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The Pandemic Hasn’t Stopped these 10 Restaurants from Opening Their Doors

Susan Post Susan Post The Pandemic Hasn’t Stopped these 10 Restaurants from Opening Their DoorsClockwise from top left: Pierogi Mountain (photo via Facebook), Rudy's (photo by Susan Post), Nomad (photo via Facebook), Rye River Social (photo by Walker Evans)
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Running a restaurant is tough, but throw in a global pandemic… While it’s not the environment many of the restaurants below expected for their opening months, these Central Ohio eateries have forged ahead in bringing their menus to the masses.

From fast-casual to neighborhood haunts and sit-down dining, there’s a little bit of everything for diners to enjoy. Read on to find some new spots for your must-eat list.


1485 Oak St. – Franklin Park

Addella’s presents a neighborhood bar and eatery to Franklin Park. The menu features starters like Joe Dip – avocado and sloppy Joe filling topped with sour cream, cheddar cheese and scallions and served with tortilla chips, or Loaded Biscuits – house-made biscuits topped with pimento cheese sauce, tomatoes, scallions, jalapeño, avocado and cilantro.

Sandwiches make up the meat of the menu, in varieties like Jive Turkey, Meatball Sub, Jalapeño Mac Brat and more. Handhelds and bowls finish things off. Addella’s also offers an extensive plant-based menu, with vegan takes on many of the traditional menu items.

Addella’s is open daily from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Delivery is also available through Uber Eats.

Preston’s: A Burger Joint

59 Spruce St. – North Market Downtown

Preston’s: A Burger Joint made its North Market debut in mid-October. After a quiet quarantine, Preston’s is once again slinging its signature burgers.

North Market and Preston’s are open Tuesday to Saturday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Preston’s website indicates online ordering is coming soon.

Pierogi Mountain

105 N. Grant Ave. – Downtown

Pierogi Mountain is settling into its very own space in the former home of Grass Skirt Tiki Room Downtown. After pop-ups and runs as tenant kitchens, the Pierogi maker has its very own restaurant.

Plenty of pierogi populate the menu (with weekly specials), but there are also entrees like Cider Pot Roast, Vegan Mac & Cheese, Beef Schnitzel Sandwich, Mushroom Stroganoff and more.

Pierogi Mountain is open daily from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Online ordering for pickup and delivery is also available.

Local Cantina

5525 New Albany Rd. W – New Albany

Local Cantina opened the doors to its 10th Central Ohio location in New Albany on September 22. The Tex-Mex eatery takes over the former home of Firefly American Bistro which closed in May 2020.

Local Cantina opens daily at 11 a.m.

Rudy’s Food and Drinks

1021 W. Fifth Ave. – Fifth by Northwest

Occupying the space that was once Palle by Moretti, Rudy’s quietly opened earlier this summer. The sports bar offers a menu that spans burgers and sandwiches, to wings, pizza and entrees like ribeye, salmon and chicken parmesan.

Rudy’s is open from 12 – 11 p.m. daily with happy hour from 3 – 6 p.m.

Rye River Social

955 W. Fifth Ave. – Fifth by Northwest

Rye River Social was just a few days into its soft opening when the dine-in shutdown began, but rode out the pandemic and reopened in June.

Taking over the former home of Sammy’s on 5th, Rye River Social offers options from morning till night. The coffee bar serves up coffee and espresso drinks in the morning hours. In the afternoon, it’s time for happy hour and dinner with a menu featuring a modern twist on classic American dishes, with everything from gourmet burgers locally sourced from Butcher & Grocer, to homemade pasta, flank steak, and a variety of vegetarian dishes.

As the name implies, the bar program is heavily focused on American Whiskey, but also dabbles in cocktails, wine and beer.

“We want to offer a space from hustle hour to happy hour,” says Lauren Guzior with Rye River Social. “You can have your morning coffee with us and work from our private loft area upstairs and hang out until happy hour for a relaxing cocktail to help unwind. “

The coffee bar is open from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Kitchen and bar hours are 4:30 – 10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m – 3 p.m. Sunday. Bruch runs from open until 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The Royce

8791 Lyra Drive – Polaris

Family-owned gastropub The Royce made its Polaris debut back in July. The menu features globally-inspired, locally-sourced cuisine. Appetizers include deviled eggs, NOLA baked oysters, drunken mussels and more. In the Mains department there’s a N.Y. Strip, Sea Bass, Roasted Chicken and even Spaghetti-O’s. Salads, sandwiches and a lineup of Southern-inspired sides round out The Royce’s menu.

The Royce is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Sammy’s Halal

1500 Polaris Pkwy – Polaris (Food Hall)

Sammy’s Halal has been serving up its South Asian inspired cuisine at Polaris Fashion Place since mid-August. Sammy’s is a part of the mall’s Food Hall which features local food purveyors and new concepts.

Sammy’s first launched as a food truck in New York City in 2002, and still operates two locations there. On the menu diners will find chicken or beef kofta, falafel, wraps, burgers and more.

Sammy’s is open from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 12 – 6 p.m. on Sunday.


2050 Polaris Pkwy – Polaris

It’s the cooking method that makes this Polaris eatery stand out. Nomad showcases a Josper oven, a Spanish-made oven that features a charcoal-fired box that can reach incredibly high temperatures.

Meals get started with noshers like focaccia with olives and feta, a veggie board, or Italian poutine (fried polenta, red sauce and burrata). Menu mains include steak, pork chops, roasted chicken, salmon, Chilean sea bass and more. Nomad also features an extensive menu of cocktails and wines.

Nomad is open Sunday and Tuesday to Thursday from 4 – 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 – 10 p.m. Online ordering is also available for pickup.

CoreLife Eatery

6195 Sawmill Rd. – Dublin

Fast-casual chain CoreLife Eatery opened its third Central Ohio location in Dublin in September. All food at CoreLife Eatery is made in-house daily and  free of trans fats, artificial colors, sweeteners, other artificial additives and GMOs. The menu features grain and rice bowls, green salads, soups, bone broth and broth bowls, and dinner plates featuring roasted vegetables and homemade sides. Guests can also build their own bowls.

CoreLife Eatery is open from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily.

Looking for more eats? Find more recent restaurant openings here.

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