Table Talk

German Village Coffee Shop relishes old-school status

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RYAN M.L. YOUNG/THISWEEKNEWS
A morning crowd gathers in the German Village Coffee Shop. For more than three decades, the diner at 193 Thurman Ave has been feeding hungry patrons.

In an age when everything seems to be going posh in German Village, there's still a place to sidle up to the counter, order a rib-sticking Western omelet and a cup of Maxwell House coffee.

For more than three decades, the German Village Coffee Shop has been that kind of place. The frumpy 951-square-foot space, which seats 45, is wrapped in wood paneling.

Michael L. Brooks, president and CEO of Stowe Mission of Central Ohio, takes a seat at the counter about three mornings a week.

"This is where I do all my networking," Brooks said, as bacon was frying, hash browns were crisping and omelets were firming up on the flat-top grill. "This is the place."

Craig Burke, who owns the coffee shop with his wife, Christa Foreman, said he sees no reason to change.

"It works," he said. "It's homey.

"There's no need to remodel and make it modern," Burke said. "We're not a modern restaurant."

That might be an understatement, particularly where food prices are concerned.

Three hotcakes, described as the size of manhole covers, are $3.75. The vaunted Western omelet is $5.75. All burgers cost less than $5.

Save for the club sandwich, at $5.75, all sandwiches are less than $5.

"We're a true greasy-spoon diner," Foreman said. "You get really inexpensive food and it's good. And a lot of people come because of the atmosphere."

Brother and sister Kenny Swiger and Flo Prater have been regulars for 11 years.

They usually work up an appetite taking a walk around Schiller Park before grabbing a bite at the coffee shop.

"They're friendly and the food is good," Prater said.

"They tell me, 'clean your own table and fend for yourself,' " Swiger joked.

"You have an extended family here," said Shannon Rhoden, Foreman's sister.

"We know 80 percent of our customers -- their names, what they get. It's almost like hanging out with family all day."

The place opened in 1981 at 193 Thurman Ave.

Burke and Foreman, the third owners and former breakfast patrons of the place, affectionately known as Das Kaffee Haus, in 2003.

Foreman still works for AT&T and Burke worked at Limited Brands.

Burke said they had never worked in a restaurant.

"Not even as teenagers," he said.

"We just thought it would be fun," Burke said, adding the couple also owns the Aladdin Diner & Grill in Granville.

German Village Coffee Shop is open for breakfast and lunch daily. For more information, call 614-443-8900.

 

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Crafty Pint, an upscale pub with handcrafted dishes, will replace the original Hoggy's in Linworth.

The owners are Jason and Michelle Lusk, who founded the first of three Rude Dog Bar and Grills in central Ohio.

Lusk said the place will take on an entirely different look than its three predecessors: Hoggy's, a pizza place and, most recently, Gallo's Pit BBQ.

A mid-May opening is planned for Crafty Pint, 2234 W. Dublin-Granville Road. The space has been vacant for several months.

The Lusks have brought in Steve Spangler, most recently of Bakersfield in the Short North, to manage and develop the Crafty Pint in hopes he will become a partner.

Jason Lusk said there will be 40 beers on tap utilizing an old-fashioned copper draft system. Tables will be made from the wood of 100-year-old barns. The patio will be enclosed so it can be used year-round.

The menu, meanwhile, will have select pub fare, including an all-natural ribeye, quail-egg shooters, shrimp and grits, smoked wings, deconstructed chicken and noodles and duck pizza.

Spangler said he is unfazed by the recent turnover at the site.

"I think we're in a prime area,' " he said. "There's heavy traffic right there.

"We're going to have a bunch of unique stuff people won't see anywhere else, that's for sure."

 

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