Brews News

The Lockview

photo courtesy of google images
Chad W. Lutz
Let’s be honest, unless you’ve been living under a rock the last decade or so, chances are you’ve heard of the Ohio gourmet grilled cheese renaissance catapulted into hungry Buckeye stomachs by Cleveland’s Melt and Cincinnati’s Tom + Chee. Both restaurants received national attention and garnered spotlight episodes on the popular Man Vs Food show starring Adam Richman. Each restaurant offers its own unique take on the traditionally ho-hum (but seriously delicious) sandwich in eclectic yet entertaining and inviting dining environments. However, you may not know about the Akron grilled cheese experience known as The Lockview.

Located on South Main across from the Lock 3 pavilion, The Lockview provides cheap eats and strong drinks without sacrificing flavor or finesse. Although seemingly like any other bar inside and out based on appearances, once seated and handed their extensive beer and wine list, along with their lunch and dinner menu, its easy to see why the restaurant often has a two-hour wait list to be seated.

As you enter the restaurant, patrons file in through a small, tan waiting area, which opens up into the main dining hall. A long bar, including stools, lines the right-hand side of the establishment. Giant chalkboards hanging proudly above the bar boast the daily drink specials and brews available on tap. Beer enthusiasts will enjoy the near-endless (over 150) selection of both domestic (boring) and craft brews from breweries worldwide. The wine selection also offers national and international vino connoisseurs a wide array of flavors and choices. The Lockview typically has several bartenders on staff. Within twenty minutes of waiting for a table, guests can expect to be asked if they’ve been taken care of at least once, if not two or three times by the bar staff. Attentive service means happy customers, and The Lockview serves it up.

The Lockview also aims to please those in the mood to eat…seriously. Dining sometimes gets a little cramped due to the smaller size of the seating area. As mentioned before, waits often reach in excess of two hours on the weekends (Thursday through Saturday), but the restaurant does offer call-ahead seating, which is probably your best bet if you’re looking to head out to The Lockview on a weekend or holiday.

The left side of the restaurant as you enter through the front doors consists entirely of wood booths and tables. Each booth includes high backs, which allow for more intimate gatherings with your party. The restaurant is usually pretty noisy, but no noisier than your average restaurant or bar. The overall atmosphere is cheerful and mellow. A heavy dose of reggae (Marley, Sublime, 311) has played in the background both times I’ve visited The Lockview. Hip, young people are most certainly the predominant group found at the restaurant, but there is generally a smatter of everyone in attendance on any given night (or day).

Last, but not least, The Lockview menu is really what makes the restaurant/bar one of Akron’s hottest spots for brews and eats. Beginning with appetizers like baked sweet potato fries, macaroni and cheese bites, Lockview Croquettes (Panko crusted mashed potatoes mixed with cheese and deep-fried), homemade tortilla chips and spicy Cajun crab dip, the menu moves on to homemade tomato soup, anything but your ordinary salads (heavy use of spinach, arugula, goat cheese, and walnuts) and the main event: gourmet grilled cheese. The Lockview patrons may choose from 13 succulent grilled cheese sandwiches featuring toppings like garlic mashed potatoes and American cheese (#12), smoked gouda, fresh basil and tomato on three-cheese miche bread (#7) and cheddar cheese, grilled apples and applewood smoked bacon on country buttertop bread (#6). Really, you can’t go wrong with any of the 13 featured gourmet grilled cheeses, but for the lactose intolerant (or just plain stubborn) crowd, The Lockview offers traditional sandwiches, and even offers vegetarian options, fish tacos and homemade macaroni and cheese.

So, there you have it: an inside look at Akron’s own The Lockview. If you’re tired of the extremely long waits at Melt or visiting in the area from Cincinnati, give The Lockview and try and you might be pleasantly surprised by this Rubber City treasure. Just watch out for crazies from Barley House down the street.

The Lockview
207 S. Main St. Akron, Ohio 44308
Mon-Thu: 11a.m. to 11p.m.; Fri: 11a.m. to Midnight
Sat: 4p.m. to Midnight; Sun: 4p.m. to Midnight
Bar Open Daily Until 2a.m.
Prices: $3.50 to $7.00