Openings, closings and more local food and drink news

Openings & Expansions

Alpine Restaurant & Bar and El Lugar, two new restaurant and bar concepts from partners Alban Ndreu, Enis Ndreu and Elidon Hizmo, are set to officially open Monday, Oct. 29, at 525 S. Fourth St., previously home to Juergens German Bakery & Restaurant. Separated by a wall, the two German Village businesses offer contrasting cuisines from Europe. Alpine serves a menu of German and Swiss classics, like schnitzel, Bavarian pretzels, rouladen and an entire section dedicated to cheese, including raclette. The bar menu includes wine, cocktails and an interesting selection of German beers. Next door, the more intimate El Lugar, meaning “the place,” offers Spanish-style tapas and pinchos (small, skewered snacks), plus a full bar.

Criollo, the new fast-casual concept from the owners of Si Senor, opened Downtown this week at 51 E. Gay St., formerly The Carvery. Currently open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Peruvian eatery invites diners to build their meal Chipotle-style, with rice or quinoa, veggies, proteins and sauces.

Block's Bagels, Columbus' longtime New York-style bagel bakery will join the North Market this fall as a pop-up on select weekends starting Sunday, Nov. 4, and running through Jan. 27. Bagels and cream cheese will be available, or patrons can order in advance from the Bexley-area café’s full menu for pick up.

The Market at Flint Station is holding a grand opening celebration 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday. The 1890s-era building, located at 225 Park Rd. near Westerville, was formerly home to the Flint Carry-Out. The new owners, sisters-in-law Gracie and LeighAnn Guagenti, plan to embrace a “shop local, be local” philosophy in the renovated market/event space, offering local produce and provisions, craft beer, wine and a barista bar. Saturday’s open house will feature live music, food trucks, craft beer, children’s activities and more.

Sweet Carrot, the fresh-casual spot from Angela Petro, plans to open its third location on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 7571 Sawmill Rd. in Dublin.

The fast-casual chain Freshii is now open at 2511 E. Main St. in Bexley.

Events, Odds & Ends

Last Call, the temporary liquor outlet run by Ohio’s Division of Liquor Control, continues its clearance sale Thursday through Sunday at the former Giant Eagle, 777 Neil Ave. in Victorian Village.

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