Food News: Jazz & Rib Fest BBQ Week kicks off

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

Erin Edwards
Dry-rub ribs from Ray Ray's Hog Pit.

Openings & Announcements 

The annual Jazz & Rib Fest is on hiatus for 2021, but today the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department kicked off Jazz & Rib Fest BBQ Week. The event, featuring barbecue specials, prix fixe menus and meal kits from local restaurants and food trucks, continues through July 25. Participating businesses include B & K Smoke House, Ray Ray’s Hog Pit, Seitan’s Realm, The Pit BBQ Grille, Smoked on High and many more. Learn more at

Slice of Columbus, an annual pizza party benefiting Nationwide Children’s Hospital, will return with an in-person event this fall. Last year, Slice of Columbus shifted to a “Pizza Passport” format because of the pandemic. This year’s celebration of local ’za will take place Wednesday, Sept. 22, at Columbus Commons. 

Last week, the new owners of The Sycamore (262 E. Sycamore St.) announced that the renovated restaurant would debut at the end of the month. The popular German Village eatery changed hands during the pandemic after owner Chris Crader put it up for sale. The new ownership group, Good Food Restaurants, also operates the regional Beer Barrel Pizza & Grill chain. You can read more about plans for the new Sycamore here.  

The Newark pizzeria Elliot's Wood Fired Kitchen and Tap recently opened a second location. Elliot’s is now serving its signature wood-fired pizzas at 724 Corylus Drive in Pataskala. 

The Clintonville home-cooking landmark McCarthy’s Wildflower Café (3420 Indianola Ave.) has reopened for indoor and patio dining after pivoting to carry-out last year because of COVID-19. 

Ray Ray’s Hog Pit in Franklinton is now serving weekend brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. In addition to Ray Ray’s popular smoked meats, the truck will serve biscuits and gravy, a breakfast wrap with brisket and pulled pork breakfast tacos. You can find the truck parked outside Land-Grant Brewing at 424 Town St.