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 will upgrade an intersection near the planned site of the restaurant, 4615 N. High St. in Clintonville. That means the much-anticipated relaunch of Ritzy's will be delayed.
"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 traffic signals at the intersection of Garden Road and High Street -- the site of the former A&W restaurant and, most recently, used-car lot that will become Ritzy's.
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 out-of-pocket 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 said he 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."
Little Eater opens
Little Eater Clintonville, 4215 N. High St., will open its doors at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19.
The vegetarian restaurant, founded in 2012 as a pop-up at the Hills Market in Worthington, opened its first location in 2015 at the North Market.
It's known for its "scoops" of seasoned veggies; the Clintonville location will offer nine seasonal scoops daily, which can be mixed and matched or paired with soup, salad, sandwiches or quiche.
Little Eater, which shares a building with Hot Chicken Takeover, 9Round Fitness and Bishops hair salon, also will offer beer and wine, pending the results of a liquor option on the Nov. 7 ballot. The restaurant's patio is set to open in the spring.
Opening-week hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Oct. 19, 4 to 9 p.m. Oct. 20-22. Regular hours will be 4 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, with breakfast and lunch hours added in the future.
Little Eater founding chef and owner Cara Mangini said in a press release that it's a "joy and a pleasure" to open her restaurant in Clintonville.
"We couldn't be happier or more grateful to open our own doors to Columbus and our Clintonville neighbors, and to be able expand our support of hero farmers and food producers in our community," she said.
Westies Gastropub will replace the Wine Bistro in Clintonville.
Columbus' second Westies is slated to open the first quarter of 2018 in the former Wine Bistro location at 4416 N. High St. The latter restaurant opened in 2013 and shut its doors in May.
The original Westies is at 940 S. Front St.
Westies is part of a small local chain, founded by Tony Selimi, that also includes Biscuit & Branch and Berliner Pub.
Paul Yow, culinary director for the company, said the Westies menu in Clintonville will mirror the one at the Brewery District location.
"There might be one or two differences but almost all the same," Yow said.
Westies is known for its upscale tavern menu, which includes barbecue ribs, buttermilk fried chicken, pizza and a Korean barbecue burger made with Ohio grass-fed beef.
Yow said the interior will be significantly remodeled.