Betty’s Moving from Short North to Gay Street
Betty’s Fine Food and Spirits, located at 680 North High Street, has been a longtime favorite hangout for many across the city. One of Elizabeth Lessner’s better-known joints, and the one that launched the Columbus Food League in 2001, Betty’s mixes pin-up girl kitsch with scratch-made, comfort food in a combination that’s won over the hearts of locals and visitors alike.
Sometime around the end of January, Betty’s will close the doors to their Short North home for good. Several factors contributed to the choice to close, but this does not mean the end. Betty’s will be moving and reopening Downtown within the Discovery District, at 340 East Gay Street, right around the corner from another CFL restaurant, Grass Skirt Tiki Lounge.
The space will be about the same size as the original Betty’s, but with a different floor plan that will allow for some novel upgrades. There will be garage doors that will open up to a brand new patio once the weather warms, allowing fresh air to flow through Betty’s, one of the drawbacks at the Short North location, where in the summer months, temperatures could reach as high as 90ºF on a hot day.
In addition, all new HVAC systems are being installed to help with cooling when the kitchen gets hot. There are also plans to plant a vegetable and herb garden out front, a move several local restaurants are adopting because of the ease of care and potential cost-saving benefits associated with producing your own food.
The menu, like the decor, will not change much, but with more space and better ventilation, the staff at Betty’s will be able to decorate even more fabulously, and create more inspired drinks and dishes for its loyal clientele.
Until Betty’s is up and running again (Lessner is shooting for a July-ish opening that will likely coincide with the opening of the new Chintz Room), all employees will be offered a job at another of Lessner’s upcoming launches – Dirty Frank’s Westgate – until they can be transitioned to the new location. Those worried about losing your favorite bartender or server, have no fear, you’ll still be able to find him or her doing what he or she does best.
“The CFL model is to build restaurants in transitional neighborhoods. We are as committed to revitalizing our urban areas as we are to providing fun, vibrant, and unique dining options,” shares Lessner on the move. “We did a lot of good work that we’re proud of. I’m proud of our staff and grateful for our 13+ years of regulars.”
When Betty’s Fine Food & Spirits re-opens at the corner of East Gay Street and North Grant Avenue, there will be ample street parking and garage parking available, so be sure to make a plan to check out the new digs.
For more information, visit www.bettyscolumbus.com.
Photo by Walker Evans.