Year in Review: The Year in Food News

Nicholas Dekker, Columbus Alive contributor
Elizabeth Lessner at Surly Girl Saloon in 2007

Columbus continues to be an active and creative food town, so let's review some highlights of 2015!


We lost a few favorites this year.Surly Girl Saloonshuttered its doors in late April, much to everyone's surprise. Down the street,Rigsby's Kitchenclosed after 29 years in business. TheClintonville Community Market closed in October, andBernie's Bagels & Deli/The Distillery will close Dec. 31.

At the very beginning of the year,The Ohio Delion the south side was destroyed by a fire.Sonoma Grillein the Arena District came and went, as did the1831 Tavern.Jobu Ramen folded in Grandview,Auddino'sclosed their Hilliard cafe,Big Fat Greek Kuzina in Upper Arlington closed after 10 years;Garam Masala in Dublin,Village Crepe in Pickerington,Frida Katrina in Clintonville,Westgate Thai andDeepWood Restaurant all closed their doors.

Downtown lost a few eateries, like VenezuelanCasa Sazon and theMeatbar.Jack's Sandwich Shophas also gone dark.L'Appat Patisserie closed in Olde Towne East, with intentions of moving elsewhere. All three ColumbusTom + Chee restaurants closed, as did all threeSmashburgers. Platein New Albany closed abruptly, too.

Not all the closings were bad.L'Antibes closed and re-opened asHomeFare Kitchen & Cocktails.Explorers Clubclosed its Merion Village location and set up shop inside Zauber Brewing.World of Beerclosed their Brewery District spot but added one in the South Campus Gateway.Cravings Cafe was booted from their Italian Village home but will re-open downtown.

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Many additions in 2015! Short North welcomedThe Guild House,Tai Tiki, Forno, Stack City BurgerBar,Brassica andLyric Donuts. Grandview addedJ.C.'s Just Chili, Sweet Carrot Casual Cuisine (in the old Rife's Market space),Phy Phom Pho andUncle Nick's Greek Fried Chicken.

Downtown and the Arena District added many to their ranks, likePurePressed Juicery at the Columbus Commons,Lomonico's on Gay St.,Blind Lady Tavern, theSchokko Art Cafe inside the renovated art museum,Dick's Last Resort andNada by Nationwide Arena, plus the

Mikey's Late Night Slice brick-and-mortar around the corner fromThe Walrus. In German Village,Copious opened with its basement music venue Notes.

Clintonville was fortunate to addDough Mama and Vietnamese fast casual6-1-Pho. Close to campusThe Chop Shopburger restaurant andDada Empanadastarted serving students. BothBottle Shop Bar & Market andIzzy & Mo's Luncheonette opened down on King Avenue.

Many openings were spread around the city, likeZoe Cafeand a secondAab Indiain Bexley, theBig Room Bar in the Brewery District,J Hot Fish in Hot Chicken Takeover's former Olde Towne East home or thePor'Kettafood truck all around town. Worthington welcomedHarold's American Grille, while Dublin addedGokul CafeandBonchon's Korean fried chicken. TheHerb'n Cafe switched from a food truck to brick-and-mortar in Pickerington.

North Market added four new vendors this year:Little Eater stall and provision stands,Destination Donuts andDos Hermanos.

It's been a big year for beer in Columbus. Seven new breweries came online:Knotty Pine, Ill Mannered Brewing,Pigskin Brewing Co.,Lineage Brewing,Brew Brothers,Temperance Row Brewing (inside the newUptown Deli) andRestoration Brew Worx. More spots to drink, too:Wolf's Ridge added a taproom,Hopyard 62opened in Grove City andTheBrass Tap opened at Polaris.

More coffee as well! A secondOne Line Coffee andCrimson Cup, new coffee shops likeRoosevelt Coffeehouse,Red Velvet CafeDowntown, Solar Cafe, Hemingway's Coffee Nook,Highline Coffee andDas Kaffeehaus inside Zauber.Bexley Coffee Shop got new owners andLokal Cold Brew started selling Indonesian cold brews.

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Existing spots aren't sitting still.Middle West SpiritsandWatershed Distillery expanded facilities and products.The Crestopened a second location on Parsons.101 Beer Kitchen added a second spot in Gahanna,Pies and Pintsexpanded to Short North, a secondHudson 29 joined New Albany,Local Cantina added more spots, as didFusian andBibibop Asian Grill.

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Next year promises to be exciting! We're looking forward to the newHoof Hearted Brewery & Kitchen in Italian Village, a secondBareburgerin Clintonville,Hadley's Bar & Kitchen Dodowntown andGoreMade Pizza in Italian Village. Cincinnati'sThe Eagle will open in La Fogota's space in Short North, plus theBrewcadia arcade above Barley's, theRooks Tavern near campus, a thirdJack & Benny's Diner downtown andFukurya Ramenin Upper Arlington. More beer is on the way, withKindred Ales coming to Gahanna,BrewDog opening their facility in Canal Winchester andRockmill Brewery opening a tavern in German Village. Cleveland cChefJonathon Sawyerannounced he's building a restaurant at Summit and Fifth in Italian Village, although no word on the exact concept.

Nicholas Dekker writes about breakfast, beer, coffee and Columbus at He leads breakfast and brunch tours for Columbus Food Adventures, and has already seenThe Force Awakensthree times.