First Look: Immigrant Son Brewery Opens in Lakewood
After an arduous journey, owner Andrew Revy has launched his ambitious brewpub concept in West Lakewood.
After two years of trials and tribulations, Immigrant Son Brewery has reached the finish line on a massive renovation and an ambitious brewery approach in West Lakewood.
Opened Oct. 25, the 9,000-square-foot brewpub and restaurant consists of two dining rooms, a bar, a closed kitchen and a 10-barrel brewing system. Though original features such as the towering wood beams and skylights live on, the open dining room concept, kitchen addition and glass-enclosed brewing room are the result of a massive renovation of the former Constantino’s Market — one that proved arduous as it kicked off in March 2020, just as the pandemic shutdowns hit.
Owner Andrew Revy planned to open Immigrant Son last summer, but building delays made that impossible.
“People have been waiting in anticipation, so I think the excitement is genuine,” says Revy, who certainly has the evidence of a packed first week to back up that statement. “We had to navigate disruptions to construction schedules, supplies and financing, but we stayed the course.”
A nod to that spirit pops up on the beer list in the PerZverence IPA ($6), a citrusy 7.3% West Coast IPA that is also inspired by the story of Zydrunas Ilgauskas, the Cleveland Cavs legend who soldiered on through near career ending injuries to leave a storied legacy and lay roots in Northeast Ohio. Ten percent of proceeds of that beer go to a charity of Z and his wife’s choosing.
The IPA sits next to four core beers — including another IPA, a saison, an ale and a lager — and nine other rotating specialty beers, which range from ales to porters. The brewery is also distributing cans to specialty beverage stores such as Constantinos Market and Ross Beverage.
Stories like these pervade both the drink and food menu, which is inspired by Revy’s own roots as a first generation Hungarian immigrant. Brewery menus typically consist of burgers and pretzels — nothing wrong with that. But this menu attempts to represent tastes of the world. Bites such as a Spanish-inspired octopus ($15), Hungarian fried dough called Langos ($6-$12), Chicken paprikas ($24), Banh Mi ($14) and Branzino ($27), a pan-roasted whole fish, surprise and delight.
“Both my parents immigrated here, so growing up as an immigrant son, the story of immigrants resonates with me,” says Revy. “Langos and chicken paprikas are specific to my background, but I wasn’t just looking to do Hungarian food. My wife is Greek, so the octopus is a nod to her. I wanted people to be able to come and enjoy options for all types of desires on a globally inspired menu.”
Serving up these ambitious bites is executive chef Rob Dippong, who previously worked at Johnny’s Downtown and Gigi’s On Fairmount. Meanwhile, the sips come from brewmaster Eric Luli.
“Chef Rob has a wealth of knowledge, and Eric is going to be in the discussion for top brewers in Northeast Ohio,” says Revy. “The love of the food comes through. We have equal attention to the beer and the food.”
“After two years of time, effort, research, recipe testing, relationship building with vendors, suppliers, brewers, etc, I was told they ‘decided to go in a different direction’ one week prior to our first brew day,” Baker wrote on her Facebook page. “In these last two years, I have put a great deal of time, attention, energy and effort into helping to build something bigger than myself and have not really been compensated for the services and assistance I provided to help get the brewery to the point it is today. I did this because I believed in the owner’s vision and purpose and I was promised profit sharing and future employment. I’ve been transitioning away from my current career and clients based on these promises and at the direction/behest of ISB. I stayed committed to the project, even through many difficult times. I do not feel that I received the same in return."
These personnel changes did add to the hurdles this project met in getting open, Revy says. But however notable, he says his long career in the service industry has taught him that personnel changes are normal.
“Decisions get made for the betterment of the organization and people make decisions as well for, for their own reasons,” he says. “That's in the past, and we've moved on, and we're very excited that we're open and we're absolutely thrilled with the staff that we have now.”
Regardless of how Immigrant Son got here nearly two years after starting the project, the Lakewood brewery and restaurant has already solidified itself as a major player on the local restaurant scene thanks to solid beer and a bold menu.
For Revy, the space represents a celebration of community and togetherness.
“This is a place to come and gather and enjoy friends and family and enjoy a good time — and what better way than with drinking and eating food?” he says. “You know we are a nation of immigrants and all the people who have come here have brought their culture with them and much of culture is the food and drinks they brought here.”
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