A little taste of France has opened in the heart of Downtown. Chez du Bon Fresh Market & French Eaterie opened its doors on Nov. 15 at 122 S. High St., in digs that no longer bear any resemblance to the former Wendy's whose space it now occupies.
A little taste of France has opened in the heart of Downtown. Chez du Bon Fresh Market & French Eaterie opened its doors on Nov. 15 at 122 S. High St., in digs that no longer bear any resemblance to the former Wendy’s whose space it now occupies.
It’s part market, part restaurant and decidedly French, as the restaurant aims to serve those looking for a sit-down meal as well as those seeking quick takeout.
The space has a sit-down bistro on the mezzanine, as well as a florist; a charcuterie; and a bakery selling sandwiches and fresh-baked baguettes and pastries, including New Orleans-style beignets.
It also features made-to-order crepes, and a fresh market with jams, oils, vinegars, wine and beer, fresh produce and a dairy case featuring Snowville Creamery products.
The place also also sells coffee, including New Orleans’ Cafe du Monde brand.
Owner Yavonne Sarber said she hopes Chez du Bon serves many needs.
Sarber is part of Fab Dining Group, which also owns De Novo Bistro and the Manifesto scotch bar Downtown.
She envisions Chez du Bon as a place where people can run in and grab beignets and chocolate croissants, or fill a basket for a picnic in Columbus Commons.
“But we also appeal to people who live Downtown and just need to pick up some produce and bread instead of heading out to shop in the suburbs,” Sarber said.
Either way, she hopes Chez du Bon will become Columbus’ go-to destination for French cuisine.
The grab-and-go menu features lobster beignets, salad nicoise and seared ahi tuna sandwiches. The bistro serves dishes such as smoked salmon rillettes, French onion soup, duck confit cassoulet and Prince Edward Island mussels.
Chez du Bon is decked out in marble, with yellow and white-striped booths; large graphics on the walls; shimmering high-backed chairs and opulent, brightly colored chandeliers.
It took about three months of construction to convert it into a 5,500-square-foot space with a bar that seats 13, a bistro on the mezzanine that seats 30, and the market and bakery space.
“We like to say we de-Wendyfied it,” Sarber said. “I’m lucky I can visualize easily, and it’s become our best-looking spot yet. It’s beautiful. There’s not a chance anyone would recognize it” as a former fast-food restaurant.
Although Sarber, via Fab Dining Group, now operates three restaurants Downtown, she already is working on a fourth.
Construction is scheduled to begin on Jan. 1 on the latest concept: Pink Cow, a “blues bar and Southern food kind of thing,” Sarber said. It will be in the Thai Lotus restaurant space at 26 N. High St. It is set to open in 2014.
“There are so many opportunities Downtown. As long as the market wants us, we’ll keep going,” Sarber said. “I live down here. With all the residential coming in, people are excited to live and work Downtown again. We love the whole community feeling.”
Chez du Bon is open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.Off the menu
• Peapod Play Cafe has opened at 4874 Thompson Rd. It has an indoor play space for children and a cafe for parents. For more information, go to www.peapodplaycafe.com.
• Strongwater Food & Spirits, a bar, restaurant and event space, has opened at 401 W. Town St.
• Holy Smoke in Gahanna is taking orders for carry-out Thanksgiving main courses, such as smoked turkey, and sides. Items can be picked up on Thanksgiving morning. For more information, call 614-471-8844.Obit file
• Gallo’s Pit Barbecue, 2234 W. Dublin-Granville Rd., has closed. A note on the company’s Facebook page said the restaurant’s catering division is still open for business, at least temporarily.
• Claddagh Irish Pub, 8745 Sancus Blvd., has closed and all of its contents have been auctioned off.
Dispatch restaurant columnist Denise Trowbridge can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.