With its boutique offerings and warm, eclectic atmosphere, Brew & Stew on Broadway Avenue in Lorain is serving simple, curated fare that owners Mary and Dorsey Fields say they would happily feed their baby daughter, Clover.
That includes a daily rotation of four to five soups with sandwiches such as a signature grilled cheese with tomato basil soup or a turkey melt with fresh avocado. Customers can select from an array of housemade syrups for their coffee brews, including a vanilla bean latte made with real vanilla beans.
“We have these cravable items that no one else really offers to elevate the food scene here,” says Mary Fields, who works at the restaurant, often with baby Clover in tow, seven days a week. “We use Rising Star Coffee out of Cleveland, breads from Blackbird Bakery in Lakewood, and we source our bakery from Laura Coteff from Abeille Bakery. She wants to have her own brick-and-mortar one day so instead of me buying from her as a supplier, it’s more as a partnership because I want her brand to grow.”
Since its soft opening in October, Brew & Stew has been winning customers and accolades on this main street that is undergoing a renaissance. 
“It’s been really great feedback and turnout and the motivation to kind of get going,” says Fields, adding that she and her husband moved back to the area from Dallas about a year ago and have another restaurant space under construction in a second building on Broadway.
“We wanted to have something open now because there’s so much movement going on down Broadway that our place is kind of the hub for people and developers coming to have a cup of coffee or lunch. Then they just hash out their big plans,” she says, adding that she grew up in Lorain and her bloodline is from the area. Her grandparents owned Adams Cafe in the 1940s. 
The couple owned and operated two food manufacturing companies in the area from 2000 to 2013 — what is now Custom Culinary in Avon Lake and another on Carnegie Avenue in Cleveland. Mary Fields says she ran a craft cocktail lounge for about three years in Dallas. 
The Fields’ new company, Black River Provisions, will eventually have multiple restaurant concepts in addition to Brew & Stew. It will open the Chicken Shack — a lunch and dinner concept — in its other location on Broadway. 
“These are concepts that we could put anywhere in the country. We could put them in Dallas, we could put them in Cleveland, but I have history here with my family,” she says. “I went to Lorain High School, and I fell in love with the area being on the lake and Black River Landing. We also love the diversity and the loyalty of the people.”
Brew & Stew has an inviting vintage feel with modern mid-century sofas and comfy seating areas, plus a small TV playing old VHS movies such as “Blues Brothers” or seasonal titles such as “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “White Christmas” during the holidays. 
Fields says she’s excited to see more restaurants coming to the area.
“We really, really want to focus on keeping it local and supporting each other,” she says. “I don’t look at anything as competition with other restaurants coming in. I look it as ‘Can I elevate the city and bring more people here?’ I’m all about the shared