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Mid City Garage Ready to Open in Merion Village

Susan Post Susan Post Mid City Garage Ready to Open in Merion VillagePhotos provided by Leanna McKenney-Heath
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Here’s something to look forward to once restaurants resume dine-in operations: Mid City Garage will open its doors in Merion Village at 1179 Jaeger St.

It’s another spot in an expanding empire for George Tanchevski, who owns Local Cantina, as well as The Rossi and Local Bar in Short North, Old Skool and SIP Local in Clintonville, and Jonys Sushi and South Village Grille In German Village.

Mid City Garage shares a landlord with Tanchevski’s two German Village joints, leading him to the space that’s just down the street. Thinking about what kind of concept would be best-suited for the area, Tanchevski landed on a wood-fired oven eatery, serving up pizzas, appetizers and more.

“We want it to have that intimate feeling, but very casual neighborhood-bar type deal,” says Leanna McKenney Heath who manages local operations for the restaurant group.

Heath says they don’t want to be just a pizza place, but they’ll be serving up some exciting pies. The individual-sized 8-inch pizzas come in varieties like Carbonara, Burrata and more. (The Carbonara and Burrata are early favorites of neighborhood strollers who have been lucky enough to score free pizzas as Mid City makes use of ingredients in the order pipeline before the pandemic hit.)

In the appetizer realm, Mid City Garage will explore the bounds of its wood-fired oven, offering wood-fired wings, dips with fresh-made bread, meatballs, hummus and more. A variety of sandwiches and charcuterie will round out the menu.

To drink, Heath says Mid City Garage will offer a cocktail-forward bar concept.

Mid City Garage is the second “Mid City” business to occupy the address. Formerly Mid City Automotive Services, Heath says many people in the area got to know the shop and its owner, with the front office becoming its own social gathering spot in the neighborhood. While the owner of the auto shop passed away a few years ago, the name will now live on – as will the garage-vibe.

“The decor is more of what you would find in an old repair garage,” Heath says, with fenders on the walls and a car hood in the bathroom.

And yes, there is a garage door that opens onto the patio. Clocking in at a tight 2,500 square feet, there will be about the same number of seats in the dining room as on the patio.

Although it’s not even open yet, Mid City Garage has still felt the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The day Governor Mike DeWine suspended dine-in service, “It basically halted everything we were working on over there,” Heath says.

They were in the final inspections, ready-to-open-within-a-week phase. However, Heath says, the extra time has given them the opportunity to work on more projects and continue to refine the concept. For instance, instead of buying patio furniture, they built it. To the benefit of imbibers, the cocktail menu has also seen some continued tweaks.

Heath says the second dine-in restrictions are lifted – even if it’s at a reduced capacity – Mid City Garage is ready to open its doors.

“We’re very excited to get back to some semblance of normalcy and open our doors,” Heath says.

Mid City Garage will open at 3 p.m. daily and stay open late. Eventually, they hope to add brunch on weekends.

For more information, visit midcitygarage.com.

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