Food News: Cleveland Chef Jonathon Sawyer has plans in the Short North

Erin Edwards
Forward Hospitality Group will join a team including Chef Jonathon Sawyer and Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis for a new concept in the former RAM space in the Short North.

Cleveland-based Forward Hospitality Group is teaming up with James Beard award-winning chef Jonathon Sawyer on a new concept opening at 906 N. High St., formerly home to RAM Restaurant & Brewery in the Short North. The 9,000-square-foot brewpub and rooftop patio closed last June after less than two years. In Forward Hospitality's announcement on social media, it named two other partners in the project: Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis and Aldo Narcisi, whose LinkedIn profile lists Forward Entertainment Group and the Cleveland Indians. Sawyer, who has long been rumored to be interested in opening a business in Columbus, owns The Greenhouse Tavern and Noodlecat in Cleveland, his hometown. He won the 2015 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef Great Lakes.

Columbus Brewing Co., the city's oldest and largest brewery, announced that it's finally opening a taproom. The new addition to the brewery at 2555 Harrison Rd. is expected to open this summer.

The former Actual Brewing taproom in Clintonville may have a new tenant. The Columbus Dispatch reports that George Tanchevski, who owns Local Cantina and South Village Grille, is expected to purchase all of Actual's assets at 2808 N. High St., and has been approved for a lease by the landlord. The taproom closed in February, just a month after opening and days after Alive broke news of allegations of sexual assault by Actual founder Fred Lee.

The Michigan-based restaurantNeehee's opened this week at 6080 Sawmill Rd. in Dublin. The fast-casual franchise specializes in vegetarian Indian street food. Menu items include samosas, dosas, chaat, pakodas (vegetable fritters) and other regional Indian dishes. This is the first Neehee's location in Ohio.

Buckeye Chili & Smokehouseis now open Downtown on the ground floor of the Capital Plaza Garage at 30 S. Young St., formerly Hungry Soul Cafe.

The owners of Graze Columbus recently launched a sister concept calledGlazed Churro Bar, a food truck selling churro sundaes as well as lunch items like taco cones.

The Old Spot, the forthcoming restaurant from The Butcher & Grocer and restaurateurs Rick and Krista Lopez,has tapped chef Chris Furr to lead its culinary team. Furr's resume includes positions with Grow Restaurants and Cameron Mitchell Restaurants.

Last week,Brassica opened a location in the Cleveland suburb ofShaker Heights, the brand's first location outside Central Ohio. The Mediterranean fast-casual spot is owned by Northstar Cafe owners Katy and Kevin Malhame and Darren Malhame, Kevin's brother.

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