Owner eyes March opening

The Knotty Pine returns to Grandview as a brewpub. Dispatch file photo.

The Knotty Pine in Grandview is making a comeback, if in name only. The former bar space, which was until recently a Rude Dog Bar & Grill, is coming back to life as Knotty Pine Brewing.

"A lot of people missed Knotty Pine and wanted it back," owner Jay Kessler said. "So we're bringing it back with its own beer."

Kessler will put his dozen years of managing restaurants to work for the brewery and restaurant. He's an active homebrewer, too, but he's hired an experienced brewmaster to get the beer side flowing. The brewmaster has yet to be named publicly, but Kessler said he nets 30 years of brewing experience; Kessler said he will serve as consultant and mentor to help transition from homebrewing to larger commercial brewing.

"There's a difference between brewing for home and for mass consumption," Kessler said, "Consistency is the biggest thing."

Kessler is using a half-barrel brewing system, and plans to only brew beers for the restaurant, not for distribution. He's starting with three beers: a pale ale, an IPA and a rotating seasonal selection. The first seasonal brew will be a porter. His goal is to increase to five or six house brews eventually.

The restaurant menu is still in development. Kessler has hired Chef Bret Perichak, most recently of Katalina's. Kessler said the menu will feature "a bit of an Italian flair."

Knotty Pine is aiming for an early March opening.

Nicholas Dekker writes about breakfast at breakfastwithnick.com and authored the guidebook "Breakfast With Nick: Columbus," with a second edition coming spring 2015. He leads breakfast and brunch tours for Columbus Food Adventures and brewery tours for Columbus Brew Adventures.