Food News: Columbus makes on-street dining program permanent; La Poblanita returns

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

Erin Edwards
The Clintonville-based taco truck La Poblanita, photographed in 2018 along Indianola Avenue.

Openings & Announcements 

La Poblanita is set to make a triumphant return March 14, following a wild winter. One Saturday morning in December, thieves in a pickup truck took off with the Mexican food trailer. The food truck was later recovered but had been gutted. La Poblanita will reopen at its usual location, 3825 Indianola Ave. 

A pandemic-era innovation aimed at supporting restaurants is set to become a regular feature of the dining scene. The City of Columbus announced today that its on-street dining program will become permanent, effective Monday, March 14. The move means restaurants may apply for city permit approval to use the right of way to expand seating into on-street dining areas. Restaurants will also be able to seek approval to expand seating into their private parking lots. “The Columbus restaurant community is looking forward to restarting on-street dining and expanded patios,” said John Barker, President and CEO of the Ohio Restaurant Association, in a press release. “The expanded space for restaurant guests adds vibrancy throughout our neighborhoods, keeps workers employed and helps generate additional sales for operators as they continue to rebound from the pandemic.” 

Middle Eastern eatery Falafel Kitchen will soon join Budd Dairy Food Hall for a temporary run in The Hatch rotating kitchen, starting March 14 through at least the end of May. Falafel Kitchen, the sister venture to Mazah Mediterranean Eatery, also runs a permanent space in North Market Bridge Park. The Levantine menu features soups, salads, falafel, chicken shawarma and scratch-made pastries. The Hatch is also looking for local entrepreneurs interested in operating out of the temporary kitchen. Chefs and business owners can learn more about the Budd Dairy program here

A new butcher shop called Toro Meat Market will fill the space vacated last year by Carfagna’s Market at 1405 E. Dublin Granville Road. The owner of La Michoacana Super Market is behind the new concept, which will feature specialty meats, poultry, seafood and produce. Carfagna’s, which is known for its meat department, relocated to a much larger space in Polaris last September. 

Honey Cup Coffee Co. announced this week that it will begin popping up at Rambling House Music Bar (310 E. Hudson St.) on Saturday, March 19. Honey Cup will be open daily at Rambling House until the coffee shop’s permanent home, Lovebirds Parlour and Patio, opens down the street at 367 E. Hudson St. this summer.  

After shutting down its longtime Clintonville restaurant last April, Tee Jaye's Country Place is preparing to reopen in the neighborhood on March 21 at a new location — this time with an alcohol permit. The new address is 4560 N. High St., formerly Bareburger. Its hours will be 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Closings 

The Westerville breakfast spot Gena’s Restaurant (5947 S. Sunbury Road) closed on March 1, according to signage on the door.