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

News

Struggling restaurant owners are finally getting the extra space they’ve been seeking—outdoors at least. The city of Columbus is implementing a Temporary Outdoor Seating Pilot Program that will permit restaurants to expand seating to sidewalks and on-street parking spaces, allowing for more capacity plus safe social distancing. The program will continue through Oct. 31. It’s a welcome development, but one that comes late in the patio season. Columbus has trailed Cincinnati and Cleveland, which implemented similar outdoor dining programs in response to COVID-19 back in May and June, respectively. The Columbus Dispatch has more here.

A fierce social media backlash has met Canal Winchester’s Loose Rail Brewing and its sister business Harvest Moon Craft Kitchen after one of the owners posted an incendiary meme that appears to support the teenager who shot three Black Lives Matter protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last week—killing two of them. On Saturday, the Columbus Ale Trail announced it was dropping Loose Rail from its lineup, citing the owner’s “extremely offensive post.” On Monday, the two businesses posted an apology on social media, stating in part: “Our leaders and businesses absolutely denounce any form of racism—especially when it comes from within our own family.”

The longtime chef of Tony’s Italian Ristorante, Antonio Stanley, died unexpectedly last week, according to The Columbus Dispatch. The paper reports that the Brewery District restaurant will be closed for 30 days to mourn and regroup, and that owner Tony Scartz is unsure about the restaurant’s future. Tony’s opened on Sept. 2, 1982, at 16 W. Beck St.

Openings & Announcements

The forthcoming North Market Bridge Park has added four new vendors to its lineup. The new crop of merchants includes: Bubbles the Tea & Juice Company, Kintsugi Sushi Bar, The Little Kitchen and Pasta Ditoni’s. They join seven previously announced vendors, with more to be announced in the coming weeks. Dublin’s new North Market is targeting an October soft opening, with the goal of being at full capacity by year’s end. Two of the newly announced merchants have existing spaces in the historic North Market on Spruce Street. Bubbles first joined the market in 2005, and Kintsugi is a new venture from the owners of Satori Ramen Bar. Meanwhile, The Little Kitchen is a plant-based eatery that first launched as a food truck in 2017. Pasta Ditoni’s, which has been making pasta since 1993, will operate its first direct retail shop at the new market.

The plant-based food truck Seitan’s Realm announced that it will open a vegan deli in Clintonville. Owned by Amber and Kevin Ridenbaugh, Seitan’s Realm will fill the space vacated recently by A Common Table at 3496 N. High St. For those unfamiliar, seitan is a vegan meat substitute, not a fallen angel.

SIP Local in Clintonville is getting a new taproom operator and a new name. According to Drink Up Columbus, the restaurant group that owns Local Cantina has brought on Derive Brewing to take over bar operations from Somewhere in Particular Brewing. The new name of the taproom at 2808 N. High St. will be Derive Brewing Craft Beer & Kitchen.

Local pastry chef Aaron Clouse will compete on Food Network’s Halloween Baking Championship Season 6 for the chance to win the title of “Halloween Baking Champion” and a cash prize of $25,000. The show airs at 9 p.m. on Mondays on Food Network starting Sept. 14 and running through Oct. 26. Clouse joined Ambrose and Eve as pastry chef about a month ago. You can follow Clouse on Instagram @aaron_clouse.

Reopenings

Matt and Tony’s Wood Fired Kitchen returned to dine-service this week for the first time since mid-March. Matt and Tony’s, which is in the same restaurant family Pat & Gracie’s, is located at 525 Short St. in the Brewery District.