Dis 'n' Data
By Margaret Marten, Editor
DIS 'N' DATA ARCHIVE
A Cleveland-based leather goods store, Fount, has opened in the Short North as its second retail location. Owners Phillip and Jackie Wachter began selling their leather brand in 2014 before launching a flagship store in the Gordon Square Arts District of Cleveland less than a year ago. The second shop opened here in March in the former Bink Davies space at 668 N. High St. next to Big Fun, another Cleveland-based business. The Wachters fashioned their 1,100-square-foot store with the help of Paul Taiclet, a carpenter from Cleveland. The space had been empty for over a year after Bink Johnson lost his lease. Fount specializes in luxury leather bags and accessories. The store name, inspired by the hymn “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” means “an abundant source of desirable quality.” The shop is open seven days a week. Call 614-725-0610 or visit www.fountleather.com to learn more.
The Short North Deli is now open at 841 N. High St. in the Dakota Building where Whit’s Frozen Custard operated for almost five years. There is plenty of cheese to be had across the street at Melt Bar & Grilled, but in recent years no place to order sliced cheese and meats by the pound in the vicinity other than the North Market or grocers like Kroger’s and Giant Eagle. Owner, Tom Kincaid, who purchased the bar House Beer next door in December, thought of expanding that business into the space but decided on creating a deli, which brings a broader base of customers. His partners are Brian Johnson and Dave Jordan. Seating for a couple dozen diners is positioned comfortably along the wall and facing the street. Twelve sandwiches on the new menu are priced $6 to $12. Meats by the pound in the deli case include varieties of ham, roast beef, turkey, chicken and salami. Freshly sliced cheese is available: Swiss, American, provolone, muenster, cheddar, and mozzarella. At the time of writing, no coffee was being served. Impero Coffee is a couple doors north, so there is probably no need for it. This is a delicatessen, not a coffee shop. Kincaid, who is experienced in food and restaurant management, apparently understands that he is here to fill a void in delicatessen-style service, and like any new enterprise, the needs of the neighborhood and the dynamics of the location determine its development. Short North Deli is open seven days beginning at 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Their number is 614-565-7441. Facebook includes images of the menu for your perusal.
Beth Vogt’s New Diner
Longtime Victorian Village – and previous Italian Village – resident and community volunteer Beth Vogt opened a diner in Worthington with partners Molly Rice and David Creighton in April. The restaurant, named Over The Counter, came about unexpectedly when their real estate endeavor in the adjacent space, Collage Salons, resulted in extra room that could be utilized for another business. They noticed that (other than fast food) there was not much in the way of affordable dining nearby. Vogt has spent most of her professional career working in home renovations and real estate, but you could say she has come full circle with this project. College and high school jobs kept her around food management at a Cork N’ Cleaver, as well as managing retail food at Lazarus before moving into fashion and finally home renovations. She says the folks in Worthington and surrounding communities are unbelievably supportive, and the project is exciting and energizing. Our neighborhood has benefitted greatly from Beth’s energy and enthusiasm over the years, including the Friends of Goodale Park. (See her photo with that story on page 7.) Over The Counter, located at 5596 N. High St., is open Sun., 9:30 am to 10 pm; Tues. through Thurs., 2 pm to 10 pm; Fri., 2 pm to Midnight. Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday. Hours will expand, so visit their website at www.overthecounterofworthington.com or call (614) 846-1107 for updates.
The United Dairy Farmers convenience store at 900 N. High St. closed its doors in April in order to demolish and reconstruct the building. By early 2018, the quarter-acre lot, owned by UDF, will be tranformed into a four-story building built by Elford Development. Elford’s past projects on High include The Hub, the Fireproof building, and the revamped Donatos. Offices, retailers and a restaurant will be atop and adjacent to the new stylish UDF that promises a large ice cream parlor in the store with seating overlooking High Street and other inevitable improvements to replace the former decades-old decor. Serendipity Labs, a national franchise of coworking space, has already signed up for occupancy in the new build. The site was originally a 7-Eleven built 40 years ago. UDF purchased the property eight years later and, according to a January 1986 Dispatch story, installed a sign without approval from the Italian Village Commission. It was deemed too big and had to be reduced 20 square feet. (A bit of trivia.)
After a Canadian firm purchased American Apparel brand in February for $88 million at a bankruptcy auction, the company, Gildan Activewear, announced that all 110 retail stores would close. The American Apparel store that opened in 2009 at 1221 N. High on the corner of Fifth Avenue rang up its final sale at the end of April. National chains like American Apparel are considered “anchor stores.” As a chain with a recognizable name, the store easily draws consumers who then patronize the smaller shops in the area. Anthropologie, at the southern end of this district, is another example of that.
Media-savvy Robert Grimmett, owner of Robert Mason Co., an office-supply and lifestyle shop, will close his retail store at 17 Brickel St. by the end of May. Never short on words or explanations or news blasts, Grimmet stated in a press release that the fire in 2014, which decimated his short-lived tiny pop-up on Gay Street, has continued to impact his business even after the move to the Short North in March last year. Legal lags from the fire have prevented him from covering expenses associated with the burgeoning business. It’s unclear (to me) why the e-commerce website will also close, but Grimmett is encouraging a continuation of social media – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – to publicize customer sentiments about the store and as a medium to announce any “miracle that could be another rising from the ashes.” I suspect that we have not heard the last of Robert Grimmett.
I am sorry to report the passing of folks associated with the Short North community in recent months.
Former gallery owner Ursula Lanning passed away April 28, 2017 at the age of 92. She opened Lanning Gallery at 990 N. High St. in 1995 where it operated for the next eight years. She was a world traveler, educator, and art connoisseur who studied art in New York City after growing up in Providence, RI.
Martha Marcom, who founded Yoga on High with Marcia Miller and Linda Oshins 16 years ago in 2001, passed away on April 28 from ovarian cancer. She was a committed teacher and passionate supporter of the community who won the hearts of many with her enthusiasm and grace. She died blessed with myriad friends, students, and well-wishers. She is survived by her husband Jerry, daughters Mara Christine and Mimi Flynn, a son Colin Marcom. Her life celebration will be held on Sunday, May 21 at The Boat House at Confluence Park, 6679 Spring St. with a reception from 10-11:30 a.m. and service 11:30-12:30 p.m.
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