Joe Lin has his menu in the bag.
The restaurateur's latest concept offers several styles of seafood, potatoes and corn, boiled in a bag with his own spice mixture and strewn across the table so patrons can eat picnic style.
"I think this in a couple years is going to be on top in the Columbus area," Lin said.
Cajun Boiling Seafood and Bar has replaced Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse at 2760 Brice Road in Columbus, near Reynoldsburg.
Lin, his brother, Ju, and Ivan Xie are partners in the operation. They have implemented a nautical theme in the 6,000-square-foot restaurant, which seats 100.
Patrons are able to choose their ingredients a la carte, by the piece, pound and half-pound, or select a signature boil. For example, the A2 ($32) features a lobster tail; a half-pound each of shrimp, black mussels and sausage; and a hardboiled egg, corn and potatoes.
"This one is a little bit fun," Joe Lin said of the dining style. "For a family and friends eating together, it's fun."
He said most signature boils would feed two to three people, depending on their appetites.
"It's not too expensive, given the amount of seafood," Lin said.
The menu has other Louisiana classics, such as po' boy sandwiches, fried seafood and chicken baskets, plus appetizers and sides.
Most individual dishes cost $10 to $16.
Lin said he got the idea of opening his own seafood-boil restaurant after visiting friends in Georgia.
Already the owner of Blue Ginger Asian Fusion Bistro, 6234 Sawmill Road in Dublin, Lin also opened and then quickly sold L Ginger, 65 E. State St. in Columbus.
He decided against opening another Asian restaurant because of saturation in the market, he said.
Hours are noon to 10 p.m. weekdays and noon to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, call 614-863-8667.
Freedom a la Cart will settle into new digs in downtown Columbus next summer, and it will add a cafe in the process.
The nonprofit organization, which provides jobs and life-skills training for survivors of human trafficking, will more than triple in size when it moves from 5000 Arlington Centre Blvd. in Upper Arlington to 123 E. Spring St.
Freedom a la Cart Cafe + Bakery will serve fresh-baked pastries, scratch-made meals and locally roasted coffee, in addition to favorites from the catering menu.
The catering arm of the business will open first, followed by the cafe a few months later, said Paula Haines, executive director.
Duck Donuts has joined the food vendors at the Mall at Tuttle Crossing, 5043 Tuttle Crossing Blvd. in Columbus.
Located near the food court, the chain known for its freshly made doughnuts with the customer's choice of toppings is serving its signature coffee blends, espresso drinks, doughnut breakfast sandwiches and doughnut sundaes. New menu items include frozen beverages and milkshakes.
The mall store is Duck Donuts' third central Ohio location.
C. Krueger's Finest Baked Goods, offering fresh-baked cookies, cinnamon rolls and scones, has opened at 12938 Worthington Road, Pataskala.
It also features coffee drinks, a milk bar and a buttercream-icing station and candy bar.
A pop-up store is inside the company's corporate office at 6846 Commerce Court Drive in Blacklick.
In addition, C. Krueger's former Short North shop on Brickell Street has relocated to 749 N. High St.