Food News: Kona Craft Kitchen + Bar opens March 3; Urban Chophouse will rebrand

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

Erin Edwards
Big Island French Toast at Kona Craft Kitchen + Bar, coming soon to Bridge Park

Openings & Announcements 

Kona Craft Kitchen + Bar announced today that its grand opening will take place Thursday, March 3, at 6757 Longshore St. Two longtime residents of Dublin, Frank and Stacy Leary, are behind the handsome new Bridge Park restaurant, which will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Kona's executive chef is Josh Kayser, formerly chef de cuisine at Gallerie Bar & Bistro.  

The saga of Urban Meyer’s steakhouse continues. Urban Chophouse, which has been open for less than a year, has been sold to a new investor and will rebrand, according to reporting by the Columbus Dispatch. The steakhouse, named for former Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer, will be renamed Chophouse 614 following the coach’s precipitous fall from grace. First, Meyer was filmed at his eponymously named Short North restaurant with a woman who wasn’t his wife, then he was fired as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars amid controversy and after a 2-11 start. According to a message posted on the steakhouse’s website, its ownership group, One Hospitality “has sold Urban Chophouse in the Short North to a private investment group with local roots here in Columbus.” The message explains that One Hospitality will continue to own the restaurant in partnership with the investment group. According to Ben Koo of the website Awful Announcing, the new investor is Shawn Shahnazi, the former owner of the now-shuttered Monarch Lounge. It’s unclear whether Urban Meyer’s Pint House in Bridge Park will follow suit.  

The home bakery Tudie’s Cookies & Sweets announced on Instagram that it’s expanding to a brick-and-mortar storefront — the former home of Pattycake Bakery at 3009 N. High St. in Clintonville. (Pattycake relocated to 3870 N. High St. last year.) Baker Brittani "Tudie" Hoffman, a labor and delivery nurse at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, launched the business from her home kitchen in 2019. You can check out Tudie’s Indiegogo campaign here. The bakery is targeting an April opening. 

The East Coast-style pizza shop Alberta's Pizza Kitchen is preparing to pop up in a new location: Upper Arlington’s The Pointe Tavern (1991 Riverside Drive). Alberta’s had recently been slinging pies out of Halftime Tavern and, before that, Hey Hey Bar & Grill. Alberta’s will begin serving out of The Pointe Tavern’s kitchen starting Thursday, Feb. 17. 

Watershed Distillery is partnering with Marianne Eaves, the first female master distiller in Kentucky, on a limited-edition, cask-strength blend. Dubbed Watershed Eaves Cask Strength Bourbon, the spirit is part of the Eaves Blind Series, aimed at showcasing regions of American bourbon outside of Kentucky. Watershed Distillery is one of only eight craft distilleries featured in the series. The lottery opens Wednesday, Feb. 16. 

Columbus Business First reported that Central Ohio’s first Wahlburgers will open this spring inside Hollywood Casino (200 Georgesville Road). Wahlburgers is a burger chain founded by actor Mark Wahlberg and his brothers, Donnie (of NKOTB fame) and Paul (a chef), in 2011. The chain now has franchises in 22 states and three countries outside the U.S.