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Strongwater Food & Spirits Set to Open Kitchen in January

Ayana Wilson Ayana Wilson Strongwater Food & Spirits Set to Open Kitchen in January
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If you’re not familiar with the term “Strongwater”, then a visit to the much-anticipated bar, restaurant, and event center, located at 401 West Town Street (the northern entrance of the 400 West Rich Street building) in Franklinton, will clear it right up for you.

Strongwater was a slang term used for booze back in the nineteenth century, and when you partner that idea with the notion that the history of 400 West Rich Street is literally saturated in water (it was built on a flood plain and survived two major floods), it belies the intention of the latest project at the site.

“Based on the success of multiple previous events and markets, we felt it was time to take the space to another level,” says 400 West Rich Property Manager Chris Sherman. “We want to offer another unique venture to this wonderful city of ours, and cater to the creative and vibrant folks that keep this place moving.”

The construction at the 13,365 square foot property was a massive undertaking, but one that should pay off in multiple ways. The industrial aesthetic that is the calling card of many of the structures in that neighborhood is still very much prominent here, highlighted by lots of natural woods, rescued marble, and restored terrazzo floors throughout the venue.

The event space and bar at Strongwater Food & Spirits are currently operational, and in early 2014, the Kitchen will be as well. Under the guidance of Chef Will Johnston, Strongwater’s kitchen menu will feature reimagined classics served in a way that’s still recognizable and accessible.

Like with their take on Chili – a vegetarian or beef  version served atop a sweet corn waffle and topped with cheddar and sour cream. Or their Smoked Wings, finished with a belly-warming habanero glaze. They will also serve Memphis Dry-Rubbed Ribs, Pork Empanadas, and a Pulled Pork Sandwich tossed in Alabama White BBQ Sauce, which folks around here may not have yet tried.

For the vegetarians, there will be Eggplant Meatloaf Sandwiches, Smoked Quinoa Sliders, and Meat-Free BLTs made with smoked mushroom “bacon”. The entire menu will be à la carte, so patrons will be able  to customize their meals, which should cost around $8-$12 per dining experience.

The restaurant and bar side of the Strongwater project is just under 3,000 square feet, and will seat 60 visitors (not including private rooms). It is an independent venue in and of itself, but it also leads into the Strongwater Gallery event space, seasonal food truck pod Dinin’ Hall, and over 100 private art studios that encompass the rest of 400 West Rich Street.

“Strongwater is a casual place where you’ll be comfortable in a t-shirt or a tux,” adds Kris Howell, Development Manager. “This is a place full of creative energy and interesting people, and the restaurant feeds and reflects that energy.”

Strongwater Food & Spirits will serve their first menu at Nick Tolford and Company’s record release party, which is slated to be held on January 11th on-site. This menu will be limited, but the full one will be available when Strongwater officially opens its kitchen a week later. Their hours will be Tuesday-Thursday, 4pm – 11pm, and Friday-Saturday, 4pm – 1:45am. Lunch and brunch hours should be added soon.

The entrance to Strongwater Food & Spirits is located on the Town Street side of the building. There are signs posted for customers’ convenience. For more on Strongwater Food & Spirits, follow them at www.facebook.com/strongwatercolumbus.

Photos by Logan Miller.

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