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First Look: Salt & Pine Approaches Downtown Opening

Rebecca Wagner Rebecca Wagner First Look: Salt & Pine Approaches Downtown OpeningPhotos by Walker Evans.
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Columbus restauranteur Chris Crader, the mind behind Harvest Pizzeria, Harvest Kitchen+Bar and The Sycamore, is on the cusp of opening a new Downtown restaurant.

Salt & Pine will open soon as a full-service restaurant, coffee/liquor bar, and grab-and-go store.

“I think the only way I can define it is to call it chef-driven cuisine,” said Crader. “We want people to be as excited as we are to prepare it for them to come and eat it. We’re an American restaurant with chefs from all over the world, making the best food they can make.”

Crader, the CEO of the Grow Restaurants concept group, opened pizzeria sit-down Harvest in German Village back in 2011. German Village gastropub The Sycamore opened in 2013, followed by a second Harvest in Clintonville. Salt & Pine will be his fourth concept, and first Downtown venture.

Salt & Pine is located in the new 250 High building, a 12-story mixed-use building that’s quickly filling with offices, apartments, and retailers in a burgeoning Downtown development scene. Construction began last November. The name, plucked from a list of 200, is a combination of pine, an important element of the natural world, and salt, a crucial element of the culinary world.

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The restaurant’s 7,400 square foot space is large enough to fit both Harvests and The Sycamore inside. A large sit-down dining space occupies the majority of the 130-seat restaurant, filled with dark wood accents and tile floors. The menu will consist of 12-16 core items that will change quarterly, if not monthly. An in-house sushi chef will create daily raw features, while a pastry chef makes baked goods.

The combination coffee/liquor bar is offset from the dining room. It will open at 7 a.m. for coffee and pastries, with a full breakfast menu available at 7:30 a.m. The space will transition into a bar as the day moves forward, serving lunch and dinner. The bar seats 16, and will be open until 10 p.m. on weekdays, and 11 p.m. on weekends.

A grab ‘n go counter at the restaurant’s front will offer flexible to-go meals. The menu “won’t break any culinary ground,” according to Crader, but will cater to Downtown residents everyday needs. A potential breakfast will include a organic grass-fed yogurt with house-made granola, topped with seasonal berries. Lunch, a roasted veggie sandwich, or nitrate-free turkey on whole wheat bread. Salt & Pine has a retail license, and will be selling an assorted list of products, including wine, fresh produce, and newspapers.

An attached High Street-facing patio will open in the spring, as both an extension of the dining room and a casual space.

“Two years ago, I would’ve never chosen to do this,” said Crader. “The energy wasn’t there, and even though there’s a lot to be done, you can sense it. It’s different. People want to be here.”

Crader didn’t give an exact opening date, but expect Salt & Pine to open in the next two weeks.

For more information, visit www.saltandpine250.com.

All photos by Walker Evans.

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