A business that started out as a small producer of mead 12 years ago in Worthington is growing in many ways.
Brothers Drake Meadery, 26 E. Fifth Ave. in Columbus' Italian Village, is ramping up its Mead Society in which customers receive specially produced bottles of house-fermented spirits; recently added a coffee shop; and is getting ready to open a second location at Polaris Fashion Place.
"It's all sorts of new beginnings for us," said Dru Batte, the company's operations manager and event coordinator.
The company last year launched the Mead Society, a quarterly program in which customers receive three bottles of small-batch mead for about $30 each, Batte said.
Membership has reached 85 customers and counting. The bottles are either shipped or available for carryout at the bar, she said.
The company, in its pledge to stay local, is fermenting the honey-based potable in liquor barrels previously used by Middle West Spirits and Watershed Distillery.
"Aging them (meads) in bourbon barrels is not dissimilar to what people do when they age beer in bourbon barrels," Batte said. "You get an essence, a flavor; it comes through on the nose. The flavor of the rum and bourbon and gin infuses in the mead."
Otherwise, mead is fermented in steel vats.
Brothers Drake also has welcomed barista Wyatt Burk, who is creating coffee drinks under the name Little Ghost Coffee Roasters.
Still waiting on permits from the city of Columbus, Little Ghost has yet to officially serve its first espresso, Burk said. But freshly roasted coffee is imminent, he said.
Burk recently ran two businesses – the Bitter Barista and Little Ghost Roastery – under the same roof at 249 King Ave. in Columbus. After losing his lease, Burk said he was asked to join Brothers Drake by mead maker Sarah Schiffbauer, who wanted to experiment with coffee mead.
"This place has way more potential than the last place did," Burk said.
Burk said he uses arabica beans mostly from one farm in India. He said he will offer everything from light to dark roasts and an array of coffee drinks.
Hours have not been set, but Burk intends to serve customers in the morning.
Brothers Drake plans to open its second location by the end of the month at 1554 Polaris Parkway.
The 8,400-square-foot space, now known as COhatch's the Pub, is a co-working space during the day and bar at night. Brothers Drake intends to offer the full complement of drinks it has in Italian Village – central Ohio craft brews and drinks using locally distilled spirits – as well as a small fermenting space. But it won't serve coffee.
Hours at the Italian Village location are 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesdays, 5 p.m. to midnight Wednesdays and Thursdays, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays, 1 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Saturdays and 1 to 8 p.m. Sundays. The business is closed Mondays. For more information, call 614-388-8765.
SOW Plated, a made-from-scratch restaurant offering the freshest ingredients available at any given time, has moved into the former Royal Ginger Asian Fusion Bistro at 1625 W. Lane Ave. in Upper Arlington.
SOW is an acronym for the restaurant's "three pillars of identity": sustainable, organic and wellness.
Update: Fans of the Woodhouse Vegan Pop-Up will have to wait until after summer for the restaurant to move into its permanent space in Italian Village.
Cara Woodhouse, a co-owner of the venue, said workers are building out the 1,000-square-foot storefront at 851 N. Fourth St.
It's been nine months since the Woodhouse family – which includes her sisters, Krista and Nicole, and her mother, Carla – announced their intention to move to the Italian Village neighborhood.
Cara Woodhouse said the new restaurant will be called Woodhouse Vegan Cafe and Space.
For now, customers can find the cuisine at Oddfellows Liquor Bar, 1038 N. High St. in Columbus.