Short North's L'Antibes closes; reopening as HomeFare

Beth Stallings, Columbus Crave

In an email last night, L'Antibes chef and owner Matthew Litzinger announced the closing of the Short North fine dining restaurant. For eight years, the French eatery entranced diners with artfully plated and well-executed fare and standout wine dinners. L'Antibes also landed a spot on the Crave 10 in 2013.

With little notice to say a proper goodbye, we're going to miss Litzinger's classical French food, including his signature Sweetbreads Au Poivre.

The good news? The Culinary Institute of America grad isn't going anywhere. The chef plans to remodel the space at 772 N. High St. and reopen it toward the end of July as HomeFare with "a home-inspired menu ranging from lighter fare to comfort food," according to his newsletter email.

As for an explanation on why L'Antibes is closing, here is what Litzinger had to say in his email address:

Upon graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 2007, I returned to my hometown of Columbus with the desire to open a fine dining restaurant. My first job in Columbus was a temporary chef position working for Cirque du Soleil and a short term position at Northstar Cafe. After having dinner at L'Antibes one night, my father called me and told me he had talked to the owners and they were interested in selling. I immediately met with them, and after months of negotiations my dream was fulfilled. In July of 2007, I was the new owner of L'Antibes.

I have been successful with this restaurant, but over the years I have come to realize that the fine dining concept in my current location would not generate adequate profits. I have decided to go in a different direction with the same location to a concept that I feel will be well-received in the Short North. The new restaurant will be called HomeFare, and will have a home-inspired menu ranging from lighter fare to comfort food, all of which will be carryout-friendly.

I will be closing on May 27th for a complete renovation, with a projected opening of July 30th. Fine dining has a very special place in my heart, and I have a goal someday of resurrecting L 'Antibes when the resources, time and appropriate location present themselves. For now, I'm very excited about this new concept and my ability to bring quality home-inspired food to the Short North.