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Over 40 New Columbus Restaurants Opened in 2015

Rebecca Wagner Rebecca Wagner Over 40 New Columbus Restaurants Opened in 2015Photos by Lillian Dent.
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For the past seven years, CU has compiled a comprehensive year-end list of new restaurants that have bloomed in the city (as well as a list of those that have closed). Columbus’ local dining scene shifted to a noticeably more laid-back affair in 2015, with the rise of polished fast-casual concepts and modern comfort fare menus reigning champion. While falling short of the 60+ restaurants that opened last year, 2015 definitely didn’t disappoint — over 40 unique eateries, breweries, coffeeshops, and more flung open their doors. Here’s a list of new places to pencil in (if you haven’t already) on your ‘to-try’ list.

The North Market reached full capacity this year, welcoming three new vendors:

After two years of successful donut pop-ups, Heather Morris opened Destination Donuts full-time, moving into the former Pure Imagination Chocolatiers space. Vegetable magician Cara Mangini opened locally-sourced Little Eater in February. Mangini’s produce-inspired cookbook is set to release later this spring. Last but not least, popular Mexican food truck Dos Hermanos nabbed the final North Market vendor stall in early October, remedying the market’s lack of Mexican cuisine.

Both local and national restaurants debuted expansions across Columbus:

On the local end, The Crest Gastropub opened a spacious South Side second location at Parsons Avenue. Italian eatery Lomonico’s expanded from Pickerington, opening Downtown in early December. Mikey Sorboro opened the first full-service location of drunk food go-to Late Night Slice on S. Fourth Street, after replacing their original Short North shack with a shipping container. Crimson Cup opened their second Columbus retail location in Arlington, following the January opening of their new Alum Creek Drive roasting facilities. Ohio-based build-your-own sushi restaurant FUSIAN opened a third Columbus location in Grandview. A fourth Clintonville restaurant is currently in the works. Basil Thai opened their second restaurant in the Brewery District. Downtown, Red Velvet Cafe opened their second location next door to Dirty Franks.

As for notable mentions on the national end, pizza chain Sbarro has rebranded as a sit-down restaurant, opening franchises in Dublin, Worthington, and Clintonville. Pies and Pints opened a Short North location in the historic Fireproof Building. International Korean fried chicken chain Bonchon landed in Dublin and Clintonville. Steakhouse Ted’s Montana Grill and Tex-Mex chain Chuys opened at Easton Gateway. Finally, Donatos opened a rebranded location next door to their former Short North digs.

Columbus beverage options expanded considerably across the board in 2015:

The city’s beer scene continued its momentous growth, firstly when Gahanna’s Pigskin Brewing Company opened its door in late February. Clintonville gained its first brewpub with the spring opening of Lineage Brewing. Scioto Downs Racino opened the doors of Brew Brothers microbrewery in October. Lastly, a quartet of homebrewing friends joined forces to open taproom Ill Mannered Brewing
in Powell.

A slew of coffeeshops also popped up. One Line Coffee opened a minimalist Short North pour-over bar. Zauber Brewing welcomed contemporary German coffeeshop Das Kaffeehaus von Frau Burkhart into their beer hall. Hemingway’s Coffee Nook opened inside the 175 on The Park Downtown building. The social justice-seeking Roosevelt Coffeehouse opened on Long Street in April, putting a portion of proceeds towards fighting human trafficking and hunger, and access to clean water.

As for health-focused options, organic-focused PurePressed Juicery opened at the Highpoint on Columbus Commons.

Several noted restauranteurs and groups expanded their reach this year with new concepts:

Cameron Mitchell brought The Guild House, his 12th concept, to the Short North in January. Kevin Malhame of Northstar Cafe quietly opened upscale fast-casual mediterranean restaurant Brassica in the former Betty’s space. Chris Crader, the mind behind Harvest Pizzeria and The Sycamore, opened Downtown restaurant Salt & Pine in late October. The team that opened Short North Pint House debuted Forno Kitchen + Bar in early January. Chef Matthew Litzinger closed French restaurant L’Antibes, replacing it with comfort food-focused HomeFare.

An array of new ethnic eateries opened this year:

Blue Top New Chinese Cuisine opened in Kenny Centre mall, serving Northern Chinese fare. Fast-casual Cambodian restaurant Phy Phom Pho opened in Grandview. Clintonville welcomed Vietnamese 6-1-Pho this summer. Lastly, Tai Tiki Polynesian Grill opened in the Fireproof building, resurrecting drinks and decorations from the historical Kahiki Supper Club.

Last, but certainly not least, a handful of miscellaneous new restaurants opened their doors:

Perrie Wilkof moved from home operation to storefront, opening Dough Mama Cafe in Clintonville. Blind Lady Tavern opened in the historic Jury Room Space (more recently home to 1831 Tavern, or, notoriously, Balls). Sweet Carrot moved into the former Rife’s Market in Grandview. The Walrus Kitchen & Public House opened Downtown on Main Street. Stack City Burger Bar moved into the former Short North Cup O Joe/Mojoe Lounge at The Cap. Finally, the Brewery District welcomed restaurant and bar Copious, alongside sister music venue Notes.

CLICK HERE to view our list of 14 restaurants that closed in 2015.

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