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RIP – Top 10 Restaurants that closed in 2007

Walker Evans Walker Evans
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2007 was a great year for new restaurants in Columbus, but there were also several eateries that closed up their doors for good. Here are the Top 10 restaurants that closed in 2007. They will all be missed.

1. The Original Wendy’s – 2007 was a bad year for Wendy’s in general. Sagging sales, a potential corporate sellout, and mediocre advertising campaigns left many fast fooders headed toward other options. The biggest blow came on March 2nd when the original restaurant downtown closed after 38 years. Dave Thomas will still be spinning in his grave well into the new year.

2. Estrada – After owner Ray Estrada died in March, the future of his restaurant was up in the air. It lasted through the summer but closed up in October.

3. Talita’s Mexican-Italian Restaurant – After a 39 year run, Talita’s closed up shop in September. They were quickly replaced with another mexican restaurant called Fiesta Time.

4. Pesto Creative Italian Bistro – In early December the lights quietly went off at Pesto as young entrepreneur Lee Shadle put his Italian concept to rest.

5. TeeJay’s – One of the few 24 hour greasy spoons still located near downtown closed up as redevelopment near Dublin Road and Grandview Ave gets ready to begin.

6. Brownstone on Main – After a public debacle involving a closed alley and a half-completed patio as well as funding and management problems, the Brownstone on Main announced a “temporary” closing for restructuring which soon turned permanent.

7. Steak & Shake – One of the few 24/7 sit-down dining options on campus closed up this past summer leaving students with one less place to score a greasy late night “fourth meal”.

8. 8 – This Short North eatery closed up after one year due to an unrenewable lease. 2008 may see 8 relocate nearby.

9. Red Star Tavern – After a very short run, this Arena District restaurant closed up in February and was quickly replaced by “TBD Tavern” (yes, TBD stood for To Be Determined). TBD didn’t last long and closed in May, but now a Boston’s Pizza is scheduled to be opening there soon.

10. Fuddruckers – In April, Fuddruckers pulled the plug on all four of their Columbus locations at once. Fortunately there are still hundreds of places to find good hamburgers in central Ohio.

Which of these closed restaurants will you miss the most? What new types of restaurants would you like to see open in 2008?

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50 Responses to RIP – Top 10 Restaurants that closed in 2007

  1. Drew December 31, 2007 11:00 am at 11:00 am

    Estrada- now that was a real loss… that place was good times in college.

  2. daniel
    daniel December 31, 2007 11:03 am at 11:03 am

    Except for Estrada, which holds some personal significance for Amy and I, and my fondness for Lee Shadle as a person, I’m not going to shed a tear over any of these closures.

  3. Coremodels
    Coremodels December 31, 2007 11:07 am at 11:07 am

    skreened wrote Except for Estrada, which holds some personal significance for Amy and I, and my fondness for Lee Shadle as a person, I’m not going to shed a tear over any of these closures.

    Yep, right with ya there, even including Estrada and fond memories.

  4. hazy stars December 31, 2007 11:17 am at 11:17 am

    Estrada, agreed.

    Oh those Cinco De Mayo memories…

  5. Walker Evans
    Walker December 31, 2007 11:23 am at 11:23 am

    While I didn’t eat at the original Wendy’s too often I liked that it was packed full of memorabilia and history. It was a museum for a company with roots in our downtown landscape. I’ll miss that more than I will getting frosties there.

  6. enzo
    enzo December 31, 2007 11:36 am at 11:36 am

    To replace Wendy’s http://organictogo.com/

    This place is aweseome: http://www.rockbottom.com/RockBottomWeb/RBR/Home.aspx

    I would love to see a creperie too!

    Maybe a mom&pop type of 24 hour diner downtown for breakfast or post night out snacks or something like this http://cafemagnolia.com/

    And something like this: http://www.mizunadenver.com/menus.html

  7. Coremodels
    Coremodels December 31, 2007 11:46 am at 11:46 am

    I’d love to see Carlos snatch up the old Estrada’s (if it’s even still available or hasn’t been changed yet) and open a large version of El Arepazo, complete with patio and liquor license!!!

  8. daniel
    daniel December 31, 2007 11:56 am at 11:56 am

    i don’t think i want any new restaurants in Columbus.

