Restaurant of the Month: Bar 145 Toledo


It’s that time of the month again! I love doing restaurant reviews. It’s a great way to check in on customers and see what’s new since we helped them launch their restaurant or their last purchase. We are forever indebted to all of our customers. If it wasn’t for your loyalty, we would not be listed in Inc. Magazine’s Top 5000 List.

Once again, it was Jeff Husser’s turn to select the restaurant of the month, so I eagerly awaited his nomination. When he sent over Bar 145, I was elated! Bar 145 is perhaps the most popular gastropub to ever hit Toledo’s restaurant scene.

When I walked in to Bar 145, I was impressed by the atmosphere and decor.  It’s very obvious they spared no expense when decorating the dining area. Wood and red painted panels adorned the walls and the ceiling is exposed and painted black. Standard tables and bar height tables with Bar 145 engraved stools and chairs are scattered around the restaurant and patio area.  On the far left side is a good size stage for Dueling Pianos and different bands from Port Clinton, Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit, and Toledo. Classic of Mr. Ed’s in Put in Bay, the bar is in the middle of the restaurant and extends all the way to the middle of the outside patio. There are 8 big screen televisions around the bar showing various sporting events, however the volume was muted. The layout of the bar makes it easy for patrons to enjoy the outside patio without sacrificing bar service or hearing and watching the band on the opposite wall. It’s a great summertime feature. But, don’t worry because when winter comes around, an awning will enclose half of the patio so that the whole bar can be enjoyed in the cold Toledo months as well.

While Bar 145 opened on May 18, 2011 by Jeremy Fitzgerald, owner of Mr. Ed’s and Mist in Put in Bay, Ohio, the preparation for their grand opening took months to perfect. In past business dealings, Jeremy worked with Jameel Burkett, but after taking on the position of Vice President, Jeff Hauser was selected to work with Jeremy. Initally, Jeremy chose to purchase only a few key items from Burkett’s, but after meeting with Jeff, the decision was made that Burkett Restaurant Equipment would be the exclusive supplier of Bar 145. “Jeff is awesome. He came out just about every night to make sure things looked perfect.” Bar 145’s Executive Chef Robby added that Jeff’s experience in the kitchen as an accomplished chef and his knowledge of how the line works helped them properly set up their kitchen. “That kind of knowledge is invaluable.” Jeff Husser has 28 years kitchen experience, has worked in over 20 different kitchens, and knows how to maximize a commercial kitchen’s layout. He explains, “I’ve worked in all facets of restaurants, from truck stops to private clubs, with all different types of cuisine. I have an extensive background in catering, and have a year in front of the house management also.”

Everything was bought from Burkett’s, from the flatware and tables to the refrigerator and char broiler (note, there is no freezer at Bar 145- except an ice cream freezer- because everything is made fresh to order. Never frozen and thawed.) But Chef Robby’s favorite piece of equipment is his Waring 2.5 Qt  Food Processor. Nearly all of the 90 sauces they make are tomato or fruit based made from scratch and require pureeing to get the perfect consistency.

After talking with Jeremy and Chef Robby, I thought it would be only appropriate to grab a bite to eat before leaving. The menu at Bar 145 can be quite intimidating at first, so take your time when ordering. I took a friends advice and ordered the Pretzel Chips. This is definitely not your usual appetizer- to think about it, none of the food at Bar 145 is ordinary. Chef Robby has successfully taken every typical bar food to the next level (hence the gastropub). The dipping cheese is not the questionable bright yellow cheese mixture most bars offer. The appetizer is thick slices of pretzels with a melted Gouda cheese dip. Delicious!! Other appetizers include Fresh Cut Fries (tossed with white truffle oil, rosemary, and parmesan cheese served with red pepper aioli), the Baked Potato Waffle (baked potato pureed with cheddar cheese baked in a waffle iron and topped with sour cream and chives), and Fried Pickled Green Beans (green beans, pickled in house, battered in a spicy tempura served with a sweet chili sauce).

Time to order my entree. While Bar 145 offers salads, Chicken and Waffles, and The Po’Boy  I’m pretty sure it would be wrong to leave this place without trying what they are known for- a Burger cooked to a perfect 145 degree temperature. I decided to be creative and enjoy a “Stack Your Own Burger.” To begin, pick your protein. All the meat comes from Niman Ranch in California- one of the most socially responsible farms in America.  I chose the beef patty (chicken breast, veggie, salmon, and turkey burgers are other great choices). Then, select from one of their breads baked fresh daily from Strachn’s Bakery. I chose the Pretzel Roll (brioche, ciabatta, and onion roll is also available). Most of the artisan cheeses are purchased from Zingermanns Deli in Ann Arbor. While tempted to try the Detroit Brick, I took Jeremy’s advice and went with cream cheese. Next you pick your toppings and sauces. In the end here’s a breakdown of what I ordered: All Beef Patty on a Pretzel Roll with Cream Cheese, Bourbon Mustard, Arugula, Tomatoes, and Sauteed Sweet Onions (vegetables are purchased from local farmers in the Port Huron area). I’ve only got one word to describe it: MONSTER!! Well worth the $8! 

I really loved this place! The food, decor, and cool music vibe makes Bar 145 a true Toledo destination spot. It’s unique and people are positively talking about it. If you haven’t checked them out you really should do so soon. They’ve got a really big event coming up that Jeremy promises is going to be a great time. On September  17, join Bar 145 for Tailgate 145 Parking Lot Pig Roast Party. The roast starts at 11am, and the band Danger Brothers will take the stage at 3pm. Raffles will be available and proceeds will benefit Sals Pals Charity. They’ll also have a jumbo tron outside for the Ohio State vs. Miami game.

Learn more about Bar 145-

Have you been to Bar 145 yet? Share your thoughts with us!
One Response to Restaurant of the Month: Bar 145 Toledo
  1. David Brooks Reply

    Are you on crack cocaine? This bar sucks. The wait staff and bartenders are idiots that know nothing about service. The burgers are small and when you order a burger medium well that doesn’t mean medium RARE. I would advise EVERYONE to stay away from this place…you can thank me later.

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