Gallos shutter barbecue, plan tavern expansion

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Gallo's Pit BBQ has closed while its founders prepare for new opportunities at their Northwest Side tavern.

The barbecue restaurant, which was shuttered Nov. 5, lasted about nine months at 2234 W. Dublin-Granville Road, the site of the original Hoggy's.

Tommy Gallo, a partner in the operation, said he couldn't point to one particular reason for closing, but said commitments to other properties played a part in it.

"Everybody was trying really hard at the barbecue, but everyone was getting pulled in different directions," he said. "If there's a distraction, get rid of it."

That means the ownership can focus on new prospects at Gallo's Tap Room in the Olentangy Plaza shopping center.

The tavern, which recently celebrated its ninth anniversary at 5019 Olentangy Road, is expanding into an adjacent 1,000-square-foot storefront.

Preferred Living is in the midst of building Taylor House, a 325-unit apartment complex in the former Kmart location, directly east of the Tap Room.

"We need to get ready for this," Gallo said.

He said the kitchen will be moved into the new space. Several cosmetic upgrades are in the works, including a new floor, but it's unclear whether there will be a new layout.

The menu also will be revamped, including the addition of pizza, but that, too, is in the planning stages, Gallo said.

Another planned change: silverware and plates, a change from the current foam plates and plasticware.

"It's nothing overly fancy, but it's nice to have a plate and real fork. We didn't have the luxury of doing it," said Gallo, who also owns Gallo's Kitchen in Upper Arlington.

The expansion will take the Tap Room to nearly 4,400 square feet.

Gallo said construction could close the tavern for a week or so. The plan is to have the transformation completed by the start of the NCAA basketball tournament.

Taylor House, meanwhile, is expected to open by next summer, sources said.

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