In the past year, we lost some reliable longtime restaurants, some promising spots gone too soon and everything in between.
In December 2016, owner Paul Liu closed Haiku in the Short North after 18 years. That same month, The Florentine on Broad Street shut its doors after a 71-year run. The Italian restaurant now lives on in the form of retail pasta sauces and dressings.
In January, DareDevil Dogs closed after two years and has since been replaced by Eden Burger. After a furious start that saw Salt & Pine earn a four-star review from this magazine, Chris Crader's ambitious Downtown restaurant closed in February. That same month, George Stefanidis closed his Greek-American watering hole Easy Street Café after 23 years. South Village Grille has since replaced it.
In March, owner Mary Lyski closed Double Comfort, her fried-chicken-meets-social enterprise eatery in the Short North. Lyski has since launched a line of sauces and spices. Jie's Good Tasting in Grandview, known for its Chinese dumplings, also closed.
Clintonville lost an icon in vegetarian dining when Whole World Natural Restaurant & Bakery closed in April. Two Vietnamese-inspired restaurants, Tot Vietnamnoms and A Taste of Vietnam, couldn't cut it in the suburbs and closed last year after short runs.
In the summer, Alana's Food & Wine rocked the dining scene when chef Alana Shock and her husband Kevin Bertschi sold the restaurant to the owners of what is now Trillium Kitchen & Patio. Barbecue-centric Rooks Tavern, named one of our Best New Restaurants last year, caught us by surprise when it closed in July after less than a year in the University District. Then in August, the national chain Max & Erma's closed its original location in German Village after 45 years.
This fall, Black Creek Bistro chef-owner Kent Peters decided to close his farm-to-table restaurant after 10 years in Olde Towne East. We also said goodbye to Dirty Frank's West Side.
Finally, we bid adieu this winter to chef Matthew Litzinger's Homefare, the Sichuan standby Fortune Chinese (on Olentangy) and another vegetarian favorite in the South Indian Udipi Café.