The Woodbury has shattered the concept of the American diner and reassembled it into "Alice in Wonderland" for the foodie set.

Consider the restaurant's hotcake tacos -- pancakes holding crispy fried chicken garnished with chili aioli, strawberry salsa and Ohio maple syrup.

"I guess our theme was, 'Why not?' " general manager Austin Crawford said of the menu.

The Woodbury, 215 E. Town St. in downtown Columbus, is part of the Olde Towne Partners' group of restaurants, which include Pecan Penny's, the Walrus and Olde Towne Tavern.

The group's founding partners -- Kevin Burns and husband-and-wife Brad and Krista Hobbs -- brought in Stanley Lan as a partner at the Woodbury. The team created a sleek, narrow restaurant decorated with multiple shades of green, oversized lamp globes, hand-painted wallpaper and an open kitchen with seating at the counter.

The Woodbury opened Dec. 18.

"When we were looking at opening a new restaurant, (we asked) what would be new?" Crawford said. "What does the neighborhood need?"

Many dishes might make guests do a double-take: a kimchee meatloaf dinner with quick-pickled cabbage (a sandwich version is available); ravioli lasagna; peanut-butter-and-jelly chicken wings; and a Vietnamese hash with pork belly, pineapple, sweet potatoes and a sunny-side up egg.

But not everything is unusual in this 104-seat restaurant, where breakfast is served all day. The menu offers traditional dishes, such as a Reuben sandwich, country-fried steak and fresh biscuits, smoked brisket and gravy.

The Woodbury has an array of burgers, including its signature option: the Woody, featuring American cheese, traditional garnishes and a "comeback sauce" made with mayonnaise, ketchup, hot sauce and other ingredients.

Most entrees cost $10 to $18.

The Woodbury is named after Benjamin Woodbury, whose family owned the building and surrounding property, Crawford said. The family crest and the restaurant's logo feature a beaver named Ben, based on the children's menu, he said.

Kitchen hours are 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily. For more information, call 614-824-5042.

Meanwhile, a coffee shop is at the west end of the Town Street building.

Local roaster Upper Cup Coffee Co. provides dark and light roasts and decaf espresso. The shop serves other coffee drinks, such as mocha and cappuccino, as well as breakfast sandwiches, all priced at $6.50.

It is open 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

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Barroluco Argentine Comfort Food is expanding.

Owner Omar D'Angelo is adding a 3,000-square-foot restaurant, Palmas Tropical Escape, to the back of the Argentinian restaurant at 47 N. Pearl St. in downtown Columbus. Palmas' address will be 46 N. High St.

"It's a break from what you see in Columbus," he said.

The daytime menu will feature slow-cooked meats, fish and sauteed vegetables. In the evening, the menu will offer tapas from several tropical countries.

Latin music will accompany the food, D'Angelo said.

A February opening is planned for Palmas Tropical Escape.

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Eugene's Canteen has closed, at least temporarily, at 765 N. High St. in Columbus' Short North.

The restaurant ceased operations Dec. 31.

The message on the restaurant's website said its time at the space "was not over, only evolving and with a new management team."

The message provided no indication when the new concept would open or what it would be called.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary