New Red Brick in Merion Village to debut Friday

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JOSHUA A. BICKEL/THISWEEKNEWS.COM
George Stefanidis stands in front of his newest restaurant, Red Brick Tap & Grill, Friday, Nov. 1, in Merion Village.
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George Stefanidis said he is encouraged by the interest in the Red Brick Tap & Grill, his new Merion Village restaurant.

But he's not exactly happy about the lengthy series of delays.

"For the past five months I've heard this question 20 times a day: When are you going to open?" he said.

That question has been answered.

Friday, Nov. 8, the Red Brick -- formerly the Red Brick Inn -- will be ready for the public.

Like many taverns of the modern age, Red Brick will place an emphasis on beer, both craft and domestic, with 100 choices overall -- 30 on tap and another 70 by the bottle.

The beverage lineup also includes wine and spirituous alcohol, with an accent on bourbon.

Stefanidis has hired Mike Mottashed, formerly of Mellow Mushroom, as the executive chef.

The menu will offer New York-style pizzas, sold as whole pies and individual slices, gourmet hot dogs and smoked meats, including pork, ribs, brisket and chicken.

Prices for most entrees will range from $7 to $12, and more for customized pizzas.

The interior, which features more natural lighting, offers a mix of paprika-red, mustard yellow and black, with a high ceiling, new wooden floor, granite bar and seven 60-inch TVs tuned into sporting events.

A portion of the back bar is the only thing that remains of the previous space.

Red Brick, 292 E. Gates St., will start off with dinner only daily and will introduce lunch hours in a month or so.

Stefanidis has had a lengthy history on the central Ohio restaurant scene.

In 1994, he opened Easy Street Cafe, a casual restaurant with a budget-priced menu, at 197 Thurman Ave. in German Village, a short hop from Red Brick.

"I wanted it to be different than Easy Street," he said of his new restaurant.

"That kind of food goes well with the beer. I wanted to do nice portions with quality meats and sauces."

When William "Dell" Pipas, a long-time owner of the Red Brick Inn, announced his intention to sell, the place had everything Stefanidis wanted.

It was a short walk away from his flagship restaurant, it had lots of potential and was located in an older, established neighborhood. It had been a bar since the 1940s.

So, in January, he bought it, with the intention of re-opening the Red Brick in fairly short order.

But he made some layout changes to the 2,500-square-foot space, which postponed the opening.

"It's been frustrating," he said. "I didn't want to rush it. I wanted to do it right."

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