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Elizabeth Lessner’s Appetite for New Restaurants

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Columbus Alive wroteAppetite for New Restaurants

by Brittany Kress

October 4th, 2007

As a young bartender new to Columbus in the late ’90s, Elizabeth Lessner wasn’t impressed with the city’s restaurant and bar offerings. So in 2001, she opened one of her own, Betty’s Fine Food and Spirits.

Then she opened another. And another. And she’s currently brainstorming for a fourth.

The now Columbus-loving Lessner shares ownership of Betty’s and Surly Girl Saloon in the Short North and Tip Top Kitchen and Cocktails, which opened Downtown this summer. Her string of success is rooted in years of waitressing; she calls herself a “lifer.”

“I’m actually working on a restaurant concept now with Carmen Owens from Surly Girl. At any given time, I’ve got projects in the works. I think the Columbus market is excited to have new restaurants and new places, and as long as there’s an appetite for new restaurants, then I’ll keep trying to feed them.”

“We’re looking into the new Jeffery Place. We’re very, very excited by the work that Joe Recchie is doing over there. It’s a green building, it’s introducing things like Zipcars, the mayor just tied it into the bike trails, and I’m really a believer in what’s going on over there. So I’d like to open a restaurant over there and I’m still working on the concept.”

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