Fans of Ritzy’s will have to wait until 2018 to get their fill of burgers, shoestring fries and ice cream.
The city of Columbus has decided to upgrade an intersection near the store, contributing to a delay of the much-anticipated relaunch of Ritzy’s, 4615 N. High St. in Clintonville.
“It is what it is,” said Graydon Webb, founder of the original burger chain, G.D. Ritzy’s, whose last local store closed in 1991.
The work primarily will affect the signalization of the lights at the intersection of Garden Road and High Street, at the planned location of the restaurant.
The city will retain traffic lights at northbound and southbound High Street and westbound Garden Road but will add a light across from the southern access point of Ritzy’s, said Reynaldo Stargell, administrator for the Columbus division of traffic management.
If Ritzy’s opens before that happens, patrons of the restaurant would be able to turn right only as they exit onto High Street. In addition, as part of the access configuration, the north access point would be open to vehicles turning right only, meaning motorists traveling southbound on High Street could access Ritzy’s at the north entrance.
Commuters heading northbound on High Street could turn left into the south entrance of Ritzy’s.
Meanwhile, when the Garden Road light is operational and synchronized with the other traffic signals, patrons leaving from the restaurant's south entrance will be able to turn both left and right.
Traffic signs will be posted until the work is done, Stargell said.
Webb said other minor modifications are being made to the intersection. His cost for construction is $40,000, plus $2,500 annual maintenance fees for the new lights, he said.
He added work will begin on the building immediately after the final contracts are signed with the city. Webb was told it would take 90 to 120 days for the city to complete its portion of the work. In the meantime, he will work to open the restaurant but would not give a specific timeline.
“We did tell them we wanted to be open by the end of the year,” Webb said. “That isn’t practical right now.”