Cider Garden

Arsenal opening Cider Garden Saturday
Arsenal Cider House has a full day of festivities planned for the grand opening of its new cider garden on Saturday.

Located in the lot behind the cider house in Lawrenceville, owners Bill and Michelle Larking have spent the last eight months refurbishing the property into what’s now a fenced lawn, complete with picnic table seating for about 50 people and space for visitors to lay out blankets on the grass.

The grand opening, which will run from noon to 8 p.m., will include live music by the Cadillac Jazz Quartet, John Melnick, Bret Kunash and The Brothers Jenkins. Butcher on Butler will be on hand grilling all manner of delicious meats.

Owner Bill Larkin says that food trucks, jazz and folk music will be part of the garden’s regular programming, and that the garden will be open into the fall “for as long as anyone would want to sit outside.”

Hop Farm getting a brewpub license
Lawrenceville’s Hop Farm Brewing Company has added seating to its tasting room and owner Matt Gouwens says he anticipates having a valid brewpub license as soon as today.

The license will enable Hop Farm to serve beer by the glass in addition to filling growlers. Gouwens has also added a small kitchen and plans to serve soft pretzels and sausages from—where else?—Butcher on Butler, topped with homemade sauerkraut.

Hop Farm will also be hosting a local beer festival, Hoptoberfest, in late September with at least 15 local brewers and food pairings to match.

Chef T.J. leaving Fukuda
T.J. Barney, the executive chef at Bloomfield’s Fukuda sushi restaurant, will return home to the west coast to be closer to his family. Saturday will be his final day at Fukuda. His replacement has not yet been named.

Twelve Oaks opens next week
Twelve Oaks, the new restaurant and tavern set in the former Wayside Manor in Fayette County, will open next week.

The 21-room mansion, which previously housed the Thompson House Restaurant and Tavern, will offer southern cuisine with “a modern flare.” Twelve Oaks will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during Sunday brunch.

Gregory Hager, a Cleveland native who trained in Pacific Northwest, is serving as the restaurant’s executive chef.

Matthew Wein is a local writer, editor, blogger, storyteller and proud native Pittsburgher. Once described as "a man of things," he covers city design, spirits and craft beer for NEXT, where he keeps all of the editorial meetings light-hearted and interesting. His interests include sorting books, looking at old things and candles which smell like old-growth pine forests.