Central Ohio's first Swensons Drive-In officially is open for business.

Officials with Swensons, Columbus City Council member Michael Stinziano and about 20 employees of the store at 7490 Sawmill Road in Columbus, near Dublin, gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday morning, Nov. 9.

"Columbus has been awesome so far. People seem to like us," said Swensons district manager Quinn Hodgkiss.

The Dublin location started construction this summer, and the company already has broken ground on a second drive-in restaurant on Ikea Way near Ikea and Topgolf.

"We just started thinking to ourselves, 'Well, where else could we go?' and Columbus made a huge amount of sense for us because we know that there's a lot of transplants from Akron who've come to Columbus who are here now," said Crystal Griffith, director of marketing for Swensons.

The first customer served Nov. 9 was one of those northeast Ohio transplants.

Northeast Columbus resident Elliot Spaudie drove into the parking lot around 9:45 a.m. with his dogs, Kai and Echo, to get a Galley Boy, French fries and ranch dressing.

"It's just a tradition that's been a part of me, and these guys (Kai and Echo), for a while," Spaudie said. "We've always been going to Swensons. Seven Hills was our location."

When in high school, Spaudie celebrated the end of tough studying with a trip to the drive-in.

"After our finals, we would go to the Seven Hills Swensons and we'd celebrate what we called 'Swestivus' and we'd just overwhelm them – but they loved it," Spaudie said.

Swensons is open from 11 a.m. to midnight Sundays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

aarmbruster@thisweeknews.com

@AbbyArmbruster

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