Kraft House No. 5 has opened in downtown Powell, offering an ample selection of craft beers on tap, signature cocktails and an upscale menu.
"We're unique to the area," said Louie Pappas, who owns the restaurant with his brother, Michael. "And from the response we've gotten from people, they like the change and the different approach we've brought to Powell."
The Pappas brothers purchased the former Easy Street Cafe from their uncle, George Stefanidis, and quickly transformed the space.
"It took us less than three weeks," Louie Pappas said. "Our contractor lived up to his end of the deal."
They completely renovated the interior, giving it a bluish-gray color scheme, new seating arrangement, tables made of reclaimed barn wood, antique-style lighting, wood paneling behind the rebuilt bar and a 20-tap beer system.
"The Kraft stands for craftsmanship," Pappas said. "It extends from the kitchen to the bar."
Louie and Michael Pappas come from a strong restaurant lineage.
Their father, Tommy Pappas, owns Tommy's Diner in Franklinton.
Louie Pappas eventually opened Milo's Deli, which has become Milo's Express Catering. He also opened three additional diners -- in the Ohio Statehouse, Crosswoods and the Busch Corporate Center on Schrock Road.
Michael Pappas still works at Tommy's Diner.
Louie Pappas said he's excited about the challenge with Kraft House.
"It's a lot of learning, honestly," he said. "We're used to the diner feel. We're getting into a different part of the industry. It's fun because you're learning."
Chef Marcus Meacham has created a menu that defies most common bar fare.
On the appetizer list is a braised pork shank wrapped in rosemary pastry dough and deep-fried, served with pork sauce.
With the lobster rolls, an East Coast classic, smoked lobster slathered in vanilla butter is placed in toasted buns.
Kraft House does its own style of porchetta, which uses both braised pork shoulder and roasted pork belly, along with white cheddar and fresh herbs on a toasted bun garnished with fried pig ears.
Starters are $6 to $13.
Entrees, which cost $16 to $22, are limited to four choices: Shrimp and grits, mussels and fries, hanger steak and a maple-glazed pork chop.
Meacham also is known for offering nightly specials, which recently included chicken and waffles with Ohio corn, taku fish ribs rubbed with chimichurri, and a Powell market salad with ingredients culled from the farmer's market held each Saturday.
The menu is rounded out with soups, salads and desserts.
Pappas said the menu is not out of reach for most diners.
"There are a lot of very basic, approachable items," he said. "We put an emphasis on quality."
The tavern is open for dinner only Tuesday through Sunday, closed Monday. For more information, call 614-396-9091.
In other news from Powell, Brooklyn Pizza -- known for its New York-style pies, is closed while it relocates to a new location across Grace Drive.
Brooklyn Pizza will become part of Liberty Square, at the southeast corner of Grace and Liberty Street.
It is expected to reopen the week of July 8, owner Anthony La Cerva said.
The pizzeria will take over 1,000 square feet of space, roughly the same size as the original location at 30 Grace Drive, but will have seating for 15 inside and a few tables outside.
La Cerva said he chose the new location because of better visibility and the center was recently purchased and renovated, which he thinks will be bring more customers to the area.
The menu will be largely the same, but some pasta dishes and other styles of pizza might be added, La Cerva said.