Short North mainstay Betty’s Fine Food & Spirits closed on July 7, after a long goodbye that lasted more than six months. Less than a week after shutting down, Betty’s owner Elizabeth Lessner took to Twitter to announce the new tenant: Northstar Cafe.
The new eatery moving into the space at 680 N. High St. will not be another Northstar concept (there’s already a Northstar location down the street), but it will be from the same owners, who also run Third & Hollywood in Grandview.
So, what will it be? “We’re dying to know ourselves,” laughs Leigh Nordin, Northstar managing partner. It will definitely be a new concept to the Northstar brand, and it will fall in line with the company’s commitment to responsible and local sourcing. But, aside from those details, the final details are up in the air. Though, she adds, there are a few design and menu concepts floating around the office. (A tapas concept has been the rumor floating around.)
The appeal of the space was more than just its location, Leigh says. Betty’s departure was bittersweet for Northstar owners Kevin and Katy Malhame, who “fell in love with that space more than 10 years ago,” says Leigh, adding the two would frequent the bar. “It was the quintessential place to go [in Columbus.”
Lessner wasn’t shy about listing the mechanical problems with the space, crediting these issues and the rise in rent as some of the driving forces behind Betty’s closure. “There’s a lot of work that needs to be done to that space,” admits Leigh, citing heating and cooling as major issues. This is the primary reason she gives a broad “sometime in 2015” as an estimated opening date.