The Galaxy Cafe was all set to make a comeback.
Jerry Burgos, half of the partnership that opened the original restaurant more than 20 years ago, had a location, menu and, of course, a name.
Or so he thought.
But he never bothered to reserve the name Galaxy Cafe. About a week away from the restaurant's opening, which was supposed to be Nov. 1, Burgos found that the current owner of Starliner Diner, another restaurant he founded, had rights to the name Galaxy Cafe -- and she wasn't letting it go.
That has sent Burgos on a mad dash to find a name for his new restaurant, which he has pledged to open the first week of November at 4920 Scioto-Darby Road, Hilliard. The 1,900-square-foot restaurant, which replaces Dal Forno, seats 55.
The quirky interior is highlighted by bright yellow walls with brightly colored accents, brick, a black-and-white tiled ceiling and contrasting artwork.
Burgos said he will try to re-create the menu and ambience as much as possible.
Galaxy was known for its mishmash of Cuban, South American, Cajun, Mexican, Southwestern and traditional American fare.
Some of the familiar favorites will return, including the jambalaya, Cuban roast chicken, breakfast burrito and chilaquiles.
Gourmet pizzas, using house-made dough, also are returning, some with a special twist. Customers can order a pie topped with ingredients from other dishes -- for example, a fajita pizza. Burgos also plans to make mofongo, a fried plantain dish.
Lunch dishes will range from $3.50 to $8 and dinner entrees will cost $10 to $14.
Burgos moved to Columbus in 1991 from California, where he spent years in the restaurant business, starting as a short-order cook and moving up to more upscale restaurants.
"I just had a knack," he said of cooking. "It came naturally to me."
He teamed up with Ricky Barnes in 1992 and opened the Galaxy Cafe in Powell, which ,at the time, was a lonely, sparsely populated burg.
"I offered a menu people really weren't familiar with," Burgos said.
After a year, Burgos sold his interest in the business to Barnes.
The Galaxy Cafe was sold in 1997, and Barnes moved the concept, renamed Galaxy, to Grandview Heights. It has since closed.
Barnes went on to open Lost Planet Pizza, later replaced with the reconstituted Ricky's Galaxy, which is no longer in business.
Burgos became a restaurateur again in 1994 when he opened the vastly popular Starliner Diner in Hilliard, a local landmark celebrated by casual diners and hardcore foodies alike. But he sold it two years ago to general manager Molly Davis.
"It's hard to walk away from a successful business," he said. "I said that if I get a chance, I'm going to do it one more time."
Since then, he worked for Concert Kitchen, which provides catering services to national touring musical acts.
"It helped me keep my chops, so to speak," he said. "It helped me keep my cooking skills."
Burgos' new restaurant will open without alcohol. It will be open lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday, lunch only Sunday and closed Monday. A special brunch menu also will be served Friday through Sunday.
For more information, call 614-319-4035.
After nearly 25 years in business, A Matter of Steak has moved.
Known for its grilled steak, chicken subs and other casual fare, the quick-serve eatery is expected to open Nov. 9 at 2608 Hilliard-Rome Road.
The business, which got its start in 1989 in Westland Mall, will seat 20 in 1,200 square feet of space.
Chansovan Long and her husband, Ching Min Lo, the restaurant's third owners, bought A Matter of Steak 15 years ago. Long said mall management, more than a year ago, told tenants they had to be out in 30 days.
"We were waiting a long time," Long said about reopening. "I'm hoping our old customers can find us. It took us a whole year to find a location. We wanted to stay close by, not too far (from the mall)."
The restaurant will be open lunch and dinner hours daily. For more information, call 614-219-7878.