Table Talk

New brew pub downtown plans to open in late summer

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GARY SEMAN JR./THISWEEKNEWS
Bob Szuter (foreground) and chef Seth Lassak stand in Wolf's Ridge Brewing, which is under construction in downtown Columbus. The brew pub, of which Szuter is a partner, is expected to open in late August at 215 N. Fourth St. The layout will allow patrons to watch the brewing process in the lower level.
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By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Seizing on the craft-brew craze, Alan and Bob Szuter will open Wolf's Ridge Brewing in downtown Columbus.

The brew pub, occupying 6,300 square feet of space at 215 N. Fourth St., will offer four to five standard house-made beers and a limited, chef-driven menu, Bob Szuter said.

A late August opening date is planned for Wolf's Ridge, which takes over the former Artina space, just north of Spring Street.

Alan Szuter, a former executive at IBM, home-brewer and craft-beer enthusiast, will lend his expertise to developing the brew flavors before a permanent, seasoned brew master is found, said Bob Szuter, Alan's son.

The younger Szuter said the pub will offer American, German, English and Irish styles of beer, with a few seasonal offerings featured throughout the year.

There will be 12 taps, many devoted to other craft-breweries' beers.

Seth Lassak, a Culinary Institute of America graduate, is creating a beer-oriented menu with 15 to 20 dishes, Szuter said.

"It's going to be a relatively small menu compared to other restaurants," he said. "We'll use locally sourced ingredients as much as we can."

The restaurant will seat about 100 on communal tables made of wood from fallen, not actively harvested, hickory trees.

The brewing equipment will be located in the basement, so the owners have removed a portion of the floor so patrons can watch the process in action, Szuter said.

He said he doesn't believe Columbus has reached its saturation point with microbrews. Meanwhile, craft beer makes up about 7 percent of the U.S. beer market.

"There's huge demand for craft beer," Szuter said. "It doesn't show signs of stopping. It might slow down, but it won't go away."

Construction began in April on the space built in 1919 as a truck dealership. Szuter said the original plan was to be open in May and attributed the delay to "typical construction issues."

"It's going pretty quickly, pretty smoothly, so far," he said.

Encore, the nightclub in Crosswoods, has refurbished an existing kitchen and is offering food, such as salads, a cheese tray, flatbread pizzas and other light fare.

The place originally was set up as a stopover for the after-dinner crowd looking to cut a rug, but hungry customers demanded some form of sustenance, owner Jeff Lauback said.

"We kind of found we needed some kind of food aspect," said Lauback, also a partner in Callahan's near the Arena District.

Prices are in the $10 range at Encore, which has replaced 3 Monkeys at 7520 High Cross Blvd.

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Speaking of bar food, North City Tavern is in the midst of adding a kitchen.

North City, which replaced Bleachers last year in the Park Place shopping center, will offer a chef-inspired, better-than-average menu of about 15 items, including sandwiches, pizzas, wings and soup, owner Corey Barnes said.

Barnes, former manager of Barcelona and a real-estate broker, said the menu should be in place by Aug. 1.

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KissiCakes-n-Sweets is moving to campus at the end of the month.

The local bakery, which had a brush with celebrity on the Food Network's Cupcake Wars, is taking over the former Black Sheep Board and Skate, 2209 N. High St.

The dessert shop, which closed in November in the Mall at Tuttle Crossing, is known for its cupcakes, cakes, pies and assorted other treats.

The 900-square-foot space will be carryout only.

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Closed: Aoi Sushi, 878 Bethel Road, made it nearly two years.

It replaced Blocks Bros. Bagels and Boston Market at the same location.

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