Food News: Sassafras Bakery and Village Taco to close; Tulip Café opens on Northwest Side

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

Erin Edwards
Apple pie from Worthington's Sassafras Bakery, which is set to close this week.

Openings & Announcements 

Tulip Café is celebrating the soft opening of its new kitchen and coffee shop at 2926 Hayden Run Plaza. A frequent farmers market vendor, Tulip Café sells traditional, house-made Turkish pastries and other delicacies, including simit, manti, cheese borek, stuffed grape leaves, baklava and more. The café is currently open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Plans for a grand opening are in the works.

The West Side pizza shop Casa di Pizza (2986 McKinley Ave.) is under new ownership and is now open seven days a week. Co-owners Derek Holt and Shelby Willis are serving Columbus-style pizzas featuring house-made dough and sauce, as well as subs, stromboli, Philly cheesesteaks and more. Dine-in is limited, but the pizzeria offers carry-out and delivery. 


Baker AJ Perry, the owner of Sassafras Bakery, announced this week that Aug. 14 was the Worthington bakery’s last day of regular business. Perry first launched her baking business 14 years ago after being laid off. After building a fanbase through farmers markets, she opened her retail bakery at 657 High St. in 2013. In an announcement on Facebook, Perry wrote: “My personal goals and guiding principles have always been that you would experience comfort, nostalgia, and magic with each bite. This always brought tremendous delight and heartfelt comfort to me.” Perry hinted that the bakery would evolve in some way, adding that although the last 18 months have been “exceptionally challenging” because of the pandemic, the bakery is on track to celebrate its best year ever. Sassafras will be open for one last goodbye on Saturday, Aug. 21, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., with a limited menu of coffee, scones and cookies, as well as T-shirts, dishware and other items for sale. 

After a little more than a year on the South Side, Village Taco’s VW Bus is riding off into the sunset. The owners of the vegan restaurant, located at 1297 Parsons Ave., announced Tuesday that Village Taco will close for good in September, citing financial struggles tied to the pandemic. Village Taco opened inside the former Hal & Al’s space in February 2020 and was named one of Columbus Monthly's Best New Restaurants earlier this year. A GoFundMe campaign seeking $60,000 in donations has been launched in an effort to save the restaurant. 

Stauf’s Coffee Roasters has departed Buddy Dairy Food Hall in Italian Village. It a statement posted to the coffee roaster’s Instagram account this week, Stauf’s president Mark Swanson wrote: “COVID-19 presented some unique challenges to this location for us and we, along with our partners at Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, decided that the space would be of better use elsewhere. We are so thankful for the opportunity to work alongside some incredible Chef Partners, meet some new people and, of course, spread our love of coffee all the way down 4th Street.”