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17 Public Square maintains locally sourced menu in Medina

July 9, 2018

17 Public Square maintains locally sourced menu in Medina

MEDINA, Ohio – It’s been two months since 17 Public Square opened its doors on Medina Public Square, time that has flown by for Ryan Kasson.

Kasson is doing double duty as general manager and chef for the restaurant, which he calls “a gastro-pub-comfort-food place.” It replaced the longstanding Main Street Café.

“We’re not doing anything here to reinvent the wheel – mac ‘n’ cheese, sausage sandwich. Not to be a cliché, we try to source locally.”

The local emphasis is a strong one. Several of 17 Public Square purveyors are from the Medina Farmers Market. Mushrooms are from Valley City Fungi. Lettuce and cucumbers come from Lettuce Heads in Wellington, and the garden salad soon will include locally grown ingredients.

Honey is from Elk Creek Honey Farm in Wellington. (“They set up shop right there,” said Kasson, pointing toward the square’s center, “and I hand them a check.”)

Cheese is from Yellow House Farm in Seville and goat cheese hails from Millersburg. Strip steak is Ohio-raised.

Pork comes from Beeler’s Pure Pork in Iowa, and chicken is from Bell & Evans in Pennsylvania. The animals in both places are hormone-free, antibiotic-free, humanely raised and vegetarian-fed.

The other drawing card for 17 Public Square is its price point. It’s approachable, with the average check price at $17 with drinks, Kasson said.

“You can get in and out of here for under $20, if you want,” he said. Only the salmon and steak frites entrees top $20. By-the-glass options are all $9 and under. The beer selection ranges from Stroh’s in cans to crafts on draft and imports in bottles. (The craft selection is in the process of being beefed up.)

The space has its own rustic feel, with raw brick walls from the 1870s and stone work from the 1840s downstairs. The main dining room seats 90, while the rathskeller-like basement bar and dining space holds about 40. That area, while available for private events, needs some refurbishing, Kasson said.

There’s nice use of black walnut wood and well-placed art throughout the space, leading to a comfortable feel to match its menu, which does not overwhelm. You’ll find fried chicken, four burgers, tacos and more, but also a few surprises like vegan quinoa and sausage and pepper linguini. (The restaurant makes its own sausage with industrial grinder on site.)

Brunch will start Sunday, July 22, with seasonal entrees coming this fall.

“We want people to come back; we’re more casual, not uptight,” said Kasson, who grew up in Medina and went to Medina High School, as did owners Ryan and Mia Rose. He spent seven years in the Marines as a rifleman before going to culinary school. He worked for 11 years with Michael Symon’s restaurants: He cooked at Lola, helped open B Spot, and was the pit master at Mabel’s BBQ.

Now, his sole focus is to make sure the restaurant nestled in the quaint square in Medina succeeds.

“This is our rookie season, so to speak,” he said.

About 17 Public Square

17 Public Square is at – of course- 17 Public Square, Medina, on the square, 330-952-2330. Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. It’s 32 miles from downtown Cleveland.

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