The time has come to say goodbye -- and, you know, it’s a bittersweet moment. After helping to launch Crave in 2011 and watching it grow ever since, I’m leaving the magazine to launch my own venture. Through my new restaurant consulting company, Umami, I’ll be helping Columbus restaurants to share their stories and strengthen their marketing and branding efforts. Rather than my usual dining picks, I’d like to share a few on-the-horizon openings I’m bummed I won’t get to write about. But don’t worry: You’ll still be able to read about them in Crave and here at ColumbusCrave.com as the Crave staff picks up right where I left off.
—Philco Bar + Diner. Got a chance to peek at the space, set to open in the next couple weeks, and I’m so pumped for what The Rossi’s Tina and Randy Corbin and Andrew Smith have in store. The modernized diner menu includes breakfast all day, amazing-sounding sandwiches like a pulled pork slider with Johnnycakes bun, and desserts (hushpuppies with maple syrup and powdered sugar, anyone?)
—Izzy & Mo. Next door to Till, this dual concept will be an authentic Jewish-style deli and an artisan doughnut shop.
—The Sycamore. Harvest Pizzeria owner Chris Crader is turning a longtime German Village dive bar into a cozy spot designed for his neighbors, with craft brews and higher-end local fare.
—Little Rock & The Market. My own neighborhood of Italian Village is getting an injection of new restaurant and bar options, starting with these two. Little Rock, a new bar from the owners of Tree House, is set to open this month on Fourth Street. And the Crest Gastropub owners are revamping a dumpy little convenience store into a corner store and European-style cafe for the neighborhood.
—16-Bit Bar + Arcade. Confession: I’m more excited about the old-school ’80s cocktails (named after movie stars like John Cusack and Don Johnson) than the arcade games.
—White Rabbit. Confession No. 2: These guys are one of my first clients, but I’d already been looking forward to chef Erik Till’s easygoing New American restaurant in a renovated Brewery District space for quite some time.