    I think there may be too many.

    I am not being sarcastic. Is there anyone inclined this way also?

  9. Walker Evans
    Walker December 31, 2007 11:58 am at 11:58 am

    I would like to see a few niches filled that we are lacking.

    Also, my new neighborhood is lacking in the restaurant category in general, so I’d love to see just about anything open up over there that I can walk to.

  10. hazy stars December 31, 2007 11:58 am at 11:58 am

    Hmmmm perhaps. The only two things I want are an authentic NY Pizza by the slice place (outside of campus) and maybe another option or two for breakfast.

    Other than that, I agree for the most part. There is already a great selection of restaurants in the area.

  11. columbus native December 31, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm

    WOW!

    who would put Fuddruckers under Talita’s by 8 spotsor hell put talita’s number 2. This must have been influenced by ndecent.

  12. Cyclist December 31, 2007 3:31 pm at 3:31 pm

    That patio space at Etrada’s is nice and huge. I hope something casual with a bunch of beer opens there by spring. I tend to gravitate toward places with patios, even in the winter.

  13. shroud
    shroud January 2, 2008 7:53 am at 7:53 am

    There still are TeeJayes and Steak & Shakes in town (and Wendy’s as well, obviously).

    I’m pretty bummed about the original Wendy’s closing, but realistically I hadn’t been IN the place in maybe 10 years, so I guess I can’t be all that upset about it, since I wasn’t even supporting it myself.

    I’m very bummed about Fuddruckers’ closing, because they were definitely one of my favorite burger options in town, all the locally owned places included. It’s mostly the bun – maybe if other places could buy & use those buns (or just get whatever recipe and bake them themselves)….

    I could care less about the rest…. including Estrada. I ate there several times and was always fairly underwhelmed. I did get crapped on by a bird on their patio once, so hey that’s at least something noteworthy! :lol:

    As for new places, we’ve obviously got ridiculous amounts of options already, but I don’t really see a problem with new places opening – keeping the scene fresh, keeping new options out there, (hopefully) making other places more competitive, and, as Walker points out, a major reason is convenience. Take Sonic for example – sure there’s one way out in Whitehall, but I’m VERY happy that one is opening less than a mile away from my house.

  14. Walker Evans
    Walker January 2, 2008 8:28 am at 8:28 am

    shroud wrote As for new places, we’ve obviously got ridiculous amounts of options already, but I don’t really see a problem with new places opening – keeping the scene fresh, keeping new options out there…

    Yep. I found 10 noteworthy places that closed and 20 noteworthy places that opened.

    8)

  15. columbus native January 2, 2008 8:39 am at 8:39 am

    Walker wrote
    shroud wrote As for new places, we’ve obviously got ridiculous amounts of options already, but I don’t really see a problem with new places opening – keeping the scene fresh, keeping new options out there…

    Yep. I found 10 noteworthy places that closed and 20 noteworthy places that opened.

    8)

    Thats a decent ratio on the positive side.

  16. captain janks January 3, 2008 3:56 pm at 3:56 pm

    RIP Tee Jays

  17. Ndcent
    Ndcent January 3, 2008 3:59 pm at 3:59 pm

    columbus native wrote WOW!

    who would put Fuddruckers under Talita’s by 8 spotsor hell put talita’s number 2. This must have been influenced by ndecent.

    RIP Talitas. SO good.

  18. lisathewaitress
    lisathewaitress January 3, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm

    Just wanted to mention that the Burgundy Room in Dublin Closed after NYE. RIP BR Dublin.

  19. RandomVisitor January 4, 2008 7:50 am at 7:50 am

    lisathewaitress wrote Just wanted to mention that the Burgundy Room in Dublin Closed after NYE. RIP BR Dublin.

    I liked the Burgundy Room for the venue, the food and the bar, but Dublin never warmed up to it.

    Rumor I hear is that a Mexican chain is moving in. Ugh.

  20. rave_til_dawn January 4, 2008 9:44 am at 9:44 am

    RandomVisitor wrote Rumor I hear is that a Mexican chain is moving in. Ugh.

