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

Openings & Announcements

There’s good news on the local bakery front following the unfortunate closing of Granville’s Lucky Cat Bakery, whose breads you could find on local restaurant menus and grocery shelves. Jeff Benkel, a Columbus native and Ohio State grad, told Columbus Monthly that he plans to launch Buckeye Bread Co. this spring.

The bakery, which is currently under construction at 1505 Alum Creek Dr., will fill a void locally by producing “artisan-quality breads in commercial quantities with daily fresh delivery,” Benkel said via email.

Benkel has lived in Phoenix for the past 34 years and brings with him considerable experience. He founded the wholesale artisan bakery Arizona Bread Co. 26 years ago.

“This bakery is the result of my annual trips to Columbus to meet with friends and take in a Buckeye game,” Benkel said. “After speaking with a group of restaurant managers in the Short North about where they got their bread, it became quickly apparent that no one in Columbus is doing what I do in Phoenix.”

Although Arizona Bread Co. has a café/bakery in Scottsdale, Benkel said he has no plans to open a storefront in Columbus. However, the company’s breads will be available on a retail level at local farmer’s markets and groceries.

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Last week, the owners of Satori Ramen Bar unveiled their new concept, Kintsugi Sushi Bar, at North Market Bridge Park (6750 Longshore St.). The menu of chef/co-owner Seigo Nishimura, who studied at the Tokyo Sushi Academy in Japan, features a variety of fresh sushi rolls, including both maki (cut rolls) and temaki (hand rolls).

The Gallo family has added another restaurant to its growing collection. Gallo’s on High opened on Jan. 6 at4215 N. High St., formerly Little Eater. The Italian/American menu features salads, steaks, seafood, pasta, flatbreads and sandwiches. Its sibling businesses include two Gallo’s Tap Room locations and Gallo’s Kitchen & Bar.

Buckeye Lake Brewery owner Rich Hennosy launched a new brewery and taproom in Reynoldsburg. Located at 1421 Davidson Drive, Eastside Brewing Co. serves a mix of its own branded craft beers alongside Buckeye Lake brews.

There’s a new Korean barbecue option in town. Don Pocha has opened at 4710 Reed Road in Upper Arlington alongside its sister restaurant, Poong Mei Asian Bistro. Customers can cook Korean barbecue at the table or choose from a variety of hot pots and soups. Don Pocha also offers barbecue meals to-go.

Aab India in Bexley is under new ownership and has a new name: Khaab Indian Kitchen & Bar. The North Indian restaurant is located at 2400 E. Main St. Fans of Aab India can still head to the original location at 1470 Grandview Ave.

The plant-based restaurant Comune (677 Parsons Ave.) has reopened for carry-out after being closed since November out of safety concerns associated with COVID-19. Comune is offering a daytime menu from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday that features some of its old favorites such as dan dan noodles, a sweet potato torta and togarashi fries.

News

The Merion Village location of Bake Me Happy, a gluten-free bakery and coffee shop, decided to close for the day last Sunday after receiving threatening phone calls filled with racial slurs. The calls were taken by the bakery’s staff on Sunday morning. Bake Me Happy, a Black-owned business founded by Letha Pugh and her wife, Wendy Miller Pugh, has received an outpouring of encouragement both online and at the Moler Street bakery, where supporters posted heart-shaped messages on the door. The pair recently opened a second location at North Market Bridge Park. The Merion Village café reopened as usual on Tuesday. The Dispatch has more here.