ECDI offers flexible kitchen space on the East Side
For Maria Siriano, it was a matter of simple arithmetic: Continue making baked goods at home or triple her production in a professional kitchen.
She chose the latter.
Siriano, owner of The Batch Bakery, is one of three tenants at the newly opened Eddie Grayson Culinary Lab at the Economic and Community Development Institute.
The 1,200-square-foot kitchen supplies all the necessary equipment for those on the savory and sweet sides of the aisle: a meat slicer, stand mixer, oven ranges, sinks and cooling racks.
It is fully licensed for caterers, bakers and chefs who don’t have the capacity for large orders.
The institute is working on licensing through the Ohio Department of Agriculture to allow for the sale of wholesale goods.
When she founded the bakery about a year ago, Siriano was cooking out of her Merion Village home, which was too small to accommodate her burgeoning business.
“It’s a lot faster,” she said of the culinary lab at ECDI. “That was my main motivation of moving into the kitchen.”
There are other benefits, too, such as networking and creative synergy.
“Moving here, you just have so many people around to bounce ideas off of, and to taste your stuff,” she said.
The Eddie Grayson Culinary Lab officially opened Friday at ECDI, a small business lender at 1655 Old Leonard Ave. on the East Side.
It was named after the founder of York Steak House who lent his expertise to the founding of the kitchen.
The space is available for as little as an hour or for long-term commitments.
Those who sign long-term leases have some advantages, such as access to coolers and dry storage. They also must carry liability insurance.
Steve Brady, director of business operations for ECDI, said the target audience is caterers and bakers who have outgrown their facilities, people who want to start a business and mobile food vendors who need the kitchen to prepare their food.
“Our objective here is to create jobs,” Brady said.
ECDI has been in business for eight years, but has been in its current space, the former Leonard Avenue Elementary School, for almost two years. The complex includes three warehouses, two of which currently are leased by another company.
Last year, it opened its “food fort,” which assists food trucks, trailers and carts, and also has eight of its own food carts available for lease.
The space provides 24-hour access to the commissary, which has sinks, storage and electrical outlets.
In addition to space, the institute provides help with licensing, marketing, food safety and vendor locations, he said.
“We’re not just renting them a space,” Brady said. “We consider ourselves partnering with these guys. We have a vested interest in seeing them succeed.”
For more information, call ECDI at 614-559-0115.
Buffalo Wing & Bowl will replace Bollywood Bistro in Carriage Place.
Owner Chandra Yoon said the restaurant, on the west side of the Cinemark theater entrance, will open in the next two weeks.
She said the menu will focus on American and Asian cuisines, with an emphasis on rice and noodle bowls, and, of course, chicken wings. Yoon said she makes her own sauces.
Everything will be priced under $7 to $15. Buffalo Wing & Bowl, 2584 Bethel Road, will have a full liquor license.
The Fieldhouse Tavern, in the revolving-door restaurant property at 340 Greenlawn Ave., will reopen under a slightly different name in the not too distant future.
Because of organizational changes in the ownership structure, the place soon will become Columbus Fieldhouse Tavern, said Jason Peterson, who’s trying to purchase the property.
The Fieldhouse Tavern quietly opened five months ago, replacing Coyote Jane’s at the 2,790-square-foot space.
Peterson said it will remain a casual American grill concept, with burgers, hot dogs, wings and the like.
The restaurant is located across the street from Berliner Park, a haven for the softball set. Before it was Coyote Jane’s, it operated as Banana Bean Cafe for a number of years.