    Nooooo, not a chain, not in Dublin, say it ain’t so! :wink:

  21. Angel
    Angel January 5, 2008 5:11 pm at 5:11 pm

    my grandfather built that wendys! :(

  22. CDS sherman
    CDS sherman January 5, 2008 5:22 pm at 5:22 pm

    Angel wrote my grandfather built that wendys! :(

    now thats cool, did he build anything else here in columbus back in those days?

  23. BUTerrier January 6, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm

    What the hell Burgandy Room in Dublin closed? WOW, that sucks.

  24. TBDFITL
    TBDFITL January 6, 2008 1:20 pm at 1:20 pm

    I’ve tried a lot of restaurants in Columbus, especially ones on campus. I have to say my one regret is that I never got to try Estrada.

    It seems most people here miss Estrada the most, but 8 wasn’t bad, either. Excellent little pot pie and the drinks were fun.

    I’d like to see a more affordable Vegan/Vegetarian place come into the fray here. I long for a place like Chicago’s Chicago Diner. That place was a revelation. You don’t always need animals to make fabulous food for less than $12

  25. WorkingMusician January 6, 2008 8:05 pm at 8:05 pm

    Walker wrote

    7. Steak & Shake – One of the few 24/7 sit-down dining options on campus closed up this past summer leaving students with one less place to score a greasy late night “fourth meal”.

    Won’t shed a tear concerning this location.

    I remember talking to George (Souvalaki Palace) when they ran him out.

  26. KSquared January 6, 2008 9:40 pm at 9:40 pm

    Coremodels wrote I’d love to see Carlos snatch up the old Estrada’s (if it’s even still available or hasn’t been changed yet) and open a large version of El Arepazo, complete with patio and liquor license!!!

    I would kill for a large version of El Arepazo with those things!! That cilantro sauce is so addictive!! They limit the number of sides you can have – I think it’s because of people like me…..

  27. shroud
    shroud January 6, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm

    WorkingMusician wrote Won’t shed a tear concerning this location.

    I remember talking to George (Souvalaki Palace) when they ran him out.

    Man, I loved Souvlaki Palace. We used to go there or get take out from there about once a week. It was tragic when the place closed only to reopen as an f’ing Steak & Shake.

    While the menu is only about 1/10 of Souvlaki Palace’s offerings, at least I can go to Buckeye Donuts and have George make me an old school gyro basket…

  28. WorkingMusician January 7, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am

    shroud wrote
    WorkingMusician wrote Won’t shed a tear concerning this location.

    I remember talking to George (Souvalaki Palace) when they ran him out.

    Man, I loved Souvlaki Palace. We used to go there or get take out from there about once a week. It was tragic when the place closed only to reopen as an f’ing Steak & Shake.

    While the menu is only about 1/10 of Souvlaki Palace’s offerings, at least I can go to Buckeye Donuts and have George make me an old school gyro basket…

    Thanks for the tip. Didn’t know he was working there. I have just seen him serving up stuff at a couple of festivals since his placed closed. Heck, if I had the money, I’d give some to him to try to get the old place back.

    I wouldn’t try Steak and Shake at any location for years because of how they screwed George out of his place.

  29. Coremodels
    Coremodels January 7, 2008 8:26 am at 8:26 am

    from the website:

    And the legend continues today.. the Gyro Legend himself, Souvlaki George, has came out of retirement, and has joined Buckeye DOnuts. Now so much more than just DOnuts, you have to taste the magic of Souvlaki George’s famous Gyros and his tasty crinkle-cut fries with paprika.

  30. Ndcent
    Ndcent January 7, 2008 8:39 am at 8:39 am

    TBDFITL wrote I’ve tried a lot of restaurants in Columbus, especially ones on campus. I have to say my one regret is that I never got to try Estrada.

    It seems most people here miss Estrada the most, but 8 wasn’t bad, either. Excellent little pot pie and the drinks were fun.

    I’d only been to Estrada once. Walked in, it was dead (bad sign), asked to see a menu, was handed something dirty sticky thing I guess you could call a menu. Place gave me the creeps inside. Left. I’m sure that patio is still fun though.

  31. The Hegemo
    The Hegemo January 7, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am

    lisathewaitress wrote Just wanted to mention that the Burgundy Room in Dublin Closed after NYE. RIP BR Dublin.

