36 Restaurants & Bars that Closed in 2019
It’s safe to say there was a net gain in Central Ohio restaurants and bars in 2019, however the scene had its casualties.
This year’s closings spanned well-known Columbus brands, to fast-casual eats, pizza and drinking establishments. Grab the tissues as we run down the 36 bars and restaurants that are no more. Which will you miss the most?
Closings hit twice as hard for four Central Ohio businesses, with each closing two locations. Fast-casual eatery Acre now ceases to exist, going dark in Clintonville and Fifth by Northwest this summer. Harvest Pizzeria also whittled down its locations, first closing in Grandview, then shuttering its flagship location in German Village. Sweet Carrot went from three to one, shuttering its fast-casual BBQ eateries in Dublin and Polaris, leaving its original Grandview spot. & Juice Co. also took things down to solo storefront in Clintonville, closing in Italian Village and Upper Arlington.
To Those We Barely Knew
Alas a list no restaurant wants to be on. These three spots had a months-long lifespan, opening and closing in the calendar year. Belgian Iron Wafel Co. fizzled out in Short North. CoreLife Eatery came and went on Campus and Poke Works did the same in Fifth by Northwest.
From four months old to 77 years old, the goodbyes were far and wide Downtown. After being named one of the best new restaurants of 2018, Criollo abruptly closed its Gay Street doors. Also on Gay, ditching plans to keep both open, Phenix Cafe merged with its Phenix Bistro expansion. Brioso’s original location at the corner of Gay and High technically closed, only to move across the street to another corner of Gay and High.
Lasting not 77 but seven, Downtown got a little less tropical with the departure of Grass Skirt Tiki Room. A pair of cafes also closed their doors – Mona’s Cafe on State Street and Red Velvet Cafe on Fourth Street.
On the northern end of Downtown, Three-Legged Mare called it quits after nearly 10 years, while Fuzzy’s Taco Shop lasted just under two years. Sandman’s Cheesesteak quietly disappeared, while long-standing vendor Taste of Belgium was ousted from the North Market after a decade.
A Closure Over Here, A Closure Over There
After less than a year, House Wine closed its Bexley location. Failing to resonate with the student population, District PourHouse poured its last pint at the Gateway on Campus. Pigskin Brewing ceased to exist, instead making way for Nostalgia Brewing.
Little Eater decided to close up shop at its stand-alone location in Clintonville, choosing to focus on its original North Market stall. Easton lost a pair of chain eateries – Abuelo’s and Kona Grill.
Upscale Trillium couldn’t make it last in Old North, closing after just over two years. Short North bar Barrel on High said goodbye to make way for Fours on High. Meanwhile, Tatoheads vacated its spot on the South Side.
The Year’s Biggest Surprises
On the year, the restaurant openings in Short North far outpaced the closures, but there were two major goodbyes for the neighborhood. Long-standing pizza joint Fabian’s served its last slice, saying it was time to “allow the space to become something more fitting and new, for this location.” It will be replaced by a Pinot’s Palette. Cameron Mitchell Restaurants also dropped a shocker, closing its deli concept Harvey & Ed’s after just 16 months. It seems to be one of the few, if not only concepts, CMR has opened and closed. The group will retain the space and give another restaurant idea a go.
Popularizing vegan treats, Angry Baker decided to let go of its original location in Olde Towne East after eight and a half years. Fans aren’t left totally in a lurch though, as its Short North and Upper Arlington outposts live on as Happy Little Treats.
Finally, The Actual Brewing Company had just opened its Clintonville restaurant and taproom when a Columbus Alive article detailing sexual assault and rape allegations against owner Fred Lee was published. Businesses began dropping Actual’s products before the company was liquidated.