A tersely worded social-media post sent fans of an iconic Columbus eatery into a tizzy last month.
Nancy's Home Cooking the morning of April 4 posted this message to its Facebook page: "Coming soon. New Location. Nancys Home Cooking 3499 N. Market St. Powell Ohio."
Rick Hahn, owner of the venerable Clintonville restaurant, said his inbox and phone started filling up with panicked messages from longtime customers almost immediately.
"Everybody was in a frenzy and very frantic," he said.
A follow-up post that afternoon clarified Nancy's is not moving from its North High Street home, but opening a second restaurant in southern Delaware County. The posts generated hundreds of likes from relieved Columbus residents and fans of Nancy's who live near Powell.
"It's amazing that we have that kind of loyalty," Hahn said about the response to the news.
Nancy's, known for traditional breakfast fare and chicken and noodles, will join two new restaurants setting up shop on Market Street. The diner will be flanked by the American Bistro Coffee Shop and Andriah's Wine Bar in a building that formerly housed the upscale Italian restaurant Luce Nuovo.
Tony Sharp, a Dublin resident and longtime restaurant-industry veteran, said he and partner Bruce Watkins have been working on the multirestaurant concept -- known as the American Bistro -- for about two years. He said demographics drove the decision to bring the business to Powell.
"It's a higher-end area. It's a growing area," he said. "Sawmill Parkway goes all the way to Delaware now. There's going to be a lot of growth up here."
While Nancy's customers will have a lot more room to breathe in the Powell location, Sharp said he hopes to re-create the Clintonville location's classic charm.
"It's going to be the same culture in Nancy's up here," he said. "It's going to be a lot of the same food where you get a lot of bang for your dollar."
Hahn said he thinks Nancy's can replicate its success further north because many customers travel from Delaware County on the weekends to stop in for a meal in Clintonville. He said the 49-year-old diner has developed a widespread cult following in central Ohio, especially among Ohio State University alumni.
Sharp said the wine bar will feature a "completely different menu" from Nancy's and will include flatbreads, seafood and steaks. He said the bar will give city residents a new high-end dining option.
The coffee shop, which will feature a drive-thru window, will sell breakfast sandwiches, doughnuts and drinks. Stauf's Coffee Roasters, which has locations in Grandview Heights, German Village and at the North Market, will supply the shop with coffee.
Sharp said he expects the coffee shop to open by the end of May. He said the wine bar should launch a few weeks later, while Nancy's could be up and running by July 1.
Powell spokeswoman Megan Canavan said city employees are reviewing plans for the restaurants.
She said the proposal will not need approval from Powell City Council because no significant changes -- apart from the drive-thru window -- are being made to the building's exterior.