The Movie Tavern 11 @ Mill Run appears to be a hit with people who like to combine dinner with a 3D movie.

The Movie Tavern 11 @ Mill Run appears to be a hit with people who like to combine dinner with a 3D movie.

"Out of the 14 stores we own, Hilliard is actually No. 1 as far as sales," said Craig Freshour, general manager of the Movie Tavern on Ridge Mill Drive. "On weekends, we potentially get 10,000 people."

Here's how the Movie Tavern works: You find a seat a half-hour before a movie, and you order food and drink to be served by the time the movie starts. (Arrive later, and the food may come during the movie. Also, you'll have a harder time finding a good seat.)

"When the movie comes on, we're not bothering them like a normal restaurant," Freshour said. "If you need something, you simply flip on a light, and the server comes in and takes care of you. It's pretty unique in the Columbus area."

The Movie Tavern opened in Hilliard in June 2007 and employs 140 people, Freshour said. The existing complex originally held 12 theaters, but one in the center was knocked out to put in a kitchen.

In recent months, a couple of the theaters added the ability to show 3D movies.

A full-service bar with televisions is in front of the row of theaters, and people can eat or drink without going to a movie.

Patrons can order burgers, pizzas, nachos, and a variety of other food and alcoholic drinks. Freshour compared the menus at Appleby's, Friday's or Ruby Tuesday. Regular movie concession staples like popcorn and candy are also available.

This week, several new menu items were unveiled, such as mini sourdough sandwiches, meat skewers, cupcakes, paninis, pitas and a fruit and cheese platter.

Traci Hoey, marketing director for the Dallas-based company, explained the concept's appeal.

"I have a 9-year-old, and it's great because a lot of times we don't have time to have dinner and see a movie," Hoey said. "If we see a 7 p.m. show, I don't have her out at 10 p.m. at night. We see a lot of families adopting this because it is a timesaver for them.

"A lot of couples like it because they can have their date night at the movies, have a glass of wine and see a movie all in one. They're not rushing their dinner plans to see that 9 p.m. show.

"It's been really well received in a lot of the markets we've gone into," Hoey said. "Hilliard does great. It's one of our better locations."