Strongwater Food and Spirits has opened in a 100-year-old building at 401 W. Town St.

A five-minute walk from downtown Columbus, Strongwater Food and Spirits is the latest tavern to open in slowly emerging Franklinton.

Part of a 105,000-square-foot building at 401 W. Town St., Strongwater occupies 3,000 square feet of space in the Near West Side neighborhood.

Its spacious layout offers tables made from old crates found in the building, while the bar was made from original marble slabs in the Palace Theatre. The interior also features several glassed-in rooms, available as semi-private dining lounges.

General Manager Kris Howell recently hired chef Will Johnston, formerly of Black Creek Bistro, who will debut a menu in a week or so.

"We want to ramp it up," Howell said.

The menu will offer meat, vegetarian and vegan dishes priced in the $10 to $12 range.

Strongwater is part of a complex that includes art studios and the Strongwater Gallery, a flexible-event space, which has its own private bar.

The 100-year-old building is the former headquarters of Ebco Manufacturing Co., which made drinking fountains, among other things, Howell said.

He said Strongwater puts an emphasis on its beverage program. Of the 10 taps, seven are dedicated to local craft beer.

The place infuses liquor and makes its own ginger ale and ginger syrup.

Among craft cocktails, the Strongwater Rye uses Bulleit Rye whisky infused with port-brined peppercorns and habanero peppers.

Howell said he likes Franklinton, which is attracting more and more artists and other creative types. The 55,000-square-foot Idea Foundry, a community workshop space, is off in the distance.

Meanwhile, Orange Barrel Media is in the process of moving its headquarters from Grove City to Franklinton.

"I like all the possibilities of collaboration down here because it's attracting so many creative people," Howell said.

Strongwater is open evening hours Wednesday through Saturday. Lunch hours will be added soon. For more information, call 614-928-3170.


There's a new Indian and Indochinese dining option on the Northeast Side.

Tikka Masala & Grill has opened in the former Tropical Spice Cafe, 6140 Cleveland Ave. in the Atrium Center.

It offers all of the classic Indian dishes -- such as chicken tikka masala, biryani, tandoor-grilled meat and many goat preparations -- plus an extensive selection of Indochinese dishes, including chili chicken, Szechuan-style lamb, Manchurian chicken and hakka noodles.

Most dishes are in the $10 to $15 range. A buffet is served at lunch and all day Saturday and Sunday.

All meats are halal. No alcohol is served.

The restaurant is owned by Ahsan Ahammad and chef Melan Rahman, who has 19 years of combined restaurant experience in his native Bangladesh and the U.S.

Locally, he has worked at Indian Oven and Tadka. Rahman's wife, Shahina Akter Banu, who studied food and nutrition in Bangladesh, also cooks.

Tikka Masala is open for lunch and dinner daily. For more information, call 614-794-5004.

Central Ohio's latest nanobrewery will roll out its first beers in the next week or two.


Sideswipe Brewing, located in a warehouse on the West Side of Columbus, initially will offer three distinct styles: Elegant Hoodlum Smoke Stout, Fisticuffs IPA and Coop Looter saison, a Belgian farmhouse ale.

Founder Craig O'Herron said he was an avid homebrewer for eight years before opening Sideswipe, which has three 150-gallon tanks capable of turning out 450 gallons of beer per month.

He will sell the beers in 22-ounce bottles, in 12 packs and in cases, to retail customers.

O'Herron, a banquet server and bartender at J. Liu's in Worthington, also will turn to the crowd-funding site Kickstarter to raise money for kegs, a keg washer and seating for on-premises consumption. The campaign hopes to raise $15,000 by Dec. 15.