With a globally inspired menu rooted in French cooking techniques, the Keep Liquor Bar has joined the growing downtown Columbus dining scene.

Firmly in the upscale-casual category of restaurants, the Keep is on the mezzanine level of Hotel LeVeque, 50 W. Broad St.

The restaurant -- named after a speakeasy expression -- is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

An exhibition kitchen, with a brushed-steel countertop for dining, is the centerpiece of the 104-seat dining room, which has ample wooden fixtures, wooden chairs and walls flecked with bronze.

"I want the soul to be French," chef Jonathan Olson said. "But it's approachable. Nothing is out of the ballpark."

The Keep will serve a whole, deep-fried fish -- the type will depend on the availability -- topped with a Chinese XO sauce and served with a Middle Eastern fattoush salad.

Other entrees include a peppercorn-crusted Ohio ribeye, pan-seared halibut and a modern version of chicken and waffles.

A raw bar includes everything from oysters to cracked lobster claws.

Not everything is being updated.

"We are taking some classics and leaving them alone," said Olson, a Gahanna native who is classically trained.

A few examples are foie gras mousse, steak tartare, French onion soup and steak frites.

Olson said he carefully sources many of his ingredients and products from Ohio producers, including mushrooms from Swainway Urban Farm in Clintonville, meats from Bluescreek Farm Meats in Plain City and spices from North Market Spices.

Most dishes, from starters to entrees, are in the $7 to $30 range.

A full-service bar, patterned after a classic 1920s-style speakeasy, has been open since late March.

The Keep is part of Atlanta-based Concentrics Restaurants, a group that operates restaurants across the country.

It is separate from the hotel, which is part of the Marriott brand.

"We are a restaurant that is serving a hotel," Olson said. "We are our own entity."

Dinner hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 5 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 5 to 9 p.m. Sundays.

Breakfast hours will be 6:30 to 10:30 a.m. Mondays through Fridays and to 10 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Brunch, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, is scheduled to start Saturday, Sept. 9.

For more information, call 614-745-0322.


The long-awaited Pub Mahone is open in downtown Columbus.

Central Ohio's latest Irish pub has lots of dark wood and a mostly scratch kitchen.

Pub Mahone takes over the 2,400-square-foot space formerly occupied by J. Gumbo's, 33 E. Gay St.

Chef Michael Brodwell said the menu has many Emerald Isle favorites. Among the classic choices: fish and chips, corned beef and cabbage and Irish stew.

Also, for larger appetites, the Irish breakfast features imported sausage links, black pudding (blood sausage), white pudding (sausage patties), bacon, eggs and potatoes; it is served with rye bread.

Ohio State University football games will be screened at Pub Mahone, which also will open early for some international soccer games.

A replacement has been found for Average Joe's Pub in the Dublin Village Center.


Revelry Tavern is set to open later this month at 6711 Dublin Center Drive.

Blaise Antonio, who is opening the restaurant with Rich Spagna, said the focus would be on drinks, local craft brews and a "modern-American" menu -- "nothing too uptight and stuffy; a dressed-up take on food."

The place will start out with casual cuisine in the $10 to $12 range.

Revelry will seat 140 inside, with additional seating on the patio.


The third annual Ohio Bacon Fest is slated 5 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, at Columbus Commons in downtown Columbus.

Barroluco Argentine Comfort Food, Niko's Street Eats, FoxFire Tacos, Dave's Caribbean Food and Mojo Tago will be among the vendors at the festival, which will include live music.

Advance tickets are $5 and can be purchased at ohiolovesbacon.com. Tickets at the gate are $10. Children 6 and younger will be admitted free.