French bistro planned for Gay and High streets Downtown

Jim Weiker
The Columbus Dispatch
Grande Rue French bistro plans to take over the former Brioso Coffee space on the northeast corner of Gay and High streets Downtown.

A French bistro called Grande Rue plans to open on the northeast corner of Gay and High streets Downtown.

The bistro would take over the former Brioso Coffee site and would offer considerable seating on the Gay Street sidewalk.

The Grande Rue bistro would offer extensive outdoor seating on E. Gay Street Downtown.

Under plans presented Tuesday to the Downtown Commission, the Edwards Companies plans to extensively remodel the space, which was built in 1910 to house The Columbus Dispatch. (The Dispatch occupied another building on the site from 1895 until 1907, until that building was destroyed by fire.) 

"It's a beautiful old building that's been kind of neglected over the years," said Jeff Edwards, president of The Edwards Companies.

"This is an attempt to have a French bistro," he told the commission. "I don't know of any that try to do an authentic job like I'm attempting to do here, in our town." 

Edwards said the ceiling in the space would be restored to its original height of about 18 feet, allowing a mezzanine level to be opened to seating that would overlook the main dining space.  

The French bistro planned at Gay and High streets would include mezzanine level dining, as shown in this cut-out rendering.

The Edwards Companies is leasing the former Brioso space, but the renovations would complement the company's plans to overhaul the White-Haines and Madison Department Store buildings next door on High Street.

In August, the $60 million project was approved for Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits.

Edwards' plans for the Brioso space were well received by commission members, who called the restaurant "fantastic," "great" and "exciting." 

Edwards offered no timeline for the restaurant.


The Columbus Dispatch was located at the northeast corner of Gay and High streets from 1895 to 1925, except for three years when the building was rebuilt from a fire. A French bistro is now planned for the ground and mezzanine levels of the building.