Cleveland Restaurant Groups Bringing New Concept to Short North
The brains behind Cleveland restaurants Greenhouse Tavern, Noodlecat, Flipside, 3 Palms Pizzeria & Italian Bakery and a number of other Cleveland restaurants are breaking into the Columbus market. Team Sawyer and FWD Hospitality have each had their eyes on central Ohio for several years, and they’ll take the dive together at the old RAM Brewery space at 906 N. High St. in the Short North.
While the name and branding have yet to be decided for the new restaurant, they’ve pulled together a rough draft of the menu. Unlike most menus that lay out appetizers, salads, mains and desserts, this one will focus largely on shareables.
“It’s a lot of dishes that you can bring to the table and share and try a lot of different things,” says Bobby Rutter, Chief Operating Officer for FWD Hospitality. “It’s a special dining experience, because that’s kind of the way we like to enjoy a lot of our meals. So we wanted to develop something around that atmosphere, and that’s what we centered the menu around — that sharing experience.”
Chef Jonathan Sawyer, of Team Sawyer, says it’s as if the Greenhouse Tavern menu graduated college. They’ll utilize a wood fired oven to put out a variety of items far beyond just pizza, but “for everything that we possibly can,” Sawyer says. Expect a fusion of cuisines that reflect the central Ohio melting pot, from French to Italian to modern American and Japanese.
The building’s amenities were its main draw for FWD and Team Sawyer, who’d been looking at different spaces throughout Columbus for at least the last three years. It offers 9,000 square feet of space over two floors, including a 1,300 square foot second floor patio. While RAM divided the space into a first floor bar and a second floor restaurant, Rutter says the two floors will function identically for their concept. The downstairs will keep the bar and seat about 100 people, while the upstairs will have two bars along with table seating.
Between Team Sawyer and FWD Hospitality they’ve got a dozen restaurant concepts, but Rutter says they intentionally wanted to create something unique to Columbus for their first restaurant in the area.
“We could have done a Greenhouse, we could have done any number of concepts that we already have in our portfolio, but we wanted to do something that was unique to the area, because we think it’s an authentic neighborhood,” Rutter says. “So, that’s why we came up with something totally new, pulling from all of the things we do well already.”
Last summer, FWD Hospitality announced plans to open their concept Good Night John Boy at the Gateway. They’ve since pulled out of that deal, though Rutter gave no reason as to why.
Rutter says more details on the restaurant replacing RAM, including a name, will be released in the next couple of weeks. The opening date is planned for the summer of 2019.