Openings, closings and other Columbus dining news

The owners of Rooks Tavern announced on Facebook that the restaurant has closed permanently after less than a year in operation. With a focus on barbecue and contemporary Southern cuisine, the Campus-area restaurant was named one of Columbus Monthly’s Best New Restaurants earlier this year.

The North Market announced last week that Momo Ghar, the popular Himalayan dumpling restaurant, has claimed the market’s last available spot. Owner Phuntso Lama says the original Morse Road location inside Saraga International Grocery will remain open for the foreseeable future. Look for Momo Ghar to make its North Market debut this September in the space next to Lan Viet Market.

Ranchero Kitchen, a Salvadorian restaurant that also originated in Saraga International Grocery, has relocated across the street to 984 Morse Rd.

Ray Ray’s Hog Pit, James Anderson’s barbecue truck parked in the Old North, has added a barbecue shack at 5755 Maxtown Road in Westerville. The new location, serving slow-smoked brisket, pork, ribs and chicken, is open 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

Co-owner Tony Wildman says Pat & Gracie’s craft burger joint in Graceland Shopping Center is adding a second location in Downtown Columbus. The new restaurant, featuring smash-cooked burgers and a variety of craft beers on tap, will be in the former home of Lomonico’s at 340 E. Gay St. Look for an opening soon after Labor Day.

Pittsburgh-based Peace, Love and Little Donuts added its first Central Ohio franchise this month at 656 High St. in Old Worthington.

Columbus State Community College will honor restaurateur Cameron Mitchell and Cameron Mitchell Restaurants (CMR) at the college’s annual Taste the Future culinary showcase and fundraiser. The event, which features samples from 50 food stations, takes place 6-9 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 15 on the CSCC campus at 550 E. Spring St. Tickets are available at

EAT THIS: Fried Green Tomato Baos by BusAppetit

Columbus native Andrew Zidar has been working in the food industry for 12 years but says he “never really liked taking orders.” A few chance occurrences later, Zidar now runs his own Asian steam bun (or bao) concept, BusAppetit, with weekly pop-ups at Platform Beer Co., Tabletop Game Cafe and Zauber Brewery. Zidar, who works part time at Gordon Food Service, has been developing the idea behind BusAppetit for about eight months, and launched the pop-up in February. The simple menu includes three types of slider-sized baos: honey garlic chicken, pulled pork and fried green tomato. Baos are $6 apiece, or you can order a flight and sample all three for $8. My favorite is the fried green tomato (an idea sparked by Zidar’s fiancé) with arugula, red onion and spicy mayo. The cornmeal-crusted tomato provides a perfect crunch and burst of acid inside the bun.