The Columbus Ohio Mystery Association has emerged from the closing of Shanes Gourmet Catering just east of German Village.

The Columbus Ohio Mystery Association has emerged from the closing of Shanes Gourmet Catering just east of German Village.

The acting troupe from Cloak & Dagger Dinner Theatre, which was based at Shanes for six years, has formed COMA to preserve murder-mystery theater in the area.

COMA is performing "Malice" at the Fettuccine Saloon every Tuesday at the Spaghetti Warehouse, 397 W. Broad St. in Columbus' Franklinton neighborhood.

"I'm pretty good with that," said Steve Emerson, co-founder of COMA and former artistic director of Cloak & Dagger. "I'm fine now."

In late December, the sentiment was different when Shanes abruptly closed after members of the O'Neill family, the owners of the building at 447 E. Livingston Ave, said they had a buyer for the property.

Emerson said he formed the new company with Lorelei Moore, also an actor at Cloak & Dagger. They were joined by the company's entourage of actors: Heather Caldwell, Chip Barr, Mark Hale Jr., Gavin Haap and Allison Loeffert.

COMA's next show is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24. Doors open at 6:10 p.m. Admission is $29.95 for the show and a meal. Reservations can be made by calling 614-464-0143.

Meanwhile, the O'Neill family is divesting its holdings in central Ohio to focus on other ventures in California, according to family members.

"We've all kind of moved out (to California) and it's time to move on," said Shane O'Neill, son of Shanes founder Henry "Butch" O'Neill.

Shane O'Neill said an investment group had been interested in the property, but the deal fell through last week. He said the site still is for sale.

Meanwhile, auctioneer Paul Delphia is holding an online auction of Shanes' equipment through Thursday, Jan. 19, at pauldelphia.com.

Emerson said the abrupt closing of Shanes on Dec. 22 left many audience members in the lurch. He said he knows of several outstanding gift certificates to Cloak & Dagger shows. The longtime phone number for reservations -- 614-842-2583 -- was immediately disconnected.

"We're in a lot of people's phones," Emerson said. "The name (Cloak & Dagger) has a cachet in Columbus because a lot of people who haven't been there at least know the name."

O'Neill said the family owns the Cloak & Dagger Dinner Theatre name and is determining how to proceed with reviving the troupe.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary