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Who wants to cook? Let’s go out to eat. See where News-Herald staff members dined and where they go to unwind in our area. You might just find a new treasure in your own neighborhood.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Dining Out: Mentor's Local Tavern does interesting bar food at historic spot

It’s on the National Register of Historic Places, but the Sawyer Home in Mentor has a recent history of housing eateries with, well, short histories. In the last 15 or so years, it’s been home to at least four different restaurants.

Its latest occupant, Local Tavern, has a shot at making history. That’s to say it’s not hard to envision it sticking around for a while.

Locally owned by the same group that operates the flagship in Willoughby Hills, the Mentor location opened in June. Unlike its predecessor in the 170-year-old Sawyer home, the out-of-retirement version of Frank and Pauly’s that lasted only a year there, Local Tavern has figured out how to fit its style to the space. Four separate bars, an entertainment stage in the main room and strategically placed TVs work with the building’s cut-up layout better. The lively music and rock-themed décor make the whole place inviting and fun. You can watch sports there, but it’s not a sports bar.

Calling it a “tavern” is fitting. It’s more bar than restaurant, but Local Tavern is also a bar that foodies can get into. With a focus on fresh local ingredients, a tight menu and 30-some beers on tap — including a fair selection of micro-brews — it has a little bit of a higher-end feel to it, but without hitting your wallet on the high end.

Read more on Correspondent Mark Koestner's review: Dining Out: Mentor's Local Tavern does interesting bar food at historic spot.

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