Restaurant openings, closings and more Central Ohio food and drink news

Openings & Announcements

Indoor dining returns to Ohio today after a two-month embargo in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the latest Ohio Restaurant Association poll, which was conducted May 17-19, 70 percent of operators plan to reopen their dining rooms by May 21 or shortly after. Restaurants and bars are reopening with new Ohio Department of Health guidelines requiring that guests be seated at least six feet apart or separated by physical barriers. Guests must also stay seated “when consuming food, beer, wine and liquor on the premises,” according to the ODH order. The Dispatch is keeping a list of restaurants and bars that plan to reopen for eat-in dining on Thursday. Call ahead for information regarding safety guidelines.

Other businesses will not be reopening for indoor dining on Thursday, with some citing safety concerns or a desire for more time to meet state guidelines. Many are offering carryout and delivery. Some include: Ambrose and Eve, Basi Italia, Cravings Café, Del Mar SoCal Kitchen, Dough Mama, Flavor 91 Bistro, Gallerie Bar & Bistro, The Guild House, Huong Vietnamese Restaurant, Forno Kitchen + Bar, The Keep Kitchen & Liquor Bar, Law Bird, M at Miranova, Mouton, Paulie Gee’s Short North, Pretentious Barrel House, Service Bar, Seventh Son Brewing Co., Speck Italian Eatery, Standard Hall, Watershed Kitchen & Bar, Wolf’s Ridge Brewing and Veritas.

The farm-to-table restaurant owned by Sangeeta Lakhani and Jen Marlatt, The Table, is for sale. In a statement posted to Facebook on Monday, the owners wrote: “Like many businesses, we have chosen to keep our staff and customers safe by remaining closed. We will continue to offer a weekly carryout service as long as business supports. When it is safe to reopen, The Table will be ready for a new chapter. Therefore, we have chosen to offer the restaurant for sale. It is a turn-key operation with a committed and passionate staff at the ready for a new dreamer and doer.” The Table opened in 2013 at 21 E. Fifth Ave. in the Short North and quickly became known for its use of globally inspired fare, locally sourced ingredients and house-made charcuterie.

Rye River Social, which was preparing to open at 955 W. Fifth Ave. when the COVID-19 outbreak hit, plans to make its debut on Monday, June 1. The new gastropub is a sibling restaurant of The Pint Room and The Half Pint. From June 1-6, Rye River will offer coffee and pastries either to-go or on the patio from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The restaurant will add dinner service on Monday, June 8.

The local food truck Pitabilities, which was founded in 2011 by Jim Pashovich, recently launched franchise opportunities. Learn more here.


Coco Cat Bakery & Chocolates owner Melissa Camp announced that her business will be leaving the North Market after May 31 and relocating operations to Food Fort 2.0 at the Economic and Community Development Institute. The move is “in response to the ever-changing landscape of retail business and a pivot towards online sales,” Camp said in an announcement on Facebook.

Chef Moves

Alive reported this week that chef Matthew Heaggans has left Ambrose and Eve, the Brewery District restaurant he opened with chef Catie Randazzo less than two years ago. It was named one of Columbus Monthly’s 10 Best Restaurants last year. The split was an amicable one. Heaggans continues to work on Service!, the relief organization he recently co-founded to support hospitality workers affected by the pandemic. There’s no word yet on the chef’s next move.


Max & Erma’s two Dublin locations (411 Metro Place N and 7480 Sawmill Road) will not reopen after being temporarily shuttered because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an email sent to customers. Max & Erma’s footprint in Central Ohio, where it originated, has shrunk in recent years. A Gahanna location closed in January, followed by a Hilliard restaurant a month ago. The email noted that Max & Erma’s Reynoldsburg restaurant remains open at 8050 E. Broad St. and resumes dine-in service today.

On Facebook, New Albany’s FireFly American Bistro announced it is closing permanently. Owners Jason Baehr and his mother, Kathleen Perrine, opened the restaurant five years ago at 5525 New Albany Road W.

Information is critical. Read our latest reporting on the coronavirus response here.