January is a notoriously slow month for restaurants. After the holiday craze, the crowds calm down for a few weeks. Some restaurants take advantage of the lull by closing shop for a few days to update spaces and menus. Here are a few of the changes in some of your favorite restaurants around town you should know about.
The Angry Baker closed for six days at the start of the year to refresh their small digs in Olde Towne East. What you’ll see are new pastry cases, shelves of breads along the walls and reorganized seating so that the space flows better, says owner Vicki Hink. She also managed to squeeze in two more seats. While a few things dropped off the daily menu, more notable are the things Hink added, such as house-made bagels, tacos, vegan bowls (filled with brown rice, kale, barbecue tofu and other goodies) and several more gluten-free options, including gluten-free oatmeal pancakes.
Katalina’s Cafe Corner closed this week for a few cosmetic updates, including a fresh coat of paint and some rearranging to give diners new perches where they can enjoy their food inside the notoriously tiny space. It’s tough to accommodate customers when the patio isn’t an option, says owner Kathleen Day. She hopes more counter-style seating can help. The plan was to close up Monday through Wednesday of this week, but cold weather is slowing down renovations. Look for the Harrison West cafe to reopen in the next few days.
After closing from Jan. 14 to Jan. 26, Cameron’s American Bistro has reopened with a new look and menu. They’ve added two large granite-topped dining tables for large parties, a granite bar top and TVs at the bar and Tectum ceilings to reduce noise. On the menu are two new appetizers—Salmon Carpaccio and Oysters Bingo, oysters with creamed spinach, asiago aioli, garlic and lemon—and mains like Pork Chops and Clams, Teriyaki Salmon, Roasted Chicken and Bistro Vegetable Plate with eggplant, marinara, roasted red peppers, sweet corn ravioli and quinoa salad.
And finally, Bodega will close in the Short North on Feb. 3 for an estimated three to five weeks for a complete overhaul. “We’re changing the whole interior layout, changing the bathrooms,” says owner Collin Castore. “We’re going to offer growler fills. We’re going to redo the storefront, come out with an entirely new menu and change the service format.” The bar will be moved to the other side of the restaurant to make way for a window where diners can order food (read: no more table service). And with a food-truck-size kitchen, Castor says the menu will follow suit—a smaller list of dishes that change seasonally and are inspired by different themes.