Openings, closings and more Columbus food and drink news
A rumored addition to the plant-based dining scene is coming to fruition. Portia’s Café owner Portia Yiamouyiannis plans to open Portia’s Diner in the former Whole World Natural Restaurant & Bakery space in Clintonville. Whole World, a vegetarian restaurant serving Columbus for nearly 40 years, closed at 3269 N. High St. in April 2017. According to ThisWeek Community News, the new vegan spot will serve traditional diner fare — pancakes, hamburgers, desserts — with Yiamouyiannis’ spin on it. Look for it to open by the end of the year.
A second Saraga International Grocery is in the works, according to ThisWeek Community News. The new location of the ethnic foods market, a 100,000-square-foot former Kohl’s store at 2750 S. Hamilton Rd., is expected to open by the end of the year. The original Saraga location at 1265 Morse Road opened in 2013.
Paco’s Ricas Botanas, featuring a variety of Latin American snacks, is now open inside Sunrise International Market at 4030 W. Broad St. on the West Side.
A new pop-up, Charmy’s Persian Taste, launched this week inside the Hills Market Downtown at 95 N. Grant Ave. You can check out Charmy’s from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Tuesdays at the market. The menu includes pita sandwiches, rice bowls, lamb meatballs and more.
The Meat Packers Outlet, a longtime Downtown butcher shop and deli at 317 S. Fifth St., abruptly closed on Tuesday after 61 years in business. The announcement was made on Facebook. A reason for the closure was not provided, but a six-story, mixed-use development has been approved by the Downtown Commission for an adjacent property. AB Partners is the developer of the pending residential tower at 195 E. Main St., which has been dubbed The Harlow.
The Short North’s Oats & Barley Market announced on Tuesday that it will close in the near future. A closing date was not announced. Simply Rolled Ice Cream, the Thai rolled ice cream spot located inside the market, will remain open at 970 N. High St.
Hot Mikey’s Takeover returns for the fourth year Feb. 11-17. For the uninitiated, the annual collaboration showcases a limited-time-only hot chicken pizza from Mikey’s Late Night Slice and Hot Chicken Takeover. A ticketed launch party will take place Saturday, Feb. 9, at Mikey’s newest pizza shop, 457 N. High St. The event benefits the Columbus Diaper Bank, co-founded by Mikey’s owner Mikey Sorboro. Find tickets at facebook.com/latenightslice.
Veritas is celebrating Valentine’s week with a special 6-course tasting menu Feb. 12-16. Diners can choose between a chef’s tasting menu or vegetarian tasting menu. The restaurant is located Downtown at 11 W. Gay St.; book reservations at veritasrestaurant.com.
For something a bit less fancy, diners can snag a reservation on Open Table for White Castle’s annual Valentine’s Day dinner — complete with tableside service and festive decorations — on Thursday, Feb. 14, at most White Castle locations.
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