Table Talk

Yats brings New Orleans flavor up north

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CHRIS PARKER/THISWEEKNEWS
Brothers Mike (left) and Jason O’Rourke have opened Yats Cajun Creole at 1386 Grandview Ave.

From Fifth Avenue east past the Bank Block building, Grandview Avenue is teeming with restaurant options, from Middle Eastern to ramen noodles to Italian.

Even so, Mike and Jason O'Rourke think they have something different: simple, fast and inexpensive Louisiana fare.

The franchisees of Yats Cajun Creole said they sweeten the pot by offering free samples of their food.

Their motto: "Try before you buy."

All the while, they can have dishes ready from when customers order them to the time they reach the end of the counter.

"There's nothing like it and it reminds us of the first store in Broad Ripple," Mike O'Rourke said of the neighborhood in Indianapolis, where the chain was launched.

Dishes are $6.20 to $7.20, and include 8 ounces of sauce, 8 ounces of rice and two pieces of Cajun butter bread. Add a pop and the average check is $9.25.

Some items have a dash of spice but nothing that will turn away customers. For those seeking a little more heat, the place offers eight hot sauces.

"We want to feed the masses with everything we have here," Jason O'Rourke said.

In the month or so since Yats opened, the biggest sellers have been the chili cheese etouffee with crawfish and the drunken chicken.

There is no menu, as all available items are listed on a chalkboard. There are plenty of vegetarian items but po' boys, a staple of New Orleans cuisine, are not part of the business model, the brothers said.

Yats gets its name from New Orleans slang taken from the phrase "where y'at?"

The brothers have franchising rights for the Columbus area. They said they are looking at two additional sites but have not settled on any locations.

The current storefront, 1386 Grandview Ave., occupies 1,600 square feet of space that was most recently occupied by Orange Leaf, a frozen yogurt store. It seats 70.

Sure, the O'Rourkes love the diversity of the Grandview Avenue dining scene and the hustle and bustle of the strip, but there is one issue: A street tree blocks a good portion of the storefront and the sign.

"People post on Facebook: 'Can you get rid of that tree?' " Mike O'Rourke said.

Yats is open for lunch and dinner hours daily. For more information, call 614-486-9287.

 

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Three Sheets, the latest Brewery District bar, is expected to open Friday, Aug. 8, at 560 S. High St.

It takes the place of T. Murray's, which closed unexpectedly in May.

The owners are Missy and Jenny Adams, and Bryan Kilpatrick. They left the club-like look of the interior, heavy on dark wood and exposed brick, while offering some personal decorating touches.

They brought in local chalk artist Bryan Grey, who created three murals near the front door.

Three Sheets, which is oriented more toward drinks, will be without food service temporarily. Missy Adams said the floor in the kitchen is being replaced. Meanwhile, customers can order food from the High-Beck Tavern and nearby Classics.

When the kitchen opens, it will concentrate on bar favorites such as burgers, wings, tacos, fries and house-dipped corn dogs.

Three Sheets will open for dinner and late-night hours daily at first, but will add afternoon hours when football starts on the weekends.

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