A long line and the aroma of pancake balls welcomed Clintonville's newest restaurant to the neighborhood this week.

A long line and the aroma of pancake balls welcomed Clintonville's newest restaurant to the neighborhood this week.

On June 3, Katalina's, a longtime brunch staple with a popular first location in Harrison West, opened its second location at 3481 N. High St. in the heart of Clintonville.

For owner Kathleen Day, Clintonville was always the goal.

The German Village resident said the "local, independent spirit of Katalina's is very alive in Clintonville." Between that and the demand for a location in the neighborhood, she said it was an easy choice.

"Since I opened (the first location), I would say the most vocal community about wanting a second Katalina's has been Clintonville," she said. "I think Clintonville is the most like-minded when it comes to Katalina's values, as far as independent spirit.

"My motto is 'peace, love and pancake balls.' Whenever I drive through Clintonville, I see peace signs, so I align with the Clintonville spirit myself."

Day said she started thinking about a second location four or five years ago, looking "mainly" in German Village and Clintonville. At the time, she would have been surprised to find out it would take years for the second location to open.

"I thought it would be instantaneous to open a second location," she said with a laugh, "but it was a lot more laborious than I ever could have imagined."

Eventually, she settled on a spot she thought had the character she was looking for in the former home of Vintage Fountain Pen Sales & Repair.

The new 2,600-square-foot location, she said, is six times as big as her Harrison West eatery.

She said she used Columbus firm Bass Studio Architects and principal architect Tim Bass, a Clintonville resident, to put her Katalina's twist on the building.

"I tried to keep the integrity of the original building," she said. "The whole thing about Katalina's is anti-corporate and being as original and quirky as possible, so we didn't do a lot to it. ... It's not like we totally came in and rehabbed the building."

At the new location -- referred to as Katalina's, Too! -- the food choices will look familiar to past guests, with some new additions to the "southern-slanted, Latin-leaning" menu.

Of course, the restaurant's signature pancake balls will return. The breakfast favorite was the first item Day envisioned for her original spot, but said she didn't expect them to attract a cult following.

"I always knew I wanted to open a restaurant, and that was the item I always knew for sure I would put on the menu," she said, "but I never thought it would become the signature item."

Since announcing her opening date, Day said the response from Clintonville and beyond has been overwhelming. She said she knows expectations are high -- and she hopes to be able to meet them.

"People love Katalina's so much that I feel like it's beyond myself, being the owner," she said. "It's just this thing that I could never have imagined. People get so excited about it that it's humbling. People are just so thrilled. ... We're grateful that Clintonville has embraced us being there. I hope we can live up to everyone's expectations."

The restaurant is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

For more information, visit katalinascafe.com.

aking@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekAndrew