Westies in Clintonville to Function as Event Space Until Further Notice
This week, Westies’ Clintonville location has shut down its restaurant operations to transition into an event space for the holiday season. The decision came after several months of staffing issues.
“It’s a problem not just in Columbus, but nationwide,” says Westies Director of Operations Connor O’ Neill. “Friends of mine say how they’re constantly hiring. Other restauranteurs are always calling each other to find staff or share staff.”
The new Westies event space can accommodate large and small parties, with enough capacity to seat up to 180 people. Interested parties can have Westies cater or bring in their own third party caterer. And as the space originally functioned as a restaurant, customers won’t need to rent out tables, chairs or dishware — Westies will have it all.
O’Neill says that packages will vary in price based on each individual customer’s budget, describing it as “custom catering from back yard to black tie.” He also anticipates hosting local pop-ups at the space.
After the first of the year, Westies management will reassess and either reopen as the same restaurant or a different concept altogether.
“Hopefully we can get through the holiday season and hope there’s magically more staff available [next year],” O’Neill says.
Ohio’s unemployment rate is at a low of 4.5 percent, slightly higher than the national rate of 3.9 percent. While most of that percentage is unable to work, the rest “everyone is fighting over. Restaurants across the board, and in construction I know also, just finding staff is becoming a real problem.”
Westies’ other two locations in the Brewery District (940 S. Front St.) and the Short North (685 N. High St.) will remain open. Staff from their Clintonville location have all transitioned to those restaurants as well.
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