Vikings aren’t exactly known for being delicate and artful, but LBM, Lakewood’s Norse-themed bar, has used this approach to conquer Cleveland’s craft cocktail scene since 2017. Co-owner and bartender Eric Ho, a co-founder of the Cleveland chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild, captains a crew of the city’s most feared (and beloved) cocktail pourers.
Ho’s love for fresh ingredients and “salad-like cocktails” developed at Rocky River’s Sweet Melissa. Later, he got “real nerdy” after reading Dave Arnold’s Liquid Intelligence, which led to LBM. “We use molecular gastronomy techniques, like measuring out acids to the 100th gram and milk-washing tea infusions to cut the astringency.”
All for One.
A captain is nothing without his crew. Ho’s has come up through the ranks of Cleveland’s restaurant scene. “There isn’t an ominous boss figure that looms over us. We built LBM from the ground up, and run it to benefit us all.”
What Drives You.
Being the bar man goes back to Ho’s college days, where the rocker would mix drinks for friends from his guitar case. “I can get pummeled and have to make like 10 cocktails. It’s fun to figure out how to do it without excessive movements.” 12301 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-712-4692, lbmbar.com