DeArini's Tavern & Grill, a quintessential neighborhood Italian joint, is celebrating its golden anniversary.

Founded as DeArini's Villa in 1967 by Richard L. "Dick" and Catherine Tarini, the restaurant started with a busy carryout and dine-in operation, with all 24 seats often filled with hungry patrons.

"There were not that many places around," Dick Tarini said. "They used to stand in the lobby waiting to get a seat."

Any restaurant consultant worth his weight in Gold Medal flour would gasp at the physical location: a corner storefront that doesn't front a major roadway.

"It's a little hidden," Tarini said.

"I have people who turn in (the parking lot) and ask, 'How long have you been here?' " said Tarini's son, John, who runs the place with his wife, Penny.

Certainly, things have changed over five decades at DeArini's, 1942 W. Henderson Road in Columbus, where the storefront actually faces Gettysburg Road.

Consider the prices: Spaghetti with a meatball, salad and roll was $1.50 then; now it's $10.75. The Rocket, a classic Italian sub, was 75 cents. It now rings in at $6.45.

The menu has become more robust, with John Tarini adding some of his own specialties, such as the 1-pound meatball, which is stuffed with ricotta and spinach and topped with sauce and cheese, and the Italian beef sandwich made with meat slow-roasted on premises.

DeArini's also has gone through two expansions -- one that added Cementos, an adjacent bar, in 2001. A more recent addition brought the size to 3,200 square feet.

When the restaurant first opened, the late Catherine Tarini did the cooking. Dick Tarini owned Tarini Cement Contractors and did the books for the restaurant.

Tarini, 84, now is retired from the cement company that his grandfather, Joseph, started in 1922.

The couple have a rich history in the local restaurant business. They have owned the Old Church House, now the Refectory, on Bethel Road; Black Forest Inn, now the Thirsty Scholar, near the Ohio State University campus; and a second DeArini's, which opened around 1980 on Cleveland Avenue, but closed after five years.

Dick Tarini still pops in DeArini's daily for lunch and dinner.

John and Penny Tarini plan to run the restaurant "as long as our knees hold out," she said.

The kitchen closes between lunch and dinner weekdays.

Lunch hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Dinner is 4 to 10 p.m. Mondays, 4 to 11 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 10:30 p.m. Sundays.

For more information, call 614-451-8000.

Fresh cuts of single-source, Ohio-raised Angus beef are available in Powell.

====

Stover Farms Custom Meats has taken over the former Financial Guard storefront at 4000 Presidential Parkway.

Owner Trevor Stover said the meat comes from a family farm in Lexington and is processed at another retail store in Mansfield.

The livestock is fed non-GMO grain, also raised on the farm.

"We'll have every cut you can imagine," he said, adding that orders are accepted.

The market also sells pork and chicken, which are sourced from neighboring farms.

Stover said prices are competitive with other retail stores.

"It's not boxed beef; it's fresh," he said.

Stover Farms Custom Meats is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. It is closed Sundays and Mondays.

====

Short North Deli, an unfussy sandwich shop, has added soft-serve ice cream to its lineup.

The deli opened about a month ago, replacing Whit's Frozen Custard at 841 N. High St.

Tom Kincaid, who owns the deli and adjacent House Beer, said the move was to oblige Whit's customers, many of whom were unaware of the change and still yearned for frozen confections.

The deli offers a choice of chocolate, vanilla or a swirl of both.

Meanwhile, the deli has a dozen signature sandwiches, most toasted as a panini or prepared on a flat-top grill, that are priced $6 to $11.

Deli meats and cheese are available by the slice and pound, and a few sides are offered.

Patrons of House Beer, a taproom that has no food service, can bring in any fare from the deli next door.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary