Food News: Freedom a la Cart to open flagship cafe; Miracle pop-up returns

Erin Edwards
A rendering of Freedom a la Cart's forthcoming flagship cafe and bakery at 123 E. Spring St. Downtown.

Freedom a la Cart, a local nonprofit that empowers and employs survivors of human trafficking, announced plans this week to open a flagship cafe and bakery at 123 E. Spring St. in Downtown Columbus. The space will also include “Freedom Home,” 2,500 square feet of programming and office spaces aimed at supporting survivors. “In less than 10 years, we’ve seen Freedom a la Cart evolve from a food cart to a successful catering operation, and now, a full-service cafe and community resource center,” said Paula Haines, the organization’s executive director, in a press release. Under the direction of consulting chef BJ Lieberman, Freedom a la Cart Cafe + Bakery will serve fresh-baked pastries, scratch-made meals and locally roasted coffee during breakfast and lunch hours. Freedom’s catering business will also move to the Spring Street location. Look for the full-service cafe and survivor resource center to open next summer.

Miracle, a kitschy holiday-themed cocktail pop-up, has returned to The Citizens Trust, the swanky Downtown bar at 11 W. Gay St. This year’s Miracle includes a blow-up igloo — seriously. The pop-up runs through Dec. 31.

The Crispy Coop, a new venture from the owners of Uncle Nick’s Fried Chicken in Grandview, is expected to open in January at 1717 Northwest Blvd., previously Acre. Uncle Nick’s ended its run this week after five years at 1333 Northwest Blvd. The new spot will continue offering the same fried chicken that Uncle Nick’s became known for, a style developed at Buena Vista Café in Warren, Ohio. The Crispy Coop will also offer new menu items, including Nashville hot chicken and sandwiches.

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A new food truck offering Filipino food is now serving customers on the West Side. Masarap, meaning “it’s delicious,” serves dishes such as lumpia, pancit and chicken adobo. You can find the truck parked at 4385 Clime Rd. in front of HomeBuys.

Powell’s Vittoria Ristorante & Bar (10241 Sawmill Pkwy.) has changed owners and has a new name. The owner of La Scala, William Lalli, and his son, Nick, have renamed the restaurant Vittoria Prime Italian Steakhouse and refreshed the menu, adding entrées such as a 16-ounce, bone-in rib-eye and Chilean sea bass.

A Short North location of Cincinnati-based Macaron Bar opened last week at 668 N. High St., formerly Fount. The bakery sells one thing: French macarons. Macaron Bar will operate as a pop-up through the holidays and later add a full-blown commercial kitchen. Flavors range from the traditional — coffee and pistachio — to more creative flavors such as birthday cake and mimosa.