Yusef Riazi, who gave Columbus a minimal-chic spot to sip cocktails in Mouton, tells Crave that he has sold the Short North bar.

Yusef Riazi, who gave Columbus a minimal-chic spot to sip cocktails in Mouton, tells Crave that he has sold the Short North bar. A series of personal crises has left Riazi unable to manage day-to-day operations at the bar, he said. New owners Todd Hellman and Jonathan Klingler, longtime Short North residents with backgrounds in the financial industry, are in the process of purchasing Mouton and will take over operations as of Monday.

"My passion and my strength is in creating. It was never intended to be at managing," Riazi said. "I just wanted to create a showroom, and I didn't know what it would take to get that showroom to be a functioning business."

Riazi opened the bare-bones establishment in the summer of 2010, and with its pared-down menu of classic drinks and artisan bar snacks, it quickly became a destination for the city's cocktail connoisseurs. Prominent local mixologist Cris Dehlavi took over duties as bar manager in April of this year, but left Mouton in August.

"I'm selling a beautiful brand and putting it into the hands of people who know my standards and my grace and my expectations," Riazi said. "I feel that things are strong and will continue to be stronger with a stronger leader than I could ever be."

(Jodi Miller photo)