Restaurant openings, closings and more Central Ohio food and drink news

Openings and Announcements

Entrepreneur Angela Petro, the founder and CEO of Together & Company and Sweet Carrot, has added a popular local brand to her portfolio. The company announced yesterday that it acquired Kittie’s Cakes from founders Kelly and Mollie Fankhauser in the fall. Known for its cupcakes and cinnamon rolls, the artisan bakery opened in 2013 at 495 S. Third St. in German Village, and the couple added Kittie’s Café three years later next to Gramercy Books in Bexley. Both locations will remain open. The acquisition comes as Petro’s company is expanding its hospitality operations, launching a regional search for an executive chef and creating more than 30 new jobs. The catering company, which plans to open its rooftop event space called The Fives in April, is hiring for positions on the sales, marketing, culinary, logistics and special events teams.

Village Taco is in its soft opening phase in Merion Village. Founded in Alexandria, Ohio, the plant-based restaurant has relocated to the long-empty Hal & Al’s space at 1297 Parsons Ave. Its hours this week are 3-11 p.m. Thursday and 3 p.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday.

A local franchise of The Spice & Tea Exchange holds its grand opening today at 1500 Polaris Pkwy. The retail shop and tea bar inside Polaris Fashion Place offers gourmet gifts, nearly 150 spices, more than 40 exotic teas and salts from around the world.

The national finals of the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation’s Most Imaginative Bartender competition are taking place this week in Chicago. Representing Columbus is Oddfellows Liquor Bar bartender David Yee. He’s one of only 12 finalists from the U.S. and Canada. You can read more about Yee in Alive’s 2019 Behind Bars story here.

A fast-casual Mediterranean spot called Shawerma Bite is now open at 12 E. 16th Ave., across from Ohio State’s Wexner Center for the Arts. Customers can choose to build a wrap or a bowl using falafel, shawarma, beef kebab or shish tawook (grilled chicken) as the base.

Relocating

In a heartfelt video posted to Facebook on Monday, Nancy’s Home Cooking owner Rick Hahn announced that the Clintonville diner would close on Sunday, March 8, after 52 years. Hahn cited ongoing issues with the restaurant’s building at 3133 N. High St., which he does not own. To save the restaurant, relocating was the only option, he said. Nancy’s will move Downtown to a larger restaurant space at 52 E. Lynn St., previously home to Jack’s Downtown Diner until it closed last fall after more than 75 years. In the video, Hahn expressed his love for Clintonville and said that he tried to find another location in the neighborhood. He also expects hate mail because of the move. “I’ll take it. You can hit me with it,” he said. Nancy’s is expected to open Downtown in late March or early April. Its new hours will be 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays only.

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