Heavy Seas Alehouse sets February opening date; Matt Seeber to be executive chef

The Baltimore Sun

Heavy Seas Alehouse will officially open February 15, the pub and restaurant announced this morning. It also confirmed that Matt Seeber, a former chef at Tom Colicchio's Craftsteak restaurant at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, will be its executive chef.

"Baltimore at its core has a long-standing love affair with beer and we look forward to making an impression on the scene and raising the bar on the brewhouse experience," Seeber said in a statement.

The new restaurant, located in Little Italy, licensed the name and trademark of the longtime Baltimore brewer, Heavy Seas Brewing, in November.

Hugh Sisson, founder of Heavy Seas, had resisted opening a storefront in addition to his brewery, in part because Maryland law prevents him from owning both.

But his stepson, Patrick Dahlgren, who is running the new pub,  convinced him that by licensing the name, he could both promote his brand without much risk.

Dahlgren has said he was following the example of Leinenkugel's, the Wisconsin brewery that licensed its name to a new beer garden at Power Plant Live, the first time it had ever done so.

"As the Heavy Seas brand has been building up, we just thought it was ready to have a spot of its own," Dahlgren said in November.

Though Sisson won't be actively involved in the new venue - under the licensing agreement, for instance, he can't dictate that the Alehouse only carry Heavy Seas beer - it has a lot in common with his namesake Federal Hill brewpub, Sisson's, which he sold in 1995.

The new pub and restaurant will be managed by Vince Cassino, who was the former general manager at Sisson's. And it will also be decorated with a nautical theme as an homage to the beer's trademark pirate logo.

Construction at the Alehouse, which is located at The Tack Factory in Little Italy, began in November. In addition to phasing out the look of the factory's old tenant, the restaurant Diablita, Dahlgren has also said a new raw bar will be added.

The restaurant sits nearly 200, in a main room and a back area. It will also have a beer garden for about 40 people. The beer list has not been finalized; Dahlgren has said the plan is to have between eight and ten drafts, in addition to a couple of casks.

Seeber, according to the bio in the press release, has 25 years of experience, including time at the Gramercy Tavern in New York City.

He did not address the specifics of the menu on Thursday's announcement, but said there will be an emphasis on beer-flavored cooking and pairings.

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