Dennis and Jacky Bennett weren’t ready to throw in the towel just yet.
Their restaurant, Babushka’s Kitchen, had built a steady clientele in the 14 months it was open in Clintonville.
Unfortunately, Mr. Bennett said, the 6,000-square-foot storefront at 4675 N. High St. was way too big.
“We knew we were going to go out of business if we stayed there,” he said.
So, three months ago, they packed up and moved roughly two miles east to 5173 Sinclair Road. A few more cosmetic touches await the former Merchant of India space, which seats 65.
The new location, less than half as large as the previous one, has a few advantages: high visibility, easy access to Interstate 71 and proximity to a large industrial complex in the area, Bennett said. The Bennetts also plan to file for a license to sell beer.
Columbus has warmed to Babushka’s homespun Polish comfort food, with most entrees costing in the $9 to $11 range, although the audience seems more spread out, Bennett said. He said 78 percent of customers traveled more than five miles to dine at the Clintonville location.
“You can’t just walk out the door and get a pierogi and stuffed cabbage anywhere in Columbus,” he said.
Bennett said he plans to roll out a new $7 lunch menu this week, along with a pumpkin pierogi, drizzled with caramel sauce and crowned with whipped cream.
Babushka’s is open for lunch and dinner five days a week, closed Sunday and Monday. For information, call 614-431-9120.
The Table, a collaboration of three local restaurant-industry veterans, is opening at 21 E. Fifth Ave.
Christen Corey, Jennifer Marlatt and Sang Lakhani are behind the bakery, charcuterie and restaurant all rolled into one. The Table, in Italian Village just north of the Short North, is located in a 3,000-square-foot building at the southeast corner of Fifth and Pearl Street. The restaurant will occupy the first and lower levels of a now-vacant building across from the Brothers Drake Meadery & Bar.
Corey, a pastry chef who has worked locally at such restaurants as Rigsby’s and Alana’s, will run the kitchen with Lakhani, a founding partner of Bodega in the Short North. Marlatt, formerly of Rigsby’s and Basi Italia, among others, will run the front of the house.
The place will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, although Corey wouldn’t describe the menu.
“I hate putting a label on it,” she said.
They intend to have a full liquor license in place by the restaurant’s opening in the first quarter of next year.
Encore, described as a nightclub for the mellower after-dinner crowd, is slated to open Nov. 14 at Crosswoods.
The partnership between Jeff Lauback and Don Roberts is at 7520 High Cross Blvd. The place will have a dress code, Lauback said.
The drink list will offer an extensive martini inventory and high-end cocktails. Food service will be limited to light starters.
“We don’t want to compete with the restaurants around us,” Lauback said. “We have some of the best restaurants in the city in our immediate area.”
Lauback was an original partner with Light, which had opened in the same space several years ago, but left the partnership to develop Callahans, a sport pub near the Arena District. The
Crosswoods’ space been a number of uses since, including 3 Monkeys, the most recent occupant.
Encore will be open Wednesday through Saturday.
Central Ohio’s third Winking Lizard will take over the vacant Hoggy’s at 1416 W. Fifth Ave. Paul Reilly, manager of the local taverns, said a mid-January opening is planned. Reilly said company officials are still looking for a central Ohio site for Lizardville, a beer store and whiskey bar.