The Scoop: North Market Secures Relief Funds; Mmelo Makes a Comeback

Erin Edwards
Michelle Allen, owner of Mmelo Boutique Confections, pictured in April 2020. Her business is making a comeback after a move to a new production space in Polaris.


The Columbus City Council on Monday approved a $500,000 COVID-19 relief grant for the North Market. The new infusion of funds, made possible by the CARES Act, will provide rent relief for struggling merchants, investment dollars for a delivery service (which launched last month) and funds to help new merchants with startup costs.

A second shutdown of bars and restaurants did not come to fruition on Tuesday as many business owners feared. Instead, Gov. Mike DeWine announced a statewide curfew that will run daily from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. The curfew will be in effect for 21 days, starting Thursday. The action is an attempt to strike a balance between business interests and the recommendations of health experts to slow the spread of COVID-19. “We tested this idea of the curfew with the business community, and the hospital community, the health community, and they all thought this was a reasonable compromise to get there to find that balance,” said Lt. Gov. Jon Husted during Tuesday’s COVID-19 update.

Openings & Announcements

Mmelo Boutique Confections has returned after a lengthy hiatus. Known for its artisanal tea cakes, chocolates, Marshmmelos and more, Mmelo closed its Vine Street location in May. The business, owned by local confectioner Michelle Allen, is now offering curbside pickup at its new production facility located at 1900 Polaris Parkway. Local deliveries and shipping are available above a minimum order.

Miracle, a Christmas-themed pop-up bar, is returning to The Citizens Trust (11 W. Gay St.) for a third year. The cocktail bar above Veritas will be transformed into a kitschy holiday oasis with themed cocktail menu from Nov. 23 through Dec. 31. New this year is Miracle’s tiki-themed sister pop-up, Sippin’ Santa, which is already taking place at Huli Huli Tiki Lounge, located at 26 W. Olentangy St. in Powell. It runs through the end of the year.

A new café and bookstore called Austen & Co. opened last week at 1530 S. High St. in Merion Village. The new, family-run spot serves Roaming Goat coffee, tea from Churchill’s Fine Teas and sweets from The Pastry Factory.

The owners of The Original Pancake House in Upper Arlington will soon open a second location in Central Ohio. The new breakfast spot in Westerville opens at 715 Worthington Road on Saturday, Nov. 21.

Local bartender Joshua Gandee (Watershed Kitchen & Bar) launched a new podcast Wednesday called “No Proof” through Focus on Health, a website that seeks to provide health and wellness resources for hospitality professionals. Through the podcast, Gandee aims to stoke discussions around “mindfulness, sobriety and health” as he navigates his own journey. The first episode is now up on Spotify.

Cincinnati-based Macaron Bar has opened a kiosk inside Polaris Fashion Place. The shop, which sells French-style macarons in several cities in the Midwest, also has a location at 668 N. High St. in the Short North.