Corner Provisions is the new business on the block

by Sheldon Ocker

Coming to Bath Township in May is an entertainment concept with few if any parallels in Northeast Ohio, or maybe all of the state.  

That would seem to be an overly dramatic description of Corner Provisions until you push open the front door at 1070 Ghent Rd. You want a raw bar, pressed sandwiches, a pile of oysters or a charcuterie board? How about a shot of Woodford Reserve or Angels Envy? Maybe a filet cut from the loin of a cow raised fewer than 30 miles from Akron?

Or a self-serve wine system that can “pour” one sip or one glass? A coffee shop that serves baked goods from the Farmer’s Rail in Hudson or locally made ice cream? A place to imbibe or dine that’s either indoors or outdoors, directly in front of an open kitchen or a quiet area surrounded by walls lined with wine bottles?

Then there are the non-food or drink options. A semiprivate club to practice your golf swing and work space for those who need an office for a week or a month.

Customers can eat seafood dishes at Pitchfork’s raw bar. Photos by Sheldon Ocker.

There is plenty to digest at Corner Provisions, which is divided into Pitchfork (food), Eden (drink), Café 36 (coffee, bakery), the Corner Club (golf simulators), Pav’s Creamery (ice cream) and Upper Desk (office space).

Jeff Brunty is the coowner
of Pitchfork.

The property sat empty for years until financial adviser Tom Giltner came along. Giltner grew up in Bath but after graduating from the University of Dayton, he and his wife moved to North Carolina. Then they returned to the Midwest.

“We were surprised that this particular corner was not locked in,’’ he said. “We felt there was an additional need for eateries, bars and places to socialize.’’

Giltner was introduced to Jeff Brunty, who became renowned in the township after opening the Farmer’s Rail, a butcher shop on Cleveland-Massillon Road, in 2018. Brunty, who has added shops in Hudson and Cuyahoga Falls – both of which have restaurant components – wanted in.

He and David McIlvaine became owners of Pitchfork; several others invested in the remaining components. Giltner owns the building and pieces of each business, except Pitchfork.

Nik Pappas, owner of Green-based Pav’s Creamery, made Corner Provisions his fifth location. Pav’s has been open for two months.

Pitchfork is the centerpiece of Corner Provisions, a fine dining restaurant specializing in meats, fish and seafood. Brunty was aiming for a May 1 grand opening (raw bar, charcuterie, salad and sandwich service have been available from the small second-floor kitchen), but he had to wait for his main first-floor kitchen equipment to arrive, which happened on April 10. Brunty was still seeking an executive chef in mid-April.

Fronting the long main kitchen is seating for a chef’s table, so “people can watch the show,’’ Giltner said. Tables for another 30-35 customers fill the rest of the space.

“They’ve done a good job of hiding nothing,’’ Giltner said. “Everything is out in the open. Always clean. Always fresh.’’

Most of the meat and poultry used in the restaurant will be locally sourced by Brunty, who operates a farm in Ashland County.

Eden includes a separate wine bar.

“We have a [local] network of six farms,’’ he said. “So we’ll probably generate about 80% of the protein. But we’re starting to branch out. [Produce] definitely is in our wheelhouse. It’s just not something we do now.’’

Most seating is on the second floor, surrounding the bar and in the area reserved for wine. Patrons in the wine bar will confront several dispensers, each holding four wines. Customers can press a button and receive a taste or a full pour.

Wine also will be sold by the bottle. Giltner said that at any given time there probably will be 180-200 wines on hand priced from $20 to $1,000.

The second floor also has seating on a patio that seems large enough for a tennis court.

The first-floor Corner Club is furnished with four big-screen golf simulators. Giltner said they are the same model Masters champion Jon Rahm uses for practice.

Membership options are $80 per month for an individual and $95 per month for a family, after a $400 initiation fee. There also are per-hour fees ranging from $20-$40, depending on the time of day and day of the week. Members can take advantage of a separate food menu, the use of the first-floor patio and attend specified social events.

Non-members will pay $60-$70 per hour and can order from the Corner Club menu. Teaching professionals Steve Duhon and Nina Gildersleeve will be available to give lessons for a fee.

The southern end of Bath Township is hardly jam-packed with restaurants, but Vaccaro’s Trattoria, Ken Stewart’s Lodge and Tre Belle, Lanning’s and Gasoline Alley are a five-minute drive or less from Corner Provisions.

“Competition is good for the local community,’’ Brunty said. “It makes every restaurant better and unique in its own way. Personally, competition is what has made us what we are today. I don’t look at it as a threat. And ultimately the consumer wins.’’ ∞

Featured Photo: The “Corner Provisions” building at the corner of Ghent and Cleveland-Massillon roads is complete and open for business after the pandemic led to a construction delay.