Brown Bag Deli Opening in Short North in Partnership with BrewDog
When BrewDog was brainstorming ideas to revamp its Short North bar and bring in a new food option that better fit the neighborhood, they kept coming back to one concept.
“The neighborhood really needs a deli,” says Jon Quick, head of retail USA at BrewDog.
They wished they could do something like popular German Village mainstay, Brown Bag Deli. Instead of trying to recreate the wheel, BrewDog decided to go straight to the source and reach out to Owner Molly Pesich.
“It was such an easy and natural conversation for us to have and made sense for all of us from the beginning,” Quick says.
Pesich was immediately excited about the opportunity to partner with BrewDog at their space in the Short North.
“There’s definitely kind of a lack of fast-service, kind of grab-and-go sandwiches – exactly what we do,” Pesich says of the neighborhood.
For years, Pesich had her eye out for the right opportunity to expand Brown Bag Deli, and she says the partnership with BrewDog felt like the perfect opportunity to open a second location.
Brown Bag Deli and BrewDog will share space at 1175 N. High St., and have the same hours.
Brown Bag Deli has remodeled the existing kitchen space at BrewDog, but each business will have its own entrance – meaning customers can order from one or the other or both. One side of the building will continue to serve as the bar and dine-in seating area for BrewDog, where customers will order and be served eats from Brown Bag Deli. The other side of the building houses the kitchen and a small seating area that will eventually serve as dine-in space more for the deli.
Brown Bag Deli fans can expect the same house-made sandwiches, soups and sides the eatery is known for, along with a few new menu items. Pesich says they’ll incorporate BrewDog beer into some special dishes available only at the Short North location. First up is a custom beer brat, made in partnership with another local favorite, The Butcher & Grocer, served with Brown Bag Deli’s famous homemade spicy mustard. Quick says to expect some food and beer pairings as well.
As with all things, the pandemic has had its impact on the partnership. Quick says BrewDog had been looking to make a change at the Short North location for a while, feeling as though the initial concept missed the mark for the area. They were just getting the wheels turning when the pandemic struck. As the shutdown lingered, it was time to capitalize on the opportunity and finalize plans.
As for Brown Bag Deli, the business found itself in a better position than most throughout the pandemic. Deli eats are already in the realm of ideal to-go / carryout foods, and Brown Bag was able to easily adapt to online ordering only.
“Not many businesses or restaurants right now are looking or able to expand,” Pesich says. “I think because of how we have been able to adapt our business model for these times, I felt super comfortable in moving forward with this.”
While German Village is still online order only, Brown Bag in Short North will offer dine-in through BrewDog, as well as online ordering for carryout and delivery.
The BrewDog and Brown Bag partnership will make its debut on Thursday, October 15. Both spots will be open from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily. As regulations change, Quick says they’ll look at expanding hours to fulfill those midnight sandwich cravings.