The German Village-area storefront will welcome private parties by holiday season

As of last winter, Shane's Gourmet Market might have been done with the public but Scott Morit wasn't quite done with Shane's.

A former executive chef of the catering company, Morit started working on a business plan after Shane's served its last meals to catering clients four days before Christmas. Shane's, just east of German Village, stopped welcoming dine-in customers Dec. 8.

"It was a big deal," Morit said.

The company, now known as Shane's Gourmet Catering, got its start in 1976 and has been at 447 E. Livingston Ave. since 1997. The restaurant portion of the space opened two years later.

Morit, now a partner in the business, described it as a kind of unwieldy beast, pulled in three separate directions: catering, restaurant service and concessions. After a business disagreement with original ownership team, Butch O'Neill had had enough, and decided to pull the plug on the business.

But Shane's started showing a pulse again in March, when it once again began taking catering orders. And, like it had done since the beginning, it maintained an account at the Memorial Tournament in Dublin.

While the restaurant days are over indefinitely, Morit fully intends to have the space open again for banquets by the start of the holiday season.

The plan is to sell the current wine and beverage inventory, at 5 percent over cost, and the refrigerated cases. Morit plans a minor facelift for the interior, which will be able to accommodate up to 160 people.

The news gets better for Shane's loyal customers, who now will be able to get such popular dishes as Asian-marinated flank steak, pesto chicken and chicken salad. Customers can order food online at www.shanesgourmetmarket.com. Orders must be placed 24 hours in advance, Morit said.

Shawn O'Brien has replaced Morit as executive chef. He said he's kept Shane's signature dishes and added some seasonal items, such as Jamaican jerk salmon with fresh-fruit salsa, eggplant parmesan and crab cakes.
Morit now is in charge of day-to-day duties of Shane's.

"It's definitely a good chance for me, challenging," he said. "It's definitely different from what I'm used to doing."

For more information, call 614-358-5555.

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LouiE's Grill Fusion Restaurant is on the move. Owners Efrain Mijangos and Luis Perez will open a second location this fall in the former Zuppa location, 3051 Northwest Blvd., Upper Arlington. The menu will be identical to the original Hilliard location, which has been open a year and a half.

"We're trying to be consistent," Mijangos said.

The 2,800-square-foot location will seat 100. LouiE's, a moderately priced restaurant, is known for its take on Latin, American and Italian cuisines.

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The city of Dublin has given Oscar's the go-ahead on a 1,000-square-foot expansion project. Chef Mike Tibbetts, also part of the ownership team, said he expects to break ground this week.

The expansion of the Historic Dublin restaurant will take place on the south side of the building, moving the patio seating there out front. Meanwhile, the interior space will be completely renovated. Tibbetts said the project should take about three months. He does not expect the restaurant to close during construction.

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Joe Milano said Caffe Daniela in Olde Worthington will reopen as a full-service restaurant with an expanded menu.

The restaurant closed in July, typically a slow month in the business, to give Milano and his wife Mary Jo time to refine the concept.

"We want to be a little more appealing to a larger mass of people," said Joe Milano, who wouldn't go into details. "I don't think we can get too definitive on what we're going to do."

The budget-priced Italian eatery had a major slowdown in business in recent months, forcing Milano to scale back the hours. He said a mid-August reopening is likely.

Yet, he says business is booming at his downtown Columbus store, located at the corner of Broad and High streets.

"The concept we're doing is definitely geared toward downtown," he said.

In fact, he said he hopes to expand hours on the weekends to attract the theater crowd.