The Scoop: Lola’s to Open Downtown; North Linden Welcomes Martha’s Fusion Kitchen

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

Erin Edwards
Columbus Monthly
The future home of Lola's Kitchen + Bar on South High Street

Openings & Announcements  

Lola’s Kitchen + Bar is expected to open soon at 201 S. High St., a Downtown restaurant space that has been empty since short-lived Tio’s Tacos and Tequila left the picture. Lola’s owners are restaurant veterans whose past businesses include Cinco, Café Lola and Burgers Dogs and Fries. 

Martha’s Fusion Kitchen, a North Linden spot for Mexican food and more, recently opened at 3331 Maize Road, formerly Bella’s Pizza. The eclectic menu includes salads, barbacoa and birria tacos, gyros and pizzas. 

The Jimmy V’s space at 912 S. High St. is under new ownership and now has a new name: Double Take Bar & Grill. The food menu covers all the bar fare classics such as wings, nachos and burgers but also includes American grill staples such as steaks, pastas and seafood. 

Locally owned Harvest Pizzeria is now the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium’s official pizza provider. Zoo visitors can now find the pizza at the Congo River Market Food Court and Mapori Restaurant in Heart of Africa, as well as at Harbor Pizza when Zoombezi Bay opens. No word yet on whether the animals like Spicy Yuma. 

It was announced Tuesday that Willowbeez SoulVeg, Carnell Willoughby’s vegan soul food pop-up, is the latest addition to the historic North Market on Spruce Street. The new merchant is expected to open this spring and will take over the space most recently occupied by Pistacia Vera. Read more here.  

Cachapas, arepas and pabellón criollo are on the menu at Cilantro Latin Bistro, a new Venezuelan food truck parked at 993 King Ave. The new truck also offers a variety of beverages such as Toddy (Venezuelan-style chocolate milk) and fresh fruit juices. 

Crunchwerks, the nascent cloud kitchen from the owners of Summit Music Hall and chef Mysti Burris, is ready to welcome customers in person. The venue at 2210 Summit St. will open its doors for dine-in on March 6, with live music soon to follow. Crunchwerks, which pays homage to the beloved Taco Bell Crunchwrap, was conceived as a way to bring in money while Summit was shut down because of COVID-19. Columbus Alive has more about Crunchwerks and Summit’s pandemic pivot

The forthcoming Jackie O’s on Fourth project received overwhelmingly positive feedback at Tuesday’s meeting of the Columbus Downtown Development Commission. Commissioners asked the brewery’s owner, Art Oestrike, and the project’s designers to come back next month with more details about the development’s materials, lighting and streetscaping improvements. Oestrike made clear that the new Jackie O’s concept at 171 N. Fourth St. prioritizes outdoor spaces because of the pandemic. The proposed design features a large, multitiered patio with ample greenery and parking for food trucks. Phase one of the new brewpub will not include indoor drinking and dining, though a kitchen is expected to be added at a later date. 

We have a few pandemic-related reopenings to report. Alpine Restaurant & Bar (525 S. Fourth St.) and its adjacent sister restaurant, El Lugar, have re-emerged after a monthlong hiatus. Meanwhile, Downtown’s Dempsey's Food & Spirits (346 S. High St.) will reopen for business on March 9, its ninth anniversary. The Downtown Irish pub and restaurant has been closed since November.