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

Openings & Announcements

North Side institution Carfagna’s Market announced that it will relocate next spring to the Polaris area, bringing its market and restaurant locations together under one roof. The family-run Italian market has operated at 1405 E. Dublin-Granville Road in Northland since 1971; that location will be closed once the market moves. The new facility at 1440 Gemini Place (previously Earth Fare market) will be designed with an Italian piazza marketplace in mind—complete with a butcher’s shop, pizzeria, bakery, gelateria, Illy Café, farmers market, bar and an expanded wine department.

Instagram-favorite Lion Cub’s Cookies is maturing into its very own retail shop. Founder Brad Kaplan’s delivery business, known for its baseball-sized cookies, plans to open its first retail shop in spring 2021 at 1261 Grandview Ave., formerly Peabody Papers. Armed with an Ohio State MBA and a love of baking, Kaplan launched Lion Cub’s last year as a pop-up, later adding delivery when the pandemic hit. The new space in Grandview will allow Kaplan to quadruple production capacity. Along with the announcement, Lion Cub’s has launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign through which it seeks to raise $40,000 for kitchen equipment. Read more about Lion Cub’s in Columbus Monthly’s forthcoming December issue.

A new neighborhood café is now holding its soft opening in the Brewery District. Emmett’s Café, an Aussie-style coffee shop and casual dining spot, will hold its grand opening on Saturday, Oct. 24, at 744 S. High St., joining a stretch of businesses that includes Law Bird, Dough Mama, Ambrose and Eve, and Antiques on High. Read our preview here. 

The Ethiopian restaurant Nile Vegan recently opened a second location at 1223 Goodale Blvd. in Grandview, replacing Red Hook Grill. Nile Vegan is a relative newcomer to the dining scene, offering traditional Ethiopian platters featuring stewed kale, red lentils, split peas and injera. Nile Vegan’s first location opened a year ago at 1479 Worthington St. in the South Campus area.

Downtown workers have a new sandwich shop option courtesy of chef Stephan Madias (formerly The Crest Gastropub). Wario’s Beef and Pork is now open at 111 W. Nationwide Blvd., across from Nationwide Arena. The East Coast-style sandwich shop replaces Arena Sandwich Co. The shop’s current hours are noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Tiger + Lily recently reopened its dining room at 19 E. Gay St. in Downtown Columbus. The Pan-Asian restaurant offers a health-conscious take on ramen noodle soups, soupless noodles, rice bowls and salads. Takeout customers can also receive a 10-percent discount; use the code "LuvCol" when checking out.


Local pastry chef Aaron Clouse has reached the season six finale of Food Network’s Halloween Baking Championship. Tune into Food Network at 9 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 26, to see who judges Carla Hall, Stephanie Boswell and Zac Young crown the champion. Read more about what Clouse has planned if he wins the grand prize.

Congratulations to Flavor 91 Bistro for recently winning the Women’s Small Business Accelerator’s 2020 Virtual Pitch Competition. The Whitehall restaurant is owned by Winta Hayelom, her brother, Moses Hayelom, and their mother, Freweini Alemayoh. The restaurant received a $5,000 grant for the win, which will help the business invest in solutions to help weather the COVID-19 pandemic.


After a tumultuous move from Clintonville to Downtown Columbus this year, Nancy’s Home Cooking announced the permanent closure of its new Lynn Alley diner, effective immediately. The announcement was posted to Facebook on Monday, citing concerns about the long-term outlook for the Downtown business. Nancy’s fans can still get their chicken and noodles fix, however. Owner Rick Hahn has decided to shift operations to a delivery-only kitchen at the CloudKitchens’ facility on Essex Avenue. Delivery is available through DoorDash. Grab a copy of Columbus Monthly’s November issue, which will be on newsstands soon, to read more about the rise of delivery-only kitchens, or ghost kitchens, in Columbus.