Table Talk

Comfort-food restaurant to replace Rube's Diner in Clintonville

By ThisWeek Community News  • 
The long-awaited Ginna's Eatery, three years in the making, will open in two weeks or so in the Clintonville area.

The breakfast-and-lunch operation will take over the former Rube's Diner location, 4408 Indianola Ave.

Owner Genevieve Perkins, whose nickname is Ginna (pronounced jin-nah), promises made-from-scratch comfort food at a reasonable price. Look for down-home dishes such as corned beef on rye, chicken pot pie, fried
green tomatoes and greens. Most entrees will cost $5 to $7. Organic fare will be served as much as possible, said Perkins, also the owner of Around Columbus Catering.

She said the delay in opening stemmed from the amount of work that had to be done to the interior.

"The diners who dined with Rube's are going to feel like they're walking into a brand new place, because that's what it will look like," she said. Her partner is Dave Audino, who will be one of the cooks, along with her son
Marvin Perkins.

A 1961 graduate of North High School, she used to canvass the Clintonville streets raising money for the school's athletic teams.

"It's kind of like coming back home," she said, adding that she's a member of the Polaris Bear Alumni Association.

Rube's closed in October 2005 and Perkins took over the 1,500-square-foot space in April 2006. Since then, she's been trying to get it open. She said she's gotten a lot of support from the community.

"They deserve and they will get something worthy of their patience," she said.

The restaurant, to seat 45, will be open seven days a week. A phone line has not been installed.

Local Roots, another restaurant that pledges to locally source produce and meats as often as possible, has found a home in Powell.

It will take over the entire space formerly occupied by Rudy Z's Pizza and the Four Corners Tavern, 15 E. Olentangy St. A June 1 opening is planned.

First-time restaurateur Jessi Iams, who has 16 years of experience in the local restaurant scene, said the menu will focus largely on casual American fare sandwiches, pizza, calzones and entre salads, plus a few upscale
dishes, such as jerk pork tenderloin, scallops over fresh pasta, risotto and steak. Most entrees will be in the $7 to $15 range.

The entire space is 3,000 square feet. The former Rudy Z's side will serve as the kitchen and also spillover seating for the restaurant, Iams said. There will be 16 beers on tap half from Ohio brewers and 30 to 40 wines.

Powell is no stranger to laidback tavern fare. The Liberty Tavern and the Lost Shepherd are within a block or two.
"I think there's enough people in the area to support all the businesses," Iams said. "We're just trying to be a little different than the rest."

Update: One Chocolate Octopus is gone but another is reaching out its tentacles to Greater Columbus.

While the New Albany store closed last week, the original store in the Port Columbus International Airport is still dishing up artisan chocolates, among other fare, owner Vic Gonzales said.

"We're going to carry on all the chocolate-making here," he said. "We were making buckeyes and couple of little things but we'll be making the full line."

Gonzales bought the airport store, the original location, from founder Bernie Bornstein at the beginning of the year. The 1,000-square-foot site is in the main concourse.

"You don't have to go through the security gates to get to us," he said.

Gonzales noted that he's started a new line of gourmet popcorn, flavors of which include chocolate banana, jalapeno cheddar, blueberry and cream, cheesecake and classic caramel.

The store is open from early morning to evening hours daily. For more information, call 614-236-0877.


The Columbus Board of Health has made it easier - and a little more expensive - for restaurateurs looking for quicker approval of food-service permits.

Officials on April 21 voted to charge a $1,000 fee for an expedited plan review for a proposed construction or extensive alteration of a food-service operation or retail food establishment.

"Under state law, we are given 30 days to review a set of plans, which I think is very reasonable," said Bob Kramer, food-safety supervisor for the city.

Health officials review the permits as they are filed - first in, first out, Kramer said. But those who want quicker approval, permits are reviewed after hours, which results in overtime costs, Kramer said. The new fee should
offset some of those expenses, he said.

"This gives us a little flexibility to work with people to get their shop open," Kramer said.

Most restaurants, such as pizzerias and delis, must pay $400 to have plans reviewed. Operators with spaces 25,000 square feet or larger, such as grocery stores, must pay $800. Noncommercial institutions, such as
schools, pay $200.

A specific timeline for accelerated reviews will be established in coming weeks, Kramer said.

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