Food News: Alley Burger debuts Downtown; Hiro Ramen sets grand opening

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

Erin Edwards
Mike Onyejekwe, owner of Alley Burger

Openings & Announcements 

Owner Mike Onyejekwe has opened Alley Burger in Downtown’s Lynn Alley. The new spot is located at the rear entrance of 26 N. High St., formerly Belly Burger. The R&B-themed restaurant features salads, loaded fries, burgers, fish sandwiches, steaks and more. The Dispatch has more here

A new spot for ramen, udon, rice bowls and bubble tea opens next week. Hiro Ramen & Tea will hold its grand opening Thursday, March 10, at 4800 Sawmill Road in Northwest Columbus. The Carriage Place eatery will feature robot servers. 

New seafood joint The Seasoning Crab is in its soft opening phase at 8665 Sancus Blvd. near Polaris. The menu features boiled seafood combos, fried seafood baskets, raw oysters and more. 

It’s Lenten Fish Fry season again in Central Ohio, which means several local congregations are hosting community fish fries. The Dispatch has a list here.  

In case you missed it, the 2022 James Beard Award nominees were announced last week. Bad news: Columbus chefs and restaurants were shut out. Though the Best Chef: Great Lakes category was dominated by Chicago and Detroit chefs, two Ohio-based chefs were nominated in the category: Jose Salazar of Salazar in Cincinnati and Jill Vedaa of Salt+ in Lakewood, Ohio. In addition, Cincinnati’s Elaine Townsend was nominated for Outstanding Baker. For the past two years, the James Beard Awards ceremony has been canceled while the program underwent an audit to create “a more transparent and equitable process for the future.” In early 2020, two local stars were nominated for awards: James Anderson of Ray Ray’s Hot Pit and Spencer Budros of Pistacia Vera. See this year’s list of James Beard nominees here

Temporary Closings 

On Monday, popular Newark restaurant Bummie's Pub & Grub (155 N. Cedar St.) was destroyed by a fire caused by unattended cooking equipment. No people were injured. The Newark Advocate reports that the structure will have to be demolished. It’s uncertain whether the restaurant will stage a comeback. This week, the owners of Bummie’s posted the following message on Facebook: “She is gone. Taken away without permission. Without regard for [whose] lives it would affect; and left with nothing but an aching memory of everything we ever gave to her. Our life. Our dreams. Your memories.”