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Rebranded Holy Toledo! Tavern set to open Friday

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    Exterior of the Holy Toledo! Tavern. The Grand Opening is set for Friday, March 9 at 5 p.m.

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    Angelo Jordan sweeps the floor of the new Holy Toledo! Tavern.

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    Chris Shannon, director of operations, food and beverages for the Toledo Mud Hens, inside the new Holy Toledo! Tavern.

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    David Johnson cooks cheeseburgers at the new Holy Toledo! Tavern.

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    Chef Brian Lovell prepares "Loaded Tots" at the new Holy Toledo! Tavern.

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    The "Build Your Own Burger" at the new Holy Toledo! Tavern. The Grand Opening is Friday, March 9 at 5 p.m.

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BIX-TOLEDO08-5

Exterior of the Holy Toledo! Tavern. The Grand Opening is set for Friday, March 9 at 5 p.m.

THE BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH
Enlarge | Buy This Image

Large, historic Toledo Mud Hens photos are the first thing one notices upon entering the new Holy Toledo! Tavern, 9 N. St. Clair St.

On shelves above the bar sit baseball helmets and small Jeep replicas, both items familiar to residents of northwest Ohio.

“What really identified with us the most was a sense of community pride and community engagement,” said Chris Shannon, director of operations, food and beverages for the Mud Hens, during a Wednesday preview of the new eatery.

“We're in such a historic area and such a historic building. We're trying to bring that livelihood back and remember where we came from and have a sense of pride in the community.”

Holy Toledo! Tavern is the rebranding of NINE after the restaurant announced its closing in January. The new space will have its official grand opening to the public at 5 p.m. Friday.

VIDEO: Holy Toledo! Tavern set to open

Chicken wings, loaded tater tots, flame grilled chicken breast, and its signature Holy Toledo! burger portend what the full menu includes. That’s not to mention the more than 20 beers on tap, including local offerings from breweries such as Maumee Bay and Black Cloister.

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Chris Shannon, director of operations, food and beverages for the Toledo Mud Hens, inside the new Holy Toledo! Tavern.

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Of course, Bud Light and Miller Light are also an option despite the majority of craft beer available.

“I’m a big believer of having that mix,” said Lupe Hernandez, general manager, food and beverages.

The tavern includes two rooms that can hold approximately 100-150 people, as well as an outdoor back patio where guests can enjoy a beverage while watching a live Mud Hens game.

Mr. Hernandez said the food on offer isn’t “freezer to fryer type” food. Everything is hand made with fresh ingredients.

“If I’m coming to a game I want a good burger, good appetizers, good beer, reasonably priced that will fill me up that can still have a unique approach to it,” he said. “We had to take advantage of the fact that we already have a prime location and we have to build off that. The menu now reflects that.”

As with its predecessor NINE, patrons can still expect to see live music at the tavern every Friday and Saturday night.

Seating booths have been raised and a color scheme of navy and gray introduced throughout the tavern, something Mr. Shannon said will be more appealing to the public.

“From the beginning Holy Toledo! just really stuck to me, it just made sense,” he said. “Everyone has their different take on [what the phrase means]. ... We have an opportunity to capture that.”

Hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. The tavern will also be open Sunday and Monday for Mud Hens and Walleye games, concerts, and select downtown events.

NINE and Fleetwood's Tap Room, which is across St. Clair Street, were part of the original Hensville entertainment complex that debuted shortly before opening day in 2016.

The $21 million mixed-use development of restaurants, offices, and event space was created by using state and federal historic tax credits and new market tax credits to refurbish old buildings, including a pair that date back to the 1880s.

“At the end of the day everything has a home, everything has a purpose and we want people to feel the same way when they come in,” Mr. Shannon said. “That they have a sense of pride and sense of community and they can identify with everything.”

Contact Geoff Burns at gburns@theblade.com or 419-724-6054.

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