Downtown Columbus will get a new dose of Asian cuisine this week when Fresh 50 opens their doors at 50 North High Street in the former Spinelli’s Deli location. This new concept is a spin on fast-casual with a simple menu of wraps, bowls and salad made with fresh ingredients. We spoke recently with owner Joseph Chen to find out more about the new restaurant, and you can read our Q&A below:
Q: First, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
A: My entrepreneurial career started in college selling Victoria’s Secret on oversea eBay. That venture paid for my college tuition. After graduating from The Ohio State University, the underwear venture continued where I’d buy excess inventories from VS and sell it in malls in Taiwan and Hong Kong. A few years later I started Au Moda, a clothing store venture in the South Campus Gateway. Due to high rent and the economic downturn, Au Moda closed its doors after four years. After Au Moda, I went back to the corporate world to climb the corporate ladder. While there, I had the feeling that I was unable to make an impact in the community and I decided to leave a high profile management job to go back to entrepreneurship.
Q: So, what can you tell us about the concept at Fresh 50?
A: We serve creative Asian-inspired modern food. Signature dishes includes Three Cup Chicken, Sweet Garlic Herb Chicken, Korean Bulgogi Steak and Pepper Steak. The menu is simple. Your choices include premium rice, homestyle noodles, wraps or salads. Then we add fresh locally-grown seasonal vegetables and top it off with fresh produce. We also serve organic fair-trade coffee for our morning customers.
Q: Do you think Asian cuisine is currently lacking in Downtown Columbus?
A: We do! We also believe that there’s nothing like Fresh 50 anywhere in Ohio, so we’re really excited about opening this new concept.
Q: What drew you to this location Downtown?
A: Downtown Columbus is becoming a much more vibrant community. More people are living close to the city’s core, and this is right in the middle of the action. Further, we are excited to be surrounded by many passionate entrepreneurs in the Gay Street and High Street area.
Q: When is the grand opening date and what hours will you be open?
A: Our grand opening will take place in January. However, we will open for business on Thursday, December 15th. Winter hours will be Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm and we will have extended summer hours.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: Fresh 50 is a social-purpose business. Profit is important in any business, but it is also important for us to make an impact on the community. We’re dedicated to doing our part to make the Columbus community a better place. Every day, we will support the Fresh 50 Fund through our sales, which will provide support for projects that alleviate hunger and poverty in Columbus and all over the world. We want to serve good food and offer great service, and also offer the opportunity to support a meaningful cause.
More information can be found online soon at www.fresh50.com.