Dis 'n' Data
By Margaret Marten, Editor
DIS 'N' DATA ARCHIVE
A February 5 Columbus Dispatch article introduced readers to the new owner of the “Circus House” across from Goodale Park. The house, with its remarkable architecture, built in 1895 for Mary and Peter Sells of the Sells Brothers Circus, is something of a celebrity structure in the neighborhood. As the owners come and go every few years, it’s hard to keep track, but the recent ones, including the current owner, Weston Wolfe, 39, as well as the Brownsteins who restored it in the late ‘90s, and the Hardings who sold it to Wolfe, have all done a stellar job of preserving, refining, and improving the property. Judging from the enthusiasm and respect voiced in the Dispatch article, it’s comforting to know that this important piece of history will remain intact, cherished, and cared for under Wolfe’s ownership.
Two New Restaurants
Ten years ago, the revered Short North gay bookstore, The Open Book, vacated 685 N. High St. Subsequent attempts were made to breathe some life into the space: Mark Miller’s furniture store Funky & Functional (2009-2012), Becky Berger’s dog training facility, Zoom Room (2013), and finally, Viktar and Pavel Lisin’s fine furniture store, The Collection European Furniture (2014). Recently, some aggressive handling of the storefront by Bass Studio Architects and determination on the part of restaurateur Tony Selimi has resulted in what looks like a long-term solution to the stagnation regularly surfacing in that spot. In January, Selimi opened Biscuit & Branch, serving southern comfort food with interesting variations on breakfast fare, buttermilk biscuits, and fried chicken destined to appeal to just about everyone. Prior to developing the menu, Chef Paul Yow took a trip to Nashville with Selimi in order to experience southern fare first-hand. (After scouring the menu, I eventually spotted an item appealing to my lighter nature – the Veggie Dumpling Soup made with sweet onions, collards and herb dumplings.) The restaurant’s name is a play on the drink bourbon and branch. The bar is open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. The restaurant itself opens six days late morning, closed on Monday. Call 614-732-0487 or visit www.biscuitandbranch.com for more information. (Selimi also owns Westies Gastropub in the Brewery District.)
Similar to the trendy High Street arts district, Italian Village appears to be a breeding ground for restaurants, but unlike High Street, the possibility of providing customers with convenient parking is not a lost cause. Cosecha Cocina, which opened in March at 987 N. Fourth St., has parking in front and back. The Mexican eatery, housed in an old dairy barn with rustic interior, like most independent restaurants, offers a chef-driven menu that is unique. With moderate prices and handy parking, it might be worth the effort to make several visits to test it out. Owner, Chris Crader formed his company Grow Restaurants in 2012, now comprised of three Harvest pizzerias as well as The Sycamore, and Curio in German Village and the IV Cosecha Cocina. Recently, he moved his family to a farm in Granville with plans to grow crops and pursue his passion to supply fresh local produce to his restaurants. Chef Silas Caeton, 27, who became executive chef at Rigsby’s Kitchen shortly before it closed, and worked at Veritas Tavern in Delaware, Ohio, where Kent Rigsby discovered him, is educated, skilled, and respected. Cosecha Cocina opens at 11 a.m. six days until late, closed on Sunday. For more information, call 614-369-1129 or visit www.cosechacocina.com.
Buns and Brews, a gourmet hotdog shop and bar that opened in June 2016, after months of remodeling at 1205 N. High St. in the former Blazer’s Pub, closed in December. Brothers William and Kevin Hightower, who grew up in Youngstown before moving here in the ‘80s, worked in the film and entertainment industry prior to opening Buns and Brews. Their press release in January was optimistic, indicating they were moving to “accommodate a growing customer base,” but no new developments have surfaced over the past three months.
Steve Curtis’s restaurant, Z Pizza, a franchise that opened October 2008 at 945 N. High next to Northstar Cafe, closed in January. His other location in Clintonville was sold and reopened as East Coast Pizzeria.
Evil Twin, located just south of Kroger at 1264 N. High St., is no longer in business. Timothy Schopler launched the store in May 2014 selling collectibles, vintage toys, comics, music, magazines, and “creepy items.”
The 988 N. High Street space next to Lindsay Gallery has seen a number of proprietors and businesses come and go over the years. The latest, GLAM356, a women’s apparel and cosmetic shop, opened in October 2014 and closed in January 2017. Owner Laura Wilging, who created her own line of cosmetics called Smart Bomb, launched the business in Mansfield before opening in the Short North, selling her cosmetics along with clothing and apparel. Her home store in Mansfield, Glam356, remains open. The website is www.smartbombcosmetics.com.
Double Comfort lost its lease at 505 N. High across from the Convention Center after almost three years in operation. Owner Mary Lyski served southern fare at the restaurant, regularly donating part of the proceeds to local food pantries as well as hiring needy folks in the community. She states on Facebook that for now, in an effort to broaden Double Comfort’s impact, they will partner with other businesses as they move forward.
Deyett Brown and Kenya Gibbs moved their shop, Raw Material Salon, out of the neighborhood earlier this year. “The real estate in the area has gone up, so the rent went up, so I decided to move,” Brown said. Both she and Gibbs worked at Salon Lofts before opening at 1175 N. High six years ago. They have been stylists for over 15 years and now work at The Collection Salon in Gahanna, located at 1378 N. Hamilton Rd. They can be reached at 614-353-7921.
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