Basil Expands with New Spot in Clintonville & Cloud Kitchen
The pandemic hasn’t stopped Basil from doubling its footprint, growing from two to four locations.
The Thai restaurant has taken over the space vacated last summer by BLunch at 2973 N. High St. in Clintonville. Owner Rhome Ruanphae says they’ve always loved the neighborhood and the fun, close-knit community, but finding a space over the last few years had been a challenge.
The BLunch space in particular represents an opportunity to get the restaurant back on High Street. Basil’s Short North restaurant, 1124 N. High St., closed in 2018 to make way for Bristol Republic, a partnership between Ruanphae and Bodega owner Brian Swanson.
With neighbors like Lineage Brewing and Condado in Clintonville, Ruanphae is excited to be in a more retail-facing, high-traffic location. Its two existing restaurants, 460 S. Front St. in the Brewery District and 3706 Riverside Dr. in Upper Arlington, don’t have quite the same organic traffic, Ruanphae says.
Although ideal in terms of more foot traffic, Basil in Clintonville will be delivery-only for now, offering much the same menu as Basil’s other locations.
Ruanphae says the new restaurant will eventually offer dine-in, but he’s in no rush to open Clintonville, or the locations in the Brewery District or Upper Arlington, back up to seated patrons. While the restaurant has found itself in a stable situation with its current delivery-only format, Ruanphae wants to avoid the potential back-and-forth opening and closing, and the labor-intensive costs to ensure everything is done properly, that come with dine-in service in the current environment.
Service will look different, though, when Basil resumes dine-in. The restaurants will transition to counter-style service instead of full table service. It will allow them to focus more on the food itself.
As for Basil’s fourth location, it comes via delivery-only ghost kitchen, located in Milo-Grogan. The proximity to Short North puts them back in a neighborhood that knows their eats.
“For Basil, it was located in the Short North area which we vacated a couple of years ago, so we felt like we were ready to come back and service that area,” Ruanphae says.
The focus on delivery-only, not only for the cloud kitchen, but its other locations, works for Basil. While many restaurants are concerned about food quality during delivery, Ruanphae notes most people are already used to Asian cuisine as takeout.
A part of CloudKitchens, a commercial kitchen space with room for 40 plus delivery-only concepts, Ruanphae says it’s a more efficient and cost-effective way to get back near the Short North. With the concentration of restaurants, there’s never a shortage of delivery drivers, either – something that can be a challenge for its other spots.
It will also help Basil expand their hours.
“The cloud kitchen has a really strong late-night business,” Ruanphae says.
Basil will try later hours in Clintonville as well. For now, both locations are closed on Mondays, with delivery hours from 5 – 11 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
For more information, visit basilcolumbus.com.