Openings, closings and more local food and drink news
The owners of Grass Skirt Tiki Room (105 N. Grant Ave.) announced on social media Wednesday that they will not renew the tiki bar’s lease with landlord Randy Walker. The kitschy, Polynesian-themed restaurant and bar will serve its last zombie on Saturday, Aug. 24. Reached by phone Thursday, Grass Skirt co-owner Carmen Owens reflected on the bar’s seven-year run. “I can only hope that Grass Skirt’s legacy is a love for tiki that continues to push people to explore and appreciate tiki bars wherever they go,” Owens says.
Tiki fans need not despair. Owens plans to launch a pop-up called SheCreature Cocktails at Ace of Cups (2619 N. High St.) this fall. The fate of the bar’s popular George the Monkey fountain, an artifact of Columbus’ bygone Kahiki, is still up in the air, Owens says. The Fraternal Order of Moai (FOM), a charitable “secret society” of tiki enthusiasts founded in Columbus in 2005, owns the fountain. Owens says FOM is looking to find George a new home, but she hopes most of the bar’s other tiki decor will become part of the new pop-up. You can celebrate the final days of Grass Skirt at the FOM’s annual event, The Hula Hop, taking place from noon to midnight Saturday, Aug. 10, at the Downtown bar. More information is available on Grass Skirt’s Facebook page.
Bulgogi Korean Restaurant has closed inside Saraga International Grocery on Morse Road. The restaurant’s owner, Okhee Jenifer Jin, passed away in June.
Kona Grill closed its Easton Town Center location this week. The Scottsdale, Arizona-based chain filed for Chapter 11-bankruptcy protection in April.
West Egg Cocktail Supply, a boutique owned by twin sisters Jess Saleska and Cole Londeree, is closing this fall. According to an announcement on social media, Saleska is relocating to the West Coast. A final farewell party will take place 4-10 p.m. Saturday, August 3, at 909 W. Fifth Ave. For more information, check out West Egg on Instagram at @westeggshop.
Openings and Announcements
The plant-based restaurant Comune (677 Parsons Ave.) has named Jacob Inscore its new head chef. Inscore, who is already on Comune’s kitchen staff, has worked at several of the city’s top restaurants, including Service Bar, Watershed Kitchen & Bar and Wolf’s Ridge Brewing. Inscore will look to continue Comune’s success after the South Side restaurant opened to early accolades last fall. Original head chef Ben Kanavel left the restaurant earlier this year.
The space that housed Flatiron Bar & Diner for 30 years is seeing some signs of life. The longtime restaurant at 129 E. Nationwide Blvd. closed late last year. According to city records, Scott Schweitzer, co-owner of City Tavern, Park Street Tavern and Ledo’s Tavern, is behind the new venture. Schweitzer registered the trade name Flat Iron Tavern in June.
Ambrose and Eve (716 S. High St.) recently hired Kathy Walker, a French Culinary Institute-trained pastry chef who brings experience working in several New York restaurants, including Pies ‘n’ Thighs, Lilia and Carbone.
Central Market House, the new ground-floor restaurant inside the Canopy by Hilton Columbus Downtown-Short North (77 E. Nationwide Blvd.), is set to open along with the hotel on Tuesday, July 30. The restaurant is named after Columbus’ historicCentral Market, a public market serving the city from1850 until 1966. The hotel’s rooftop restaurant and bar, Goodale Station, expected to open in mid-August, will feature a Southern-inspired menu and craft cocktails. Alabama native Tripp Mauldin has been named executive chef, overseeing both concepts.
Cookbook author and Netflix star Samin Nosrat is coming to Columbus in October for a book signing and conversation with Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. Nosrat is the author of Salt, Fat, Acid Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking. Read more about Nosrat’s visit to Columbus here.
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