Food News: Ginther proposes Arena District DORA; The Go Go opens in Italian Village

Restaurant openings, closings and more Central Ohio food and drink news

Erin Edwards
Mayor Andrew Ginther has proposed a DORA district in the Arena District.


The Columbus City Council is set to review a proposal from mayor Andrew Ginther that would create a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) in the Arena District. The proposal will be introduced during a virtual public hearing at 5 p.m. Thursday, June 24; members of the community may offer feedback at that time. The proposed DORA, which would relax open-container laws within certain boundaries and times, would include the area around Nationwide Arena, Huntington Park and the new Crew Stadium. According to a press release, “Patrons will be able to enjoy an alcoholic beverage outdoors within the designated area during all home Columbus Blue Jackets, Columbus Clippers and Columbus Crew game days, beginning three hours prior to the start of the game and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on that same day.” 

In an open letter to BrewDog posted online last week, more than 70 ex-employees accused the Scottish craft brewery, and specifically co-founder James Watt, of fostering a “culture of fear” at the company. Here’s an excerpt: “We believe these toxic attitudes towards junior staff trickled down throughout the business from day one, until they were simply an intrinsic part of the company. So many of us started our jobs there eagerly, already bought into the BrewDog ethos, only to very quickly discover that “fast-paced” meant “unmanageable,” and “challenging” meant “damaging.” Watt posted a response to the letter on social media last week, pledging to “listen, learn and act.” BrewDog’s U.S. headquarters is located in Canal Winchester, and the brewery operates three bars in Central Ohio with another in the works for New Albany. 

Openings & Announcements 

The Go Go, a new “baby discotheque” from the owners of Local Cantina, has opened at 987 N. Fourth St. in Italian Village. The bar and dance club fills the space left vacant by Cosecha Cocina, which was put up for sale during the early months of the pandemic. 

Rise Brands, the owner of Pins Mechanical Co. and 16-Bit Bar + Arcade, is preparing to launch its first food concept: a hot dog joint called Weenie Wonder in Bridge Park. Columbus Business First reports that the new spot will serve Koegel all-beef hot dogs, jojos (fried potato wedges) and milkshakes. 

Barrel & Boar BBQ Factory has replaced The Smoked Food Factory at 1217 S. Broad St. in Lancaster. According to a press release, the new location will focus specifically on catering and takeout service. The locally owned barbecue chain Barrel & Boar BBQ has five other locations, including Canal Winchester, Gahanna, Newark, North Market Downtown and Westerville. 

Two local restaurant are adding alfresco dining options. Josh Dalton’s Veritas recently added a patio along Gay Street in Downtown Columbus. Meanwhile, Chapman’s Eat Market in German Village is expected to launch patio dining any day, according to staff members at the restaurant.