The Wedgewood Pub and Grill in Powell, a sports-themed bar, has been transformed into a comfort-food, date-night spot called Fireside Crafted Food and Spirits. Fireside reopened in the same location, 9890 Brewster Lane, near the corner of Sawmill Parkway and Powell Road, in mid-March.
The Wedgewood Pub and Grill in Powell, a sports-themed bar, has been transformed into a comfort-food, date-night spot called Fireside Crafted Food and Spirits.
Fireside reopened in the same location, 9890 Brewster Lane, near the corner of Sawmill Parkway and Powell Road, in mid-March.
It’s not a transition the owners took lightly. “I had a lot of sleepless nights,” said co-owner Steve Messinger, who also owns Sports on Tap in Hilliard. “We had peaked, and, if we wanted to grow, we needed to change.”
Wedgewood “was primarily a high-end sports bar, and since we bought it, we had done a lot of work on the menu and upgraded things,” said co-owner Jon Musser. “But there has been a huge influx of bars and taverns into Powell in the last five years. BW3 moved in right across the street, so, over time, we realized that we needed to kind of reinvent ourselves.”
Market research showed the pair that the community wanted something more upscale.“They wanted fresh food, and they really didn’t care about the $2 beer specials we were offering to compete with the bars across the street,” Musser said. “They wanted someplace for date night, a nicer place to meet friends or decompress on the weekends.”
That’s why the pair shut down the Wedgewood on Feb. 23. “There certainly was some anxiety,” Musser said. “It’s not like business was bad. We just felt it was time to really reinvest into that space.”
The two hired executive chef Jeffrey Wilson, a Powell native who has worked in restaurants around the world, to revamp the menu and run the kitchen.
The menu of bar food — pizza, burgers, wings and quesadillas — has been replaced with fire-roasted bacon-wrapped shrimp and grits with black-eyed pea relish; chargrilled hanger steak with an Appleton rum demi-glaze served with crab cakes and remoulade; meatloaf smothered in gravy and topped with fried onions; and salmon marinated in pale ale, ginger, garlic and lemongrass and then roasted on a cedar plank. Entree prices range from $11 to $16.
Sides include cheese grits, roasted root vegetables, fried sweet potatoes and grilled asparagus. They range in price from $3 to $5. Desserts include pecan pie with chocolate bourbon ice cream, and Jamaican French toast with caramelized apples in rum served with Grand Marnier vanilla ice cream. Desserts cost $7.
The inspiration for the menu was “upscale comfort food,” Wilson said, both healthful and affordable.
The bar menu leans toward craft beers. “We’ll keep the taps rotating and are focusing more on cocktails with fresh juices,” such as the berry mojito and the maple old-fashioned, Musser said.
The physical space has been transformed, as well. Musser and Messinger expanded the restaurant, acquiring space from a defunct cellphone store next door. The restaurant grew from 2,800 square feet to 4,000 square feet, and now seats 150 inside and 50 outside on the front and side patios. The bar seats 30.
They added a private party room for 25 — with its own bathroom — and some large, tall private booths. A chef’s table in the back holds up to 25 people. The focal point of the new restaurant is a 10-foot-wide fireplace plus a large bar area with a granite top.
Now that the transition is complete, the men say they’re pleased to have received the stamp of approval from an important set of people. “Most of the Wedgewood regulars gave the new place pretty good reviews,” Messinger said.Mystery flavor
Graeter’s has been advertising a new, upcoming mystery flavor for several months. It finally landed in central Ohio stores yesterday, and the mystery is solved. It’s Orange & Cream, described as a nostalgic and old-fashioned “all-natural orange puree with a fresh, creamy citrus flavor.” The flavor is for sale in stores and online for a limited time.More Don at Donato’s
Donato’s Big Don sub sandwich has been transformed into a new pizza on the Columbus-based restaurant’s permanent menu. The Big Don Italian pizza is topped with thin- sliced ham, Italian hard salami, provolone cheese, banana peppers and Roma tomatoes. A large costs $13.99.
Denise Trowbridge, Dispatch restaurant columnist, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.