Nada to open in Arena District next weekend

Beth Stallings, Columbus Crave

It's official: Cincinnati's popular Mexican-inspired eatery, Nada, will open its first Columbus location on Dec. 27 in the Arena District (220 W. Nationwide Blvd.).

Owners Boca Restaurant Group announced the expansion, their first culinary foray outside of Cincy, in the spring. Chef and owner David Falk says he was floored by the positive response they received, and have spent the last six months developing a fresh look and menu items specifically for the Columbus locale inside the Columbus Gas new headquarters.

When Falk saw the space, he says it was a no-brains decision. "We really liked the idea of a new build," he says. "We get to really unveil a new product. It's not like Nada 2.0. It's more like Nada 7.0." Ask Falk to put the look into words, and he jovially stammers. It's impossible, he finally acquiesces. "To try to put it into words would diminish the overall experience," he says. "We intentionally try to create an experience that is very hard to describe."

But he did throw around words like festive and high energy. These are vibes that apply to the food, too, he adds. First opened in 2007 in Cincy, the Mexican-inspired eatery is known for playful dishes like Mexican mac and cheese with roasted poblanos and Nada sliders with steamed onions and jalapenos. The Columbus location will offer new dishes, including Pastor Taco with chili marinated pork, pickled white onion and guajillo Diablo sauce, as well as Arrachera Taco with black bean puree, guacamole, crema, rajas and chihuahua cheese.

Nada takes up more than 6,000 square feet with 156 seats, an open kitchen and, come warmer weather, a 64-seat patio. Nada will open for dinner on Dec. 27, and will begin taking reservations starting Friday, Dec. 19. The eatery will be open daily for lunch and dinner with brunch on the weekends.