Dining Out: Leroy Township’s Capp’s a sports bar with a few culinary tricks (2024)

If you’ve been through the intersection of Vrooman Road and Route 86 in Leroy Township, you’ve probably noticed the kind of quaint-looking building on the triangular strip of Route 86.

Capp’s Tavern and Eatery

has called that rural corner home for years, but when my wife and I stopped in for dinner on a recent Tuesday evening, it was our first visit inside. Capp’s is owned by locals Matt Krupka and Tim Toman, who have four other locations in Lake, Geauga and Ashtabula counties. Those are known as Capp’s Pizza, but the Leroy spot is a full-service bar-and-grill-type place. It was fairly crowded for a Tuesday when we walked in, but we were seated right away. Capp’s has sports memorabilia on its walls, giving it a sports-bar theme with a focus on nostalgia. It’s a comfortable, family-friendly place. The appetizers we started with, however, weren’t typical sports-bar fare. We chose a mini-tacos appetizer and what’s billed as “poor man’s wings,” which was a plate of steak fries covered in your choice of wing sauce. We went with the honey mustard, and I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of its flavor. More caramel-colored than mustard-colored, my eyes told me to expect the sweet taste of honey, but the sauce had a distinct smokiness to it that belied its appearance. Atop the thick steak fries, the flavor combination was nice. At $4.99, the big plate of deliciousness also lived up to its name, affordability-wise. The mini-tacos, also $4.99, were interesting, too. There were 10 of them on the plate, and if you can imagine round tortilla chips folded in half and fried, you can picture them. Inside each small taco shell was a taco-flavored smattering of refried beans. I was largely unimpressed with the first one, but I wound up finishing off the plate. They were sneaky-good. For my entree, I hemmed and hawed over a nice burger selection but instead chose a chicken-and-rib combination dinner ($14.99). It included a half-slab of ribs, a 6-ounce grilled chicken breast, salad or coleslaw, fries, baked potato or vegetable and a piece of garlic bread. Having had enough fries already, I went with the vegetable — broccoli — and also picked coleslaw over the salad. The chicken was all right — grilled chicken breast is grilled chicken breast, after all. But the ribs really caught my attention. The barbecue sauce wasn’t bad, although I would have liked a little more kick to it, but the ribs had a dry rub on them that included what I’d have to guess was cumin. It’s probably the first time I had ribs with that particular flavor layer to them, but it worked for me. The ribs themselves weren’t huge, but they were tender and meaty enough for somebody who enjoys ribs as much as I do. A bit of a coleslaw snob, I prefer a vinegar-based dressing, and if this slaw had vinegar, it wasn’t enough for my taste. It was fresh, however, and there wasn’t anything otherwise wrong with the dressing. The large florets of broccoli were perfectly steamed. My wife decided on the chicken club wrap ($9.99) and was treated to a good-sized tortilla stuffed with, well, chicken club sandwich ingredients. I didn’t take a bite, but she said it was really good. It looked good. What really looked good, however, was our dessert. We were both pretty full but couldn’t deny ourselves the brownie bites dish that caught our eye on the menu. The dish ($5.49) arrived on a large dinner plate, a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the middle surrounded by small squares of hot brownie, all drizzled in chocolate syrup and adorned with dabs of whipped cream. It was delicious, and it almost was a shame to eat something that was presented so nicely on the plate. It’s not the kind of dessert you’d expect to arrive at your table in a tavern, and in some ways, that personifies Capp’s. It looks like a sports bar, has plenty of menu items that come standard with any sports bar, but it packs some surprises, as well. The honey mustard sauce, the rub on the wings, the presentation of dessert — all attention to culinary details that add nuance you just don’t always get at bar-type eateries. I definitely came away a bit more impressed than I expected to be. That’s not to say the place is perfect. Capp’s bucks the trend of big, diverse beer selections, for example, and our service, while quick and efficient, wasn’t exceptionally friendly. It was pretty busy, yes, but I still expect service with a smile if I’m at a sit-down place. There aren’t a ton of dining options in Capp’s neck of the woods, and, overall, the one that occupies that triangle of land in Leroy does just fine. Capp’s Tavern & Eatery

12830 Painesville-Warren Road

| Leroy Township 440-254-1414 |


Location: On the corner of Vrooman Road and Painesville-Warren Road (Ohio Route 86). Type of restaurant: Tavern. Hours: Kitchen open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day, bar stays open later most days. Liquor and wine: Full bar. Facilities for the handicapped: Yes. Credit cards: Visa, Mastercard, Amex. Cuisine: Tavern. Vegetarian: Yes. Special diets: Ask your server to accommodate special diet needs. Kid-friendliness: Kids menu, high chairs, boosters. Outdoor dining: Yes. Dress code: Casual. Reservations: No. Prices: Moderate. Appetizers $4 to $7; burgers/sandwiches $7 to $10; entrees $10-to-$18. Value: Good. Ratings (of five): Food: 4 stars Atmosphere: 3 stars Service: 3 stars

Dining Out: Leroy Township’s Capp’s a sports bar with a few culinary tricks (2024)
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