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

Openings & Announcements

A new Brewery District breakfast and lunch spot called Emmett’s Café is expected to open this fall at 744 S. High St. “This won’t be your classic coffee shop that may have some pastries on the front counter,” said co-owner Ben Kelley in a press release. “Our goal is to create a cafe experience that combines a superior coffee program with healthier food options in a laid-back environment.” Customers can expect menu items like breakfast sandwiches, avocado toast and falafel wraps, plus a solid coffee program run by barista veteran Robin Myers. He most recently ran the beverage program at Pistacia Vera.

Cameron Mitchell Restaurants announced this week that it will require guests to wear masks or face coverings when entering and exiting its restaurants and in restaurant common areas until further notice. The same goes for all Rusty Bucket Restaurant & Tavern locations. Guests may remove masks while seated at their tables, and exceptions will be made for guests with medical conditions and for children under 2 years of age.

Short North Coffee House has closed its doors at 1203 N. High St. and will be replaced by Happy Little Treats, a vegan bakery and coffee shop that is relocating from a smaller space just down the street. Stay tuned for an opening date and new menu options.

In the Ohio Restaurant Association’s latest Business Impact poll conducted from June 26-30, 77 percent of restaurant respondents have reopened their dining rooms. Meanwhile, 10.5 percent of respondents plan to reopen their dining rooms soon, and 12 percent do not plan to open their dining rooms at this time. The poll also found that 32 percent of respondents think that their sales will break even this year.

Law Bird’s business continues to evolve amid the pandemic. The Brewery District cocktail and wine bar at 740 S. High St. will operate as a grab-and-go market for the time being. The bar’s shelves are now stocked with wine, sake, vermouth, to-go cocktails and some of the owners’ favorite international snacks. Law Bird’s hours are 4 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday this week.


After being shuttered since March, Comune is serving plant-based fare again, with some big changes. For the next three weeks, the restaurant at 677 Parsons Ave. has pledged to donate 100 percent of its profits to The Columbus Freedom Fund, Columbus Freedom Coalition and BQIC (Black, Queer & Intersectional Collective). Comune is offering a limited carryout menu for now, with bottled wines also available to go.

The Scioto Mile restaurant Milestone 229 (229 Civic Center Dr.) will welcome dine-in guests again beginning on Wednesday, July 8. Reservations are required for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch; carry-out and curbside pickup will also be available. Milestone suspended service in mid-March because of the pandemic, then was forced to postpone its June 1 opening after the building suffered serious damage during the Downtown protests.


The Old Spot, a collaboration between chef Rick Lopez and Tony Tanner of The Butcher and Grocer, has closed permanently after only a year, citing the pandemic. Columbus Monthly named it one of its Best New Restaurants in February. Tanner and Butcher & Grocer investor Matt Evans plan to open a new concept at 1097 W. First Ave. that ties closely to the neighboring butcher shop. The Old Spot opened in June 2019, replacing Harvest Tavern & Pizzeria, which filled the space for less than a year.


Watershed Distillery’s Four Peel Fest is taking place now through Friday, July 3. Typically a daylong block party, this year Watershed is throwing a weeklong celebration of gin, featuring a variety of online demos, recipes and more. The culminating event takes place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, when the distillery’s Chesapeake Avenue bottle shop hosts a drive-thru festival and curbside bottle release of Bourbon Barrel Four Peel Gin. Learn more here.

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