When Avon Brewing Company (ABC) purchased the longtime dive bar ZZ’s Big Top at the east end of Avon, the plan was always to maintain the charm and name of an establishment that has been part of the city’s social fabric for decades.
“It’s a historic spot for us,” says Executive Chef Brian Weaver, who owns ABC with his brother, Ken Weaver, and brother-in-law Mathias Hauck. “I grew up in Avon and my roots have always been here and my family has always lived here. To take over this space — we are really fortunate.”
The ABC team essentially gutted and rebuilt infrastructure like plumbing and electrical, but kept the hole-in-the-wall feel. Landscaping and a generous outdoor dining space, along with interior remodeling, makes ZZ’s fresh yet familiar.
The menu will also be simple yet satisfy a crowd that knows ZZ’s for wings, beers and good times. That said, ABC is expanding to offer baskets and fries. Six of the taps will pour ABC brews, and patrons can also order domestics or even some top-shelf bourbon, which is not something the former bar offered. “We’re keeping it real simple with some inexpensive beers and liquor, but we have some high-end stuff — there’s a touch of both,” Weaver says.
ABC also sells its cans, and a $1 happy hour is reminiscent of the ZZ’s people know, Weaver says.
Additionally, ABC purchased another historic building at its main location in the French Creek District, 37040 Detroit Road. “We put in a tap room and five-barrel brewing system,” Weaver says.
ABC is known for using local, sustainable ingredients in its handcrafted beers and menu — it’s fine dining with a laid-back vibe, while ZZ’s is a new take on a timeless watering hole.
“A lot of adults in Avon remember stopping at ZZ’s,” Weaver reminisces. “It’s a place where you might stop with your dad on the way home from work, so to be able to redo two spots in Avon and breathe life back into them is really cool, and the city has really supported and embraced us.”