The Black Pig is one of Ohio City’s quieter spots. Only a few blocks removed from the crushing drag of Cleveland’s West 25th, the dark, French-influenced bar and restaurant feels like a very grown-up place to get a drink. Those who patronize The Black Pig know that it has one of the best cocktail menus in the city, thanks in part to bartender Jacob Feitler's creative use of lesser-known and unconventional spirits.
Above the bar, there’s a row of green bottles, all Dolin Genepy des Alpes: an herbal liqueur from France with which even the most studied drinkers may not be familiar. Until recently, it was one of Feitler's favorite ingredients for the Pig’s acclaimed drinks menu. Thanks to recent developments from Ohio Division of Liquor Control, that’s changing.
“I haven’t been able to get it for months,” Feitler says, his tone somewhere between anger and resignation. With Genepy stripped away, he’s missing a staple of his arsenal. And he could have several more taken from him before winter is over.
In an otherwise dry weekly activity report for mid-September, the Division of Liquor Control announced its plans for a warehouse inventory reduction. "We have identified 1,000 SKUs [stock keeping units -- in essence, products] that will be removed from the warehouses and will no longer be available for ordering," reads the release (the actual number ended up being a little north of 700). "These slow-moving products represent only 4% of sales in Ohio."
What this means for Ohio bar- and restaurant-goers: Some very good spirits, barring changes to the plan, will likely no longer be available in the state of Ohio. (Feitler's beloved Genepy was on the list.)