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New Restaurant Hitting the Short North This Summer

Lauren Sega Lauren Sega New Restaurant Hitting the Short North This Summer
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Replacing the old Callander Dry Cleaners in the Short North is a new concept from the owners of BBR Restaurant Downtown. Mike Mercer, partner, said Junction Cookhouse and Bar will bring an “old wild west” vibe to the neighborhood.

Having a “rustic, industrial, steam punk” feel, Junction will have three garage doors leading outside, two bars and a patio. The 4,200 square foot space will seat 120 people inside and 70 more outside. They’ve hired a chef from out of state but aren’t yet releasing the name. They’re still working on menu development, but Mercer said there’ll be large portions of American Tex-Mex cuisine.

The decision to buy the building at 608 N. High St. happened right around six months ago, after a couple years of looking for the right spot.

“We searched and searched and walked through hundreds of different properties,” Mercer said. “We came upon the dry cleaners location, and we really like the location and, in our opinion, we think it’s one of the best locations in the Short North.”

Columbus entrepreneurs have had mixed reviews of the Short North area. Typically, those leaving have said it’s changing for the worse, whether due to rising rents, commercialization, or a saturated restaurant market.

“The restaurant portion of it blew up really fast a few years ago, and now you can kind of see that people are craving more bars and nightlife,” he said. “It’s more of a district now, so I can see the changing of the guard a little bit.”

He’s not discouraged though, maintaining that Junction will remain a “restaurant first, sports bar second.”

“I think it’s a good location for what we wanna do and what we’re trying to accomplish,” he added. “I don’t think it’s on a downward spiral by any means.”

Junction Cookhouse and Bar is set to open late summer of 2017.

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