It’s been a busy and successful first year for the Italian-American restaurant Lomonico’s, which opened 10 months ago in a Pickerington strip mall. In fact, the feedback has been so positive that, today, owners Craig Lomonico and Andrew Borenstein announced they’ll soon be opening a second location Downtown.
The new Lomonico’s is headed for 340 E. Gay St.—the Discovery District spot where Betty’s was reportedly relocating to after that restaurant’s departure from the Short North.
“We’re excited to get Downtown. We’re ready to be with the elite restaurants of Downtown,” says Borenstein, who is also executive chef. He adds there’s a perception that “Pickerington is the complete opposite end of the world,” even though it’s not. And he’s been encouraged by the faithful clientele that’s journeyed out east from Columbus suburbs like Powell and Worthington to visit them.
The 2,900-square-foot restaurant will have the same feel as its Pickerington counterpart, but with an urban edge. The strip mall style will be traded in for brick walls and dark wood accents, and there won’t be room for a cooking school or market like they offer in Pickerington.
The Downtown menu will be similar, too, but Borenstein sees an opportunity to expand to meet a more adventurous, urban palate. “What we can afford to do is push that envelope and threshold a little more,” he says. “We’re going to introduce some new things with pork belly, duck and fish.”
The plan is to open by mid-November, and, if all goes well, to continue opening restaurant concepts. “We didn’t want to be a one-off restaurant group,” Borenstein says. “We want to become the next great restaurant group in the city.”