Smoke from the Pit BBQ Grille has drifted to 1542 Parsons Ave. in south Columbus -- and it soon will make its way to Clintonville.

Smoke from the Pit BBQ Grille has drifted to 1542 Parsons Ave. in south Columbus -- and it soon will make its way to Clintonville.

The Parsons Avenue restaurant has the same basic setup as the original location, which opened in 2016 at 3545 Cleveland Ave. in Columbus' North Linden neighborhood. Two former Ohio State University football players, cornerback Chimdi Chekwa and offensive lineman Bryant Browning, opened the restaurant with Mike Johnson and D'Andre Martin.

The latest Pit BBQ Grille takes over the ground floor of a building that has been painted red and refurbished inside and out. It seats 50, divided between indoor and outdoor picnic tables.

The menu features such additions as the Pit Bowl -- a choice of smoked meats, macaroni and cheese, homemade coleslaw and the house barbecue sauce, which is "sweet with a kick in the end," Browning said.

All meats -- brisket, pulled pork, ribs and rib tips -- are smoked on the premises over mesquite and hickory. The owners include an extra step in the cooking process: grilling the meat over charcoal after it comes out of the smoker.

"The charcoal is the taste we really like," said Chekwa, who retired from the NFL after playing four years with the Oakland Raiders and one with the Miami Dolphins.

Browning, Johnson and Martin grew up in Cleveland, so they were inspired to put a Polish boy sandwich on the menu. The all-beef sausage, made locally by Falters Fine Meats, is topped with fries, coleslaw and barbecue sauce. Its counterpart, a Polish girl sandwich, has pulled pork and fries.

The new Pit BBQ Grille location has a liquor license.

Meanwhile, the restaurateurs have signed a lease for a third location, 4219 N. High St., next to Hot Chicken Takