Winking Lizard Tavern Unveils New Concept

by Renee on January 19, 2011

I was a radio reporter and TV news producer for many years in Cleveland before turning to the “dark side” of public relations. I always love getting a good scoop, and today I get to bring you one, my dear Blog Reader.

Coming in mid-April, the Winking Lizard Tavern is bringing a new concept to Northeast Ohio: the Lizardville Beer Store and Whiskey Bar! This hybrid will open in the original Winking Lizard space in Bedford Heights, according to partner John Lane. Lane says they’ll have 400-500 beers available to go, with 6-8 draft lines on tap. They’ll also have the largest selection of whiskey available in Ohio, including single-malt bourbons and Irish whiskeys. Flights of bourbon and scotch will be availble, with the main goal being to educate people about the brown liquors.

The space will be small, about 2,000 square feet, seating only a dozen or so people. “I’ve always wanted to do a whiskey bar,” said Lane, “and do some really cool things for beer geeks as well.” He says there will be a small staff of 3 or 4 highly educated employees in the place, lead by Jason Presser (formerly of the Beer Engine) who is returning to work for the Winking Lizard once again. Lane’s son, John Lane, will be returning to Ohio from Delaware, joining the staff as Presser’s right hand man.

You won’t find an extensive menu at Lizardville, just some meats and cheeses to nosh on while you sample the whiskey and beer offerings, at least to start. Lane says eventually he may move the concept to the West Side as well.

And in other Lizard news, the Independence venue will soon be moving from the plaza on Rockside Road to the old Chester’s restaurant on the hill overlooking I-77. Lane says the plan is to open that on Memorial Day weekend, when the weather will hopefully be great for enjoying a beer on the new patio they’re building, which will have fantastic views of Cleveland.

The Winking Lizard has been a favorite spot to enjoy familiar craft beers and try new ones since 1983.  Currently there are 14 restaurants in Northeast Ohio and Columbus. This is the 25th year the Lizard has offered its World Tour of Beers to patrons who want to try 100 beers on a list for bragging rights and prizes, including the coveted World Tour jacket.

Wishing much success to the Winking Lizard in this new venture, and I’m very excited to see the emphasis on tasting education and expanding beer and spirit palates across Ohio!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy McAuliffe-Dickerson January 19, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Looks like I need to make a return trip to Cleveland!


Bite Buff January 19, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Very cool!


john January 19, 2011 at 1:37 pm



Heather January 19, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Something awesome on the East Side for a change. Yay!!!! Actually two somethings awesome. Moving the Independence location is a great idea. Now I REALLY can’t wait for nice weather.


Kyle January 22, 2011 at 11:08 am

This is great news!


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