Blu Olive food truck moves into Hey Hey

Beth Stallings, Columbus Crave

A little more than a month after Swoop! food truck pop-up Bebe left Hey Hey Bar and Grill, the Merion Village neighborhood bar has a new food truck in residence. Italian-leaning Blu Olive opens inside the Hey Hey tonight, Nov. 18, starting at 5 p.m.

"I don't think we can use the word pop-up," says Blu Olive owner Steve Carmean, adding he signed a lease committing them to the space for at least a year. This will be the best place to find Blu Olive's menu of sandwiches, burgers, pastas and salads this winter (aside from the truck's regular gig at Bexley Natural Market on Wednesday evenings). Carmean adds the move into Hey Hey will allow them to expand the menu and add items that may take longer to prepare-taking advantage of customers willing to wait a few extra minutes for food in a dining setting, than in a food truck line.

"One of the things I've learned since I first started this truck with my daughter is chefs like to create," Carmean says. "You've got to let them create."

For example, the grilled salmon sandwich with lemon aioli will be featured as a salmon club on focaccia made by local baker Matt Swint of Matija Breads (the grilled cheese with walnut and arugula pesto will also get the same bread update). There will also be a Caesar salad with house-made dressing. Carmean and chef Alexander Martin will also have access to a fryer-something they don't have now on the truck-so fried food items may grace the menu in the future, too. (The Hey Hey's signature sauerkraut balls will stay on the menu-a non-negotiable line item in the agreement.)

Portion sizes will also change to reflect the sit-down setting, like doubling the size of the lemon garlic hummus (normally a side) to a sharable appetizer size.

Blu Olive will serve 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.