Food News: Ohio's dine-in ban ends Thursday; Coco Cat departing North Market

Erin Edwards
A sign at Plank's Cafe & Pizzeria as it prepares to reopen to diners.

Indoor dining returns to Ohio on Thursday, May 21, after a two-month embargo in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Restaurants and bars are reopening with new Ohio Department of Health guidelines requiring that guests be seated at least six feet apart or separated by physical barriers. Guests must also stay seated “when consuming food, beer, wine and liquor on the premises,” according to the ODH order. All employees are required to wear face coverings with some exceptions, and some businesses (though not all) are asking customers to wear masks when not seated. The Dispatch is keeping a list of restaurants and bars that plan to reopen for eat-in dining on Thursday.

Other businesses will not be reopening for indoor dining on Thursday, with some citing safety concerns or a desire for more time to meet state guidelines. Many are offering carryout and delivery. Some include: Ambrose and Eve, Basi Italia, Cravings Café, Del Mar SoCal Kitchen, Dough Mama, Flavor 91 Bistro, Gallerie Bar & Bistro, The Guild House, Huong Vietnamese Restaurant, Forno Kitchen + Bar, Law Bird, The Keep Kitchen & Liquor Bar, M at Miranova, Paulie Gee’s Short North, Pretentious Barrel House, Service Bar, Seventh Son Brewing Co., Speck Italian Eatery, Standard Hall, Watershed Kitchen & Bar, Wolf’s Ridge Brewing and Veritas.

After Standard Hall received three warnings for violating the Dine Safe Ohio Order during the bar’s patio reopening last Friday, owner Chris Corso told local TV outlets this week that he won’t be reopening his six businesses for the time being. Corso also owns Goody Boy, Forno Kitchen + Bar, Short North Food Hall, Short North Pint House and Urban Meyer’s Pint House.

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Coco Cat Bakery & Chocolates owner Melissa Camp announced that her business will be leaving the North Market after May 31 and relocating operations to Food Fort 2.0 at the Economic and Community Development Institute. The move is “in response to the ever-changing landscape of retail business and a pivot towards online sales,” Camp said in an announcement on Facebook.

In case you missed it, Alive reported this week that chef Matthew Heaggans has left Ambrose and Eve, the Brewery District restaurant he opened with chef Catie Randazzo less than two years ago. The split was an amicable one. Heaggans continues to work on Service!, the relief organization he recently cofounded to support hospitality workers affected by the pandemic.

On Facebook, New Albany’s Firefly American Bistro announced it is closing permanently amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Employees were made aware last Friday. Owners Jason Baehr and his mother, Kathleen Perrine, opened the restaurant five years ago at 5525 New Albany Rd. W.

The local food truckPitabilities, which was founded in 2011 by Jim Pashovich, recently launched franchise opportunities. Learn more here.