White Rabbit Set to Open in Brewery District in August
When Erik Till and Lisa Edge first bought the now-closed Tommy Keegan’s space at 456 South Front Street last year, they promised to convert it into a modern-Midwestern New American eatery, the kind of place where worlds would meet, and the guy in the t-shirt would be just as comfortable as the one in the three-piece suit.
The plan was to open last November, but when the setbacks that any new venture experiences derailed that date, the duo saw it as a fortuitous turn.
“We were originally planning to open last year, but that didn’t happen for a number of reasons,” shares Edge about the new direction.”We then saw what was going on in the area with all the new growth, and it wasn’t intentional that we waited, but we’re not unhappy with the timing.”
The name, and ultimately, concept is based on the 1865 Lewis Carroll novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which was written near the end of the Second Industrial Revolution. White Rabbit is located in a cellar of sorts, as customers have to walk down to get to the restaurant, which sits just below sidewalk level. It’s kind of like going down the rabbit hole.
Add to that arched brick ceilings and exposed brick walls, stone columns and steel beams, and you have the makings of a truly out-of-this-world experience. Both Till and Edge were directly involved in the restoration, and the results combine reclaimed Italian Carrara marble with low-lighting 1920s chandeliers that make the White Rabbit simultaneously avant-garde and cozy, a distinctive Industrial-era sentiment.
White Rabbit Bar & Restaurant will feature high-end small plates, bar snacks and entreés made from locally-sourced ingredients. Look for dishes like Foie Gras and Wild Mushroom Pot Pies and Kentucky Fried Duck on the menu, all recipes from the mind and passion of Executive Chef Till.
In addition, White Rabbit will exclusively serve Ohio-brewed beers and mead alongside their eclectic, retro-based cocktails, like a revamped Harvey Wallbanger with house-made tinctures and bitters.
The main dining room will seat roughly 90-100 diners, which includes a private room that will have a speakeasy lounge feel. An additional 30 will be able to unwind on the patio, and at the hand-crafted bar made from repurposed materials, another 15 will be able to belly up.
White Rabbit Bar & Restaurant is set to open this August, and encourages young professionals, happy hour lovers, neighbors, and the curious to come in and try something inspired and multifarious.
“We wanted to preserve the character of the place,” Till adds. “White Rabbit has been a complete hands-on experience, from building the bar with my father, to overseeing and choosing the last detail. With the growth of the Brewery District, timing could not be better.”
White Rabbit Bar & Restaurant will be open Monday through Saturday, 4pm-2:30am. The kitchen will close at midnight. Sunday brunch will be offered from 11am-4pm. To follow the White Rabbit’s progress, and for more on opening day details, visit www.facebook.com/whiterabbiteatdrink.
Photo by Walker Evans.