Once upon a time, Mac's Cafe was among a handful of rustic Short North locales pouring a respectable black-and-tan and serving fish and chips -- the Scottish way.
But that was 30 years ago, and time caught up with the classic.
After an aggressive month-long renovation project, the restaurant has returned with a new look and a new name -- Mac's, A Proper Pub -- at 693 N. High St., Columbus.
"It was time," said Doug Sexton, who shepherded the renovation on behalf of the owners. "The neighborhood has grown around us. And while this is an iconic destination in the Short North, we wanted to appeal not only to our regulars but new customers in the Short North."
The space still is long and narrow -- seating more than 90 -- with a quartz-topped bar. Track lighting has brightened the interior, while neutral tones have given the pub a warm ambience.
A menu upgrade, led by co-chefs Bob Kelty and Ro Long, with the help of consulting chef Joe Colburn of Barley's Brewing Co., flaunts some Gaelic flair, such as Scotch eggs, Guinness stew, steak pie and bangers and mash.
Dishes, with few exceptions, are made from scratch, Sexton said.
One item in the offing might attract the attention of patrons: a haggis special.
"We're going to do it on occasion, but we need to get situated here," Sexton said.
Although Mac's leans Scottish, its menu isn't entirely rooted in classic fare.
Patrons can get loaded tater tots, burgers, sauerkraut balls and wings. (Yes, the "no-refund" hot-wing sauce on the menu still is an option.)
Most prices are in the $10 to $14 range, with entrees costing $17 to $23.
The tap-beer selection has increased to 20, and the collection of top-shelf whiskeys has improved, too, Sexton said.
Mac's was founded by business partners Ron Jezerinac and Pat Melick, who still own the place.
"We're better than we ever were," said Sexton, who is married to Jezerinac's daughter, Tiffany.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. daily. For more information, call 614-221-6227.
Golden Tavern has opened in the old J. Lindsay's location at 5453 Bethel Sawmill Center in northwest Columbus.
Owner Will Valdivia and his uncle, Jesus Valdivia, spruced up the interior of the bar, added some pool tables and a dart board and installed a tap system serving 10 beers.
Will Valdivia, a Los Angeles native, had planned to open with a SoCal menu, but bringing the kitchen up to code remains a work in progress, he said. Thus, he is letting patrons bring in food from surrounding businesses, he said.
Valdivia said he also has considered inviting food trucks into the parking lot until the kitchen rehab is complete.
A fall opening is expected for central Ohio's second Elia Athenian Grill, which will join four other tenants in a 14,000-square-foot addition at the Gateway in Columbus' University District.
Elia, which opened in February 2017 at 20 N. High St. in downtown Columbus, is known for its spit-roasted pork gyros with homemade tzatziki and other pita options, as well as build-your-own salads and bowls.
Other new Gateway tenants will be Abercrombie & Fitch, Good Night John Boy, Coffee Connections and City Gear.