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Bites & Sips: Josie’s Comeback, New Restaurants Downtown, More Openings, More Closings

Susan Post Susan Post Bites & Sips: Josie’s Comeback, New Restaurants Downtown, More Openings, More ClosingsClockwise from top left: Mr. Hibachi opens Downtown; The Pit finally opens at North Market Bridge Park; Tasty Dawg also opens Downtown; Village Taco plans to close on the South Side - All photos by Susan Post
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A neighborhood favorite is staging a comeback mere feet from its original location. There have been some hellos and (temporary) goodbyes on the Downtown dining scene. Openings continue to roll while closings trickle in. Get the latest updates in the world of Central Ohio dining in Bites & Sips.

Village Taco Plans to Close

Village Taco’s run at 1297 Parsons Ave. is coming to an end. The vegan taco joint opened on the South Side in February 2020 – just weeks before the coronavirus pandemic would bring the world to a screeching halt.

“We fought like animals to stay alive through the last year and a half, including borrowing money to keep it going,” a social media post announcing the closure read. “The reality of not being able to use our stage and the amenities this property has to offer has ultimately put us into a position with no other choice.”

Starting in September, Village Taco will be open Fridays and Saturdays only for the first three weeks of the month before saying goodbye. The eatery will also be selling all of its stickers for $1 and auctioning off other memorabilia to help offset debts.

For more information, visit thejointcolumbus.net.

GENJIGO Temporarily Closes Downtown Location

After opening its doors in April 2021, GENJIGO has temporarily closed its Downtown location.

A note on the door of the restaurant at 77 E. Gay St. said staffing issues are to blame for the temporary closure.

GENJIGO operates six other restaurants in Central Ohio – Reynoldsburg, Pickerington, Lewis Center, Grove City and Westerville are currently serving guests, and the sixth, Gahanna, is also temporarily closed according to the eatery’s website.

For more information, visit genjigo.com.

Mr. Hibachi Opens Downtown

While one hibachi joint makes a temporary departure from the Downtown dining scene, another has arrived. Mr. Hibachi is now open at 250 N. Third St.

Mr. Hibachi’s menu includes appetizers like Spring Rolls and Crab Rangoon, and a variety of hibachi entrees featuring proteins like chicken, steak, shrimp, scallops and salmon.

Downtown is Mr. Hibachi’s third location, with additional restaurants at 3761 Cleveland Ave. and 3889 W. Powell Rd. in Powell.

Mr. Hibachi is open from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 11a.m. – 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

For more information, follow Mr. Hibachi on Facebook.

Tasty Dawg Opened August 30

Tasty Dawg made its Downtown debut on Monday, August 30. Establishing its first brick-and-mortar restaurant at 107 S. High St., Tasty Dawg’s menu is built on all-beef grilled kosher franks dressed with a variety of toppings. Find classics like the Chicago or Chili Cheese Dawgs, or mix things up with the South of the Border, Island BBQ or California Dawgs – plus more! Don’t miss scoops of Velvet ice cream for dessert.

Tasty Dawg is open from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily.

For more information, visit tasty-dawg.com.

The Pit BBQ Grille Now Open at North Market Bridge Park

The Pit BBQ Grille is up to three Central Ohio locations as its stall inside the North Market Bridge Park, 6750 Longshore St., starts serving guests.

Find The Pit’s signature items like its Polish Boy, an-all beef Polish sausage topped with fries, coleslaw and sauce – add pulled pork, pulled chicken or brisket for the Polish Girl – and the Pit Bowl or Pit Fries. Or, opt for all the meats, with brisket, ribs, rib tips, pulled pork, pulled chicken and wings all available.

The Pit operates two additional locations – 1542 Parsons Ave. on the South Side, and 4219 N. High St. in Clintonville.

The Pit at North Market is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m., Friday & Saturday from 10:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

For more information, visit thepitcolumbus.com.

Fay’s Crepes Makes Debut at Easton

Fay’s Crepes departed Polaris to settle in at a new mall, reopening its doors at 3951 Easton Square Place at Easton.

Fay’s offers a sweet and savory lineup of its namesake dish. In the sweets lineup there’s Banana Nutella, Creme Brûlée, Mixed Berries and Cream and more. Savory options include Chicken Florentine, Spring Veggie and Philly Cheese. Guests can also build their own creation on a crepe or waffle base.

Fay’s Crepes will open its second location inside of Bubbly Hall in New Albany, when it makes its debut at a to-be-determined time after COVID construction delays.

Fay’s Crepes is open from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12 – 6 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, follow Fay’s Crepes on Facebook.

Pho Social Adds to Easton Dining Options

Also new in the realm of Easton eating is Pho Social, 3991 Worth Ave.

Yes, there is pho, but the eatery’s menu also features a variety of Vietnamese dishes – Vietnamese crepes with a choice of proteins, Vietnamese noodles and more.

Pho Social is open from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12 – 6 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, visit phosocialateaston.com.

Josie’s Pizza Making a Comeback in Franklinton

Fear not, Josie’s Pizza fans! The Franklinton pizza joint is making a comeback – a mere 472 feet from its former home of 62 years.

Josie’s Pizza will return at 894 W. Broad St. No opening date has been set yet, but according to its Facebook page, construction is underway – as well as pizza oven testing.

A video announcing the new location promises the same Original Josie’s experience that’s been garnering fans for six decades.

Follow The Original Josie’s Pizza on Facebook for updates.

J’s Sweet Treats Opens Second Location

J’s Sweet Treats celebrated the grand opening of its second Central Ohio location in mid-July.

The South Side bakery headed north for its expansion, offering Polaris Mall goers a delectable selection of sugary confections, from brownies and cookies, to cake pops, cheesecake, truffles and more.

Find J’s at 1540 Parsons Ave. and 1500 Polaris Pkwy.

Polaris hours are 11 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12 – 6 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, visit jssweettreats.net.

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