    That’s too bad. Only went to that location once — Dublin’s kind of out of the way for me, especially if a lot of wine is involved — but it was a nice spot.

  32. Drew January 7, 2008 1:48 pm at 1:48 pm

    Ndcent wrote I’d only been to Estrada once. Walked in, it was dead (bad sign), asked to see a menu, was handed something dirty sticky thing I guess you could call a menu. Place gave me the creeps inside.

    The creeps? That was the charm of the place :lol:

  33. WorkingMusician January 7, 2008 2:09 pm at 2:09 pm

    Coremodels wrote from the website:

    And the legend continues today.. the Gyro Legend himself, Souvlaki George, has came out of retirement, and has joined Buckeye DOnuts. Now so much more than just DOnuts, you have to taste the magic of Souvlaki George’s famous Gyros and his tasty crinkle-cut fries with paprika.

    Excellent!

  34. Columbusite November 5, 2008 2:16 pm at 2:16 pm

    Forgot to go back and take a pick, the empty Steak & Shake facade is being renovated and nearly complete, since they have signs saying they’re hiring cooks and bartenders.

  35. Cyclist November 5, 2008 2:48 pm at 2:48 pm

    Taco Ninja closed in 2007 too. One of the most innovative and original dining concepts in town.

  36. Walker Evans
    Walker November 5, 2008 3:02 pm at 3:02 pm

    Columbusite wrote Forgot to go back and take a pick, the empty Steak & Shake facade is being renovated and nearly complete, since they have signs saying they’re hiring cooks and bartenders.

    More details: http://www.columbusunderground.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=15965

    Cyclist wrote Taco Ninja closed in 2007 too. One of the most innovative and original dining concepts in town.

    It did close in 2007. And so did many others. But this was a Top 10 list. And nobody seems to really miss Taco Ninja.

  37. Cyclist November 5, 2008 3:59 pm at 3:59 pm

    Walker wrote
    Columbusite wrote Forgot to go back and take a pick, the empty Steak & Shake facade is being renovated and nearly complete, since they have signs saying they’re hiring cooks and bartenders.

    More details: http://www.columbusunderground.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=15965

    Cyclist wrote Taco Ninja closed in 2007 too. One of the most innovative and original dining concepts in town.

    It did close in 2007. And so did many others. But this was a Top 10 list. And nobody seems to really miss Taco Ninja.

    Not the posters here, but there are others in town who do not participate in CU that do miss the Ninja.

  38. Cyclist November 5, 2008 4:25 pm at 4:25 pm

    Cyclist wrote
    Walker wrote
    Columbusite wrote Forgot to go back and take a pick, the empty Steak & Shake facade is being renovated and nearly complete, since they have signs saying they’re hiring cooks and bartenders.

    More details: http://www.columbusunderground.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=15965

    Cyclist wrote Taco Ninja closed in 2007 too. One of the most innovative and original dining concepts in town.

    It did close in 2007. And so did many others. But this was a Top 10 list. And nobody seems to really miss Taco Ninja.

    Not the posters here, but there are others in town who do not participate in CU that do miss the Ninja.

    I just talked to the Ninja founder and operator, he says that “100′s of people” miss the Ninja.

  39. vestanpance
    vestanpance November 5, 2008 4:26 pm at 4:26 pm

    he also said their food was good/edible… that was a lie, so….

  40. Walker Evans
    Walker November 5, 2008 5:05 pm at 5:05 pm

    Cyclist wrote I just talked to the Ninja founder and operator, he says that “100′s of people” miss the Ninja.

    That’s wonderful news.

  41. lifeontwowheels November 5, 2008 5:11 pm at 5:11 pm

    vestanpance wrote he also said their food was good/edible… that was a lie, so….

    Well if you were drunk at 3 am and in need of a burrito and condom, they had you covered…

  42. shroud
    shroud November 5, 2008 5:50 pm at 5:50 pm

    I miss the idea of Taco Ninja, but in actual implementation… yeah, not so much.

    Now if someone took the Taco Ninja schtick and applied it to GOOD food (even good take-out/fast-food quality food), WIN!

  43. Jim Lauwers
    JimL2 November 6, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am

    Cyclist wrote Taco Ninja closed in 2007 too. One of the most innovative and original dining concepts in town.

    …since the invention of the dumpster

  44. Cyclist November 6, 2008 4:57 pm at 4:57 pm

    JimL2 wrote
    Cyclist wrote Taco Ninja closed in 2007 too. One of the most innovative and original dining concepts in town.

    …since the invention of the dumpster

    More and more JimL2 reminds me of Karl Rove.

    Talita’s replacement Fiesta Time is pretty much identical to Talita’s. Its 8 ingredients mixed into 147 different combinations. They do have pretty weird bar stools there that are like motorcycle saddles on rolling stock? :?

    I’d imagine Roland and NDecent would enjoy sitting on these.

    They also have tables that looked to have been liquidated from a Chinese restaurant which is OK; let me remind you, I have been to Mexico many times and there are indeed Chinese restaurants there.

    Fiesta Time also has a Sunday lunch buffet, and looks to start featuring Mariachi/Norten(y)o music on November 21st.

  45. CDS sherman
    CDS sherman November 6, 2008 5:08 pm at 5:08 pm

    Cyclist wrote
    JimL2 wrote
    Cyclist wrote Taco Ninja closed in 2007 too. One of the most innovative and original dining concepts in town.

    …since the invention of the dumpster

    More and more JimL2 reminds me of Karl Rove.

    Talita’s replacement Fiesta Time is pretty much identical to Talita’s. Its 8 ingredients mixed into 147 different combinations. They do have pretty weird bar stools there that are like motorcycle saddles on rolling stock? :?

    I’d imagine Roland and NDecent would enjoy sitting on these.

    They also have tables that looked to have been liquidated from a Chinese restaurant which is OK; let me remind you, I have been to Mexico many times and there are indeed Chinese restaurants there.

    Fiesta Time also has a Sunday lunch buffet, and looks to start featuring Mariachi/Norten(y)o music on November 21st.

    a Mexican lunch buffet…. i might have to try that out.

  46. Jim Lauwers
    JimL2 November 6, 2008 5:22 pm at 5:22 pm

    Cyclist wrote
    JimL2 wrote
    Cyclist wrote Taco Ninja closed in 2007 too. One of the most innovative and original dining concepts in town.

    …since the invention of the dumpsterMore and more JimL2 reminds me of Karl Rove.

    I thought the Rove doctrine was to attack your enemy where they’re strong. Are you trying to say your strength lies in dumpster diving? Come on we both know you have other skills. Don’t sell yourself short!

  47. Cyclist November 6, 2008 6:01 pm at 6:01 pm

    JimL2 wrote
    Cyclist wrote
    JimL2 wrote
    Cyclist wrote Taco Ninja closed in 2007 too. One of the most innovative and original dining concepts in town.

    …since the invention of the dumpsterMore and more JimL2 reminds me of Karl Rove.

    I thought the Rove doctrine was to attack your enemy where they’re strong. Are you trying to say your strength lies in dumpster diving? Come on we both know you have other skills. Don’t sell yourself short!

    It’s not in the doctrine I find a similarity.

  48. Jim Lauwers
    JimL2 November 6, 2008 6:05 pm at 6:05 pm

    Cyclist wrote
    JimL2 wrote
    Cyclist wrote
    JimL2 wrote
    Cyclist wrote Taco Ninja closed in 2007 too. One of the most innovative and original dining concepts in town.

    …since the invention of the dumpsterMore and more JimL2 reminds me of Karl Rove.I thought the Rove doctrine was to attack your enemy where they’re strong. Are you trying to say your strength lies in dumpster diving? Come on we both know you have other skills. Don’t sell yourself short!It’s not in the doctrine I find a similarity.

    Is it because we both think that eating stuff out of a dumpster is gross? Because I’m pretty sure that Dr. Samuel Johnson would agree with us, also.

    I say! Shit yea, bitches! Hella’ gross!

  49. Walker Evans
    Walker November 9, 2008 4:38 pm at 4:38 pm

    Back on topic.

  50. Likes Old Houses
    Likes Old Houses November 12, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm

    I see the Brownstone on Main building is going up for absolute auction on 12/15. http://columbus.craigslist.org/bfs/908297687.html

    Hopefully someone can find a productive use for the building.

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