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Short North Basil Closes, Making Way for New Restaurant by Basil and Bodega Owners

Lauren Sega Lauren Sega Short North Basil Closes, Making Way for New Restaurant by Basil and Bodega Owners
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Basil’s Short North location has closed to make way for a new restaurant from Basil owner Rhome Ruanphae and Bodega owner Brian Swanson. The name and concept are still up in the air, but the team says new details will emerge in January 2019.

“I think the area has just grown so much that after a certain point, if you own the building, it becomes more valuable than the business,” says Ruanphae, whose family has owned the spot at 1124 N. High St. for 10 years.

About three years ago, Swanson approached Ruanphae about opening a new restaurant there, but Ruanphae was in the middle of opening Basil’s second location, and the timing didn’t make sense. Now, Basil has established locations in the Brewery District and Upper Arlington, and Ruanphae just opened a new retail store in Clintonville. It was time to say goodbye to Basil Short North. After nine years, the restaurant served its last meal on Friday, Nov. 30.

While Ruanphae and Swanson are partners, Swanson is the main brain behind the new operation. He says the space underutilized the natural character of the building, which he hopes to bring out as the design comes together.

“The space itself is very cool with amazing historic features hidden behind some of the drywall. It has high ceilings, exposed brick, and at almost 5,000 square feet, it’s actually much bigger than people think,” Swanson says. “The transformation will be amazing and complementary to the Short North neighborhood.”

Swanson and Ruanphae expect to start remodeling over the winter, with an opening planned for spring.

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