Frezno coming to Brewery District after nearly 10-year hiatus

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

After nearly a decade since it left the central Ohio dining scene, Frezno has made its return.

Owners Kevin and Lori Ames opened Frezno Bar-Grill on May 14 in the Brewery District. The casual restaurant has taken over the 4,500-square-foot space formerly occupied by Hagen’s Ale & Tee, 460 S. Front St. It will seat 100 inside and another 100 on two patios.

“It feels good,” Kevin Ames said about reopening their flagship restaurant. “We got a place that has a really good bar, too.”

The couple's latest venture, in which Lori Ames is the chef, offers a relaxed atmosphere and a menu with an array of small plates, pizzas, pastas, soups and salads, and entrees. Most plates are $10 to $18. Mrs. Ames’ mother, Marlene Mattevi, makes the desserts.

Of the eight taps, six are dedicated to local craft beers. Also featured are two dozen microbrews by the bottle, Ames said.

Frezno will join White Rabbit, slated to occupy the adjacent Tommy Keegan’s space, in a district that has seen resurgence as of late. The Brewery District recently added McCasky’s Grille in the former Handke’s Cuisine storefront at 520 S. Front St.

The original Frezno, then called Frezno Eclectic Cuisine, was opened in 1994 in the Short North. The Ameses sold it and a slew of other restaurants along the way, including, more recently, Cafe Lola, Cinco, and Burgers, Dogs and Fries.

The restaurant is open for dinner only Tuesdays through Saturdays and closed Sundays and Mondays. Brunch hours will be added to Saturdays and Sundays starting May 26.

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