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Jury Room to Be Replaced with Balls

Walker Evans Walker Evans Jury Room to Be Replaced with BallsPhoto via Columbus Food League.
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Nearly three weeks ago it was announced that The Jury Room would be closing and sold to a new owner, but no details were provided at that time as to who the new owner would be. Today we’re able to report that Joe Milano, former owner of Caffe Daniela and Villa Milano, has purchased the business and plans to open a new meatball-centric concept called “Balls” within the next few weeks.

“We’ve been looking for a new place since we sold Caffe Daniela last year,” explained Milano. “The Downtown area is a little tough right now because there’s fewer places for sale than there used to be. But this space came available, so we’re giving it a go.”

Milano, along with his wife MaryJo, are hoping to make Balls appealing to a wide range of people with a menu that includes traditional meatballs, chicken balls, vegetarian balls, and other seasonal flavors that can be incorporated into sandwiches, entrees, pastas and other styles of ever-evolving cuisines.

“I’m Italian and proud of it, but I steer people away from thinking that meatballs only translate to Italian food,” said Milano. “During St. Paddy’s Day we’ll be making balls with corned beef for example, so I think we can really make that fun and exciting.”

In addition to the food menu, Balls will feature a full bar with a variety of craft beers and will be host two trivia nights and other regular events targeted at Downtown dwellers. Milano says that the residents of the new apartments coming soon to Rich and High are a big part of his target demographic, and he wants to create a space with a neighborhood-centric feel.

The restaurant is expected to see minor renovations to the dining room and some more significant upgrades to the kitchen. The biggest thing disappearing from the old Jury Room is the name itself, which Milano was not interested in preserving.

“I think the building has more history and value than the namesake — I have to rebrand it,” he stated. “I’m sure some people will be upset about that, but some people will welcome the change.”

As for the rebrand itself, Milano is not tone-deaf to the double entendre.

“We want to be tongue-in-cheek with it, and push the line without going overboard,” he laughed. “At the end of the day, we want to create a place that’s affordable, fun and welcoming to everyone.”

Milano hopes to have Balls ready before Christmas.

Balls will be open for lunch, dinner and late-night munching, seven days a week.

The website for Balls is coming soon.

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