A new era is dawning at Spagio, a fixture of the central Ohio fine-dining scene.

A new era is dawning at Spagio, a fixture of the central Ohio fine-dining scene.

New owner Tim Rollins, managing partner of Wine Dine Grandview LLC, said customers of the Grandview Heights restaurant will experience a "rolling refresh" throughout fall -- minor cosmetic changes and a restrained redraft of the menu on the top of the list.

Tearing down and starting all over again wasn't a reasonable approach to the transition, said Rollins, also founder of the CityBrands restaurant group, which includes Katzinger's Delicatessen, Napa Kitchen + Bar and several Wine Bistro locations.

"It seemed nuts to do anything other than Spagio at the space," he said.

While Rollins' was negotiating with Spagio founder and head chef Hubert Seifert on the sale of the restaurant, he hired chef Michael Waters to train in the kitchen for three months under Seifert.

The sale included Spagio Wine Lounge, a more casual venue with lighter foods adjacent to Spagio, 1295 Grandview Ave.

Waters, who was studying to become an engineer but had switched to Columbus State Community College's hospitality program, said he remembers dining at Spagio as a teenager.

"This was the first restaurant I ever went to and noticed it had a lot of style to it," he said.

He also noticed traditions were important, so certain items -- such as the wiener schnitzel with homemade spaetzle, the meatloaf, the lobster bisque and the wood-fired smoked-duck pizza drizzled with hoisin sauce -- will remain.

"I think the menu's great," Waters said. "Any changes we make we're going to try to keep on track with what Spagio has been doing."

The upside-down umbrellas hanging from the ceiling in part of the dining room will remain. Once homogeneous, all touting the Veuve Clicquot brand of champagne, the collection has diversified in size and color.

Just shy of 40 years ago, Seifert and his wife, Helga, began to build out their future restaurant, which has expanded three times.

"Our philosophy always was, 'You have to fit in your neighborhood,' " Seifert said. "That's what makes it."

He would commit only to semiretirement in the near future when asked about his plans.

"It's weird, when you work all your life, but it's all right," said the chef, 72.

A five-week trip to his native Germany is a goal and then taking up painting -- "possibly, one day," Seifert said.

Spagio customers can expect to see Seifert make an occasional guest-chef appearance. He also will continue to run Aubergine Private Dining Club, 1265 Grandview Ave.

Spagio's hours are 4 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 4 to 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 4 to 9:30 p.m. Sundays; it is closed Mondays. For more information, call 614-486-1114.

A new Indian restaurant that is looking to balance rich traditional flavors with fresh local ingredients in a modern presentation is opening in Columbus' Short North.

Rooh will replace Westies Gastropub at 685 N. High St.

An October opening is planned, said Bhavesh Kishinchand, who will own the restaurant with his father, Ashok.

Rooh will be upscale, sourcing as many local ingredients as possible and using halal meats. The menu will have a range of traditional and regional dishes -- butter chicken, curry beef short ribs and cauliflower Koliwada -- prepared to exacting standards, Kishinchand said.

The beverage list will include 12 distinctive New World cocktails with a blend of Indian ingredients, homemade shrubs (nonalcoholic syrups), spices and artisanal spirits.

Rooh, with locations in Chicago, San Francisco and New Delhi, India, was created by Vikram and Anu Bhambri, the husband-and-wife owners of Good Times Restaurant LLC.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

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