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Corso Food Hall Proposal Heads to Italian Village Commission

Lauren Sega Lauren Sega Corso Food Hall Proposal Heads to Italian Village Commission
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Corso Ventures is planning another concept for the Short North. Unlike Standard Hall or Pint House, though, it won’t be your typical restaurant-slash-bar. Food Hall, occupying the spot at 1112 N. High St., will encompass a full bar and four kitchens, creating space for Columbus and non-local restauranteurs to pop up, experiment, and give Short North visitors a unique and changeable experience.

The plans are going to the Italian Village commission on Wednesday, and if all goes well, a 5,500 square foot restaurant with a rooftop patio will be OK’d for the growing neighborhood south of Fifth Avenue. Chris Corso, owner of Corso Ventures, said Food Hall, accompanied by Standard Hall and Pint House, will add to the laid back feel of the neighborhood he’s gradually taking over.

Described by Corso as “A very mini-North Market with a bar scene,” Food Hall will contain a main bar catered by four kitchens. Who uses those kitchens will change regularly, making room for popups, restauranteurs from other parts of town or from out of town, and even food truck operators.

“It’s a new concept, but not really,” Corso said. “It’s very popular in New York right now, Chicago. Popups are popular. This’ll just make it easier to get some culinary options in the Short North that are fun and exciting.”

The ordering process will happen in one of two forms: Food Hall patrons can wait in line like at most establishments, or they’ll be able to use a Corso-developed app on their tablet, laptop or phone to pull up menus and order from their table. A locator within the app will tell the appropriate kitchen where the food should go.

The goal is for Food Hall to cater to the growing number of adventurous foodies in Columbus while retaining the local flare that Corso says makes the Short North special. While some may call Food Hall a continued corporate takeover of the area, Corso sees it as a true preservation of the neighborhood’s character.

“I think when I first came in the Short North, some people were against that, because they thought I was maybe too commercial. But, I think now they can truly see what commercial is when you’ve got national chains, regional chains coming in the neighborhood,” Corso said. “I’m a true Short Norther — I’ve lived down there for 20-plus years. We don’t have any concepts outside the Short North; my entire team lives in the Short North and loves the Short North. So, I think by controlling a lot of that neighborhood we can keep the concepts with a local feel.”

If the proposal is approved by the Italian Village Commission, Corso said construction will start in the following nine months. After that he anticipates three or four months of build out, giving Food Hall a potential late-2018 opening.

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