Matt Barbee, who's spent the better part of a year trying to open Rockmill Tavern in Columbus, finally has a brick-and-mortar location on the South Side.

Matt Barbee, who's spent the better part of a year trying to open Rockmill Tavern in Columbus, finally has a brick-and-mortar location on the South Side.

It's in the Brewery District, not German Village as originally planned.

Nevertheless, Barbee said he's pleased with his new location, which opened Oct. 25 at 503 S. Front St. adjacent to Shadowbox Live.

"I thought the bones were fantastic," he said of the building. "And I love the Brewery District. I love the street. It's got a lot of grit to it."

Inside the former World of Beer, the custom furniture and paneling on the walls was made with reclaimed Ohio wood.

A "living" wall features 300 varieties of plants. Some might call the interior rustic. Barbee said he prefers "rugged."

Rockmill has 25 taps, 10 dedicated to its Belgian-style beers.

The menu was created with the everyday diner in mind, chef Andrew Smith said.

Customers might notice a few standouts such as duck confit pot pie ($18), bone-in ribeye with black pepper gravy on the side ($32) and a spicy chicken sandwich ($12) with house-brined bread-and-butter zucchini pickles, urfa mayo (made from a Turkish pepper) and spicy honey butter melting over the golden dome of a brioche bun.

"It might seem ambitious, but we've kept the menu small and focused," Smith said.

One thing conspicuously absent is chicken wings. Barbee said he doubts customers will miss them.

"You have plenty of places with wings," he said. "You don't need another one."

Brewing operations will remain at the brewery Barbee opened six years ago in Lancaster. However, the tavern will ferment a sour beer on premises.

Rockmill also will serve breakfast 7 to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday with a limited menu and a full coffee program run by barista John Justice, formerly of Cafe Brioso.

On a sour note for Barbee, the Columbus Board of Zoning Adjustment recently denied variances related to his plans to take over the Juergens German Bakery & Restaurant, 525 S. Fourth St. in nearby German Village.

That proposal took significant effort, not only in design but with attempts to allay neighbors' concerns about parking. It was a scaled-down version of what Barbee originally intended, with a smaller patio and no brewing capacity. Jeffrey L. Brown, Barbee's attorney, said they are weighing options but declined to disclose details.

Rockmill Tavern is open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to midnight Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 614-723-9551.


A mid-December opening is planned for Borgata Pizza Cafe in the Linworth area.

Known for its hand-tossed New York City-style pies and other casual Italian fare, Borgata will open at 2245 W. Dublin-Granville Road in the Linworth Crossing development.

"We liked the spot, and we went with it," pizzeria owner Roz Auddino said. "We were trying for almost a year (to expand). We saw a lot of potential there."

The interior will seat almost 100 customers. The restaurant will have a full liquor license.

Auddino bought the original Borgata, 5701 Parkville St. in Northland, four and a half years ago.

Two new Indian restaurants have opened in central Ohio.


Madras Kitchen, a vegetarian-only restaurant, has replaced the former Curry N Grill (later renamed Greek Street) at 5720 Frantz Road.

It is owned by Suresh Kanagaraj, who opened Biryani Corner last year at 1381 Bethel Road. Biryani Corner, a carryout only, offers a full menu of meat and vegetarian dishes.


In addition, Cake Walk has opened in Lewis Center.

As its name suggests, the restaurant specializes in individual desserts and specialty cakes, plus other baked goods -- made in house.

It has a wide selection of mostly vegetarian specialties, such as chaat (crunchy Indian snacks), Mumbai street food and 15 dosas (Indian-style crepes). Some chicken options are available.

Cake Walk is at 8627 U.S. Route 23 in the Walmart shopping center, just north of Powell Road.


The Columbus Veg Community Inc. will be host to a "ThanksLiving" dinner from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 19 at the Whetstone Park of Roses shelter house.

Tickets for the vegan dinner are $12 for adults and $6 for children 12 and younger. Five percent of the proceeds will be donated to Sunrise Academy in Hilliard. Tickets can be purchased at vegcommunity.


Central Ohio's sixth Smoothie King, founded by local entrepreneur Shane Chauvin, will open Nov. 28 at 1246 W. Fifth Ave. near the Ohio State University campus.


Closed: Moe's Southwest Grill, 1478 Bethel Road.