If you have been by Rozi’s Wine House in Lakewood recently, you probably noticed quite a bit of construction. What was going on? Much to the excitement of the family-owned business, Rozi’s just put the finishing touches on a brand new patio. It was unveiled during last weekend’s Lakewood Arts Festival. Guests can enjoy food from a brand new menu, as well as beer and wine from the store, all while relaxing in the gorgeous new space. All bottles in the store may be purchased for in-house consumption, and there will also be 8 premium craft beer selections on tap at all times. More on the tap system in a minute. The food will be up and running this coming weekend. How does an order of prosciutto wrapped pretzels and a pint of Stone Ruination sound? Absolutely delicious, if you ask me! Anyway, here is what the menu will look like:
After being in business for 72 years, what made Rozi’s decide to take this step? Corey Rossen, whose great-grandfather started the business, answered this very question. It started with Corey’s father, Gary, realizing about 3 years ago that he wanted to change the look of the store’s exterior. His walk into work had consisted of the same view for almost 40 years, and he wanted a change. Rozi’s then began a small amount of construction in September of that year, with some help from the city of Lakewood. They quickly realized that they would have to halt the project in October, due to the cold months ahead. Also, if work continued, the progress could be at a point where the construction would make them look as though they were closed during the holiday season. However, Lakewood did not like the idea of halting the project, and so they pulled all support from it. Fortunately, the work that had been done was minimal, though Corey jokes that a particular side window that did get finished is “the most expensive window in all of Lakewood.”
About a year ago, a new city planner for Lakewood stopped into the store and asked them if they were interested in redesigning the exterior of the store. While Rozi’s definitely wanted to do this, Corey wanted to take it a step further. He thought, why not add an amenity instead of just changing the design? This is where the idea for the patio came to life. Rozi’s often holds wine tastings where they set up an “informal cafe”, but Corey figured, why not have a cafe area at all times? The city of Lakewood was thrilled with this idea, and they went all in. Personally, I feel that this addition will not only be an asset to the city of Lakewood, but also to the local craft beer community. Why? Allow me to explain…
There is another element to this renovation that should excite craft beer fans. A few weeks ago, Rozi’s installed a brand new 8-tap system. Guests can order samples and full pours for consumption while they shop or relax on the patio. They can also get growlers to go. You may bring your own growler, or purchase one from Rozi’s. In just a few short weeks of operation, the tap system has included some truly special beers including Thirsty Dog Bourbon Barrel-Aged Siberian Night and the Dogfish Head/Sierra Nevada collaboration beer, Life and Limb, Batch 2. Rozi’s keeps their website, Facebook page, and Twitter account updated with the latest tap selections. According to Bill Barak, one of the beer specialists at Rozi’s (and also one of my best buds), we should also expect to see more beer tastings in the future. He is trying to put together some things for this fall (possibly during Cleveland Beer Week), and if things go as planned, let me tell you, there is reason to be excited. Stay tuned for more on that in the coming months.
Be sure to stop on in to Rozi’s to say hello to Corey, Gary, or Bill. You will not be disappointed.