construction, Ruple Builders and, as always, Hans Noble Design.
Great rock 'n' roll music deserves great food and drink, and the Rock & Brews chain hits all of those notes. Scott Paul, one of the restaurant chain's partners, describes his restaurant as being "all about rock 'n' roll, cold beer and great American food with a nice, fresh California accent to it. When it comes down to our work ethic and our hospitality, our entire approach is a throwback to what makes America great."
After developing a strong relationship with Scott and hearing his upcoming plans to re-invent his restaurant's space, we turned to our project manager, Christoph Schoenlein. Christoph began working with Paul on the restaurant's new build out, and he knew exactly where to start – tying the connection between Paul's authentic, American values with story-telling pieces that reflect America as a whole.
Christoph started the conversation with Scott as to where him and his team wanted to go as far as their new aesthetic for their branding, and what they wanted to do for their future Rock & Brews locations. We then uncovered their new design plans to be one that exuded a light, yet warm feel to it. They wanted their main bar to be the focal point of the space. In doing so, we felt there was no better match than to utilize a very unique reclaimed material that we harvested a few years back – hickory & pecan butcher block flooring from an old, Chrysler stamping plant in Twinsburg, Ohio. We salvaged this material, cleaned it up, and then crafted the main bar from it.
Christoph was responsible for wearing multiple hats throughout the entire process of this project. Aside from designing the main bar, Christoph was also the design genius behind the many other dining surfaces, wall cladding, hostess stand, outdoor bar, and even the custom shuffleboard made from reclaimed azobe wood, which we salvaged from a salt mine underneath Lake Erie. In addition, he also functioned as a partner in keeping all parties involved in the project on track. He was the threshold between Rock & Brews, the architect, the subcontractors, the equipment manufacturers, as well as the AV guys.
Pecan & hickory wood slabs that were used as modular flooring that supported the plants giant stamping machines. The slabs come 3.5” thick, 32” wide and can vary in length. Prized for being heavy, hard and close grained, these pecan & hickory butcher blocks make for a perfect solution for surfaces that are going to take a beating (hence their use as a factory floor). So what better application than using it for the Rock & Brews bar...
REMARKS FROM THE OWNER, SCOTT PAUL:
"I don't go into business with just anybody. When I toured their facility in Cleveland, I saw they had the same focus on quality, hospitality and customer service that we pride ourselves on. They were craftsmen; they cherished wood and took a lot of pride in it. I knew every piece that was going to come out was going to be able to stand on its own. We have table tops that are made from barns and parts of bridges throughout Ohio and Pennsylvania, and our merchandise cabinet has amish wood in it. When you have a bar made by Rustbelt that came out of a Chrysler plant that built automobiles in America for 66 years you feel a richness, a tradition to it. It feels historic. Be ready for quality. Make it clear what you want and expect them to exceed." – Scott Paul
MORE ABOUT ROCK & BREWS:
"Family-friendly Rock & Brews is rolling into The Colony with its quality American comfort food, local favorites and one of the area’s largest selections of international and craft beer. Guests are immersed in a rock-inspired experience with concert lighting, videos of some of the greatest rock concert moments of all time, rock art and a Great Wall of Rock featuring some of the biggest icons of the genre. Indoor and al fresco dining are available and even our four-legged rockers are welcome on our dog-friendly patio. Late night live music will also be available at this location. Rock & Brews at The Colony is owned and operated by multi-unit franchise partners Brett Anz and Perry Mann of R&B Southwest, LLC. The 8,950 square foot restaurant is located in the Grandscape Nebraska Furniture Mart development, close to the Sam Rayburn Tollway." - www.rockandbrews.com/location/the-colony/
Tables / Seating / Cladding
"The Home Plate Club, accessible by Diamond Box and Field Box Front Season Ticket Holders, is located on the ballpark's main level and behind home plate, providing great views of the action on the field.
The club included a full bar, access to a variety of new concessions options within the space and a glass front for prime viewing. The club will remain open after games, to offer Season Ticket Holders with access to an option to let traffic clear on high-demand games. Season Ticket Holder-only gates have been added at the Left Field and Infield gates." - cleveland.indians.mlb.com/cle
*THE BEER GARDEN AREA PICTURED IN RED
Tables / Seating
"Relax with friends and cool off on a hot summer day at our beer garden featuring Great Lakes Brewing Co. The beer garden will have 8-10 beers available at all times, including Burning River Pale Ale, Dortmunder Gold Lager, Eliot Ness Amber Lager, Commodore Perry IPA, Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, seasonals and more!" - cleveland.indians.mlb.com/cle