CLEVELAND - Boris Music came to the United States from Slovenia in 1976. He had just $20 in his pocket.
In 1978, Music had the chance to purchase the Hansa Hous on Lorain Road near West 28th Street. It was available "almost free", said Music. He will always be grateful for that opportunity.
"I was fortunate to meet so many people who were willing to take me under their wing," Music said.
Over the years, the travel agency and import store did well. People knew it was about the only place in town to purchase European candies, beer, and wine. Meats and other delicacies are also sold there. Music always knew he would someday expand.
"I have been working a long time on the idea of adding another brewery to the area," Music said.
His timing may be perfect. With Great Lakes Brewing Company, The Market Garden and Nano Brew right around the corner, a real brewing district in Ohio City was created. The Palace of Fermentation is also planning to open on West 24 Street. All of the breweries will be within walking distance of each other.
The Hansa Hous recently struck a deal with Slovenian beer maker Lasko. Hansa Hous acquired the rights to produce their beer right here in Cleveland.
"There is a good possibility that a brewery in Austria may also allow us to produce their beer too," Music said.
Their adjoining store will continue to feature wine and bottled beer from Russia and Poland.
Plans are already in the works for the restaurant's menu. Popular items like sandwiches and burgers will be available in the lower level brew pub. But Music wants to make sure Cleveland's diverse ethnic makeup is well taken care of.
"Fine dining will be available on the second level. We have a plan where visiting chefs will rotate every 90 days from different European countries," Music said.
Homemade specialties from Germany, Croatia and Italy will be prepared by chefs from those very countries. Announcements will be made to keep customers up to date with what will surely be an ever-changing menu. Sampling great food from Europe may be as easy as making a short drive in your car.
Hansa Hous will be a truly unique restaurant and brew pub in Ohio City's ever growing Market Square district.
Hansa Hous should be open near the end of 2013.