Nancy's Home Cooking

Celebrated restaurant to reopen next month

Nancy's Home Cooking, the iconic Clintonville restaurant known as much for its inexpensive meals as its rich social history, is expected to reopen Nov. 1.

Plans for improvements to the hood, fire suppression and ventilation systems recently were submitted to the city of Columbus. Owner Sheila Davis Hahn said she fully expects the upgrades to meet city code.

"We're just ready to go," said Hahn, who's worked with family members to get the restaurant open again. "We miss everybody, too."

The comfort-food emporium closed June 1 when then-owner Cindy King said that because of health and financial reasons, she could no longer afford to keep the restaurant open.

Hahn, along with sister Shelli Davis Piatt and cousins Tracy King McCurry and Chip King, had vowed to get Nancy's back in business as soon as possible. But family members drifted into other ventures and there was concern over the cost of the improvements and whether they could meet current requirements.

McCurry, who's started a catering outfit, said she plans to be involved in some fashion when the restaurant opens. Her father, Ed King, the popular line cook who worked breakfasts at Nancy's, also plans to return. He's recovering from back surgery but is eager to get back to work, she said.

"The restaurant is his life," she said.

News of Nancy's closing spread quickly throughout the Columbus dining community, and patrons formed lines out of the door for weeks as four decades of casual-cuisine history appeared to be coming to an end at 3133 N. High St.

Customers and friends of Cindy King, whose generous spirit engendered legions of fans, donated more than $10,000 for the remodeling effort. Lowe's also agreed to kick in material and manpower for a new floor.

That's about all that will change at the 26-seat restaurant, which King bought in 1971. The bill of fare, including the legendary chicken over homemade noodles and mashed potatoes, will be the same. One modification: Breakfast will be served all day.

"There is nothing there I wanted to change," Hahn said. "People came in there for the ambiance of that little spot."