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Banter Beer and Wine expanding to Van Aken District in Shaker Heights

October 3, 2018

Banter Beer and Wine expanding to Van Aken District in Shaker Heights

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Banter Beer and Wine is moving east. And if things continue to work out for the bar, bottle shop and self-described “poutinerie,” we’ll be seeing more Banters in the future.

The owners behind the Gordon Square bar are expanding to the Van Aken District in Shaker Heights this November.

The retail-dining-lifestyle development center sits at the northwest corner of Chagrin Boulevard and Warrensville Center Road. Banter’s move is part of the first phase of tenants coming into the district. A subsequent phase is coming this spring.

“Three years of hard work paying off means more hard work, right?” said Matt Stipe, co-owner with Adam Gullett and Tom Owen.

Van Aken’s draw is the development’s emphasis on local businesses, Stipe said.

“The vast majority are local businesses,” he said. “But also the sense of community that you get in Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights and some of those other communities.”

Banter’s expansion might not stop in the Van Aken District.

“That’s always been the plan,” Stipe said. “My partners and I have always been on the same page of this concept. If it makes sense and was well-received, then multiple Banters would be in the works. We’ve never been happy and complacent with just one. We would love to have three, four, five, but you take it one store at a time.

“This is the jumping-off point.”

What Banter is launching from is a comfortable place where diners and drinkers saunter across a floor made from the old Elyria High School basketball court to peruse shelves holding several hundred bottles of wine. The owners eschew common labels found in grocery stores, instead opting for bottles from boutique wineries. A healthy selection of craft beer is offered. And the menu screams comfort, from Vladimir Poutine (frites under braised Ohio lamb Stroganov, mushroom, borscht gravy, curd and orange zest) to the more Cleveland-centric Polish Boy.

But expect a few changes with the second location. Stipe describes it as a “pocket-sized Banter.”

“It’s not a full-sized store as we have now,” he said. “In the Van Aken District we are part of the Market Hall, part of smaller stalls.”

The 400-square-foot stall will cover communal seating, include counter service and have a 10-seat bar. Because there is a nearby retail wine store, the emphasis will be on craft beer and food. Expect 300 beers and a menu that will include Banter’s famed poutine though some of the sausage offerings might be tweaked. There will be more corndogs, salads and sliders, he added.

As Stipe describes Banter’s new tagline: “Same poutine, new routine.”

Previous coverage

Banter opens in 2015

Banter: Dining review

About the Van Aken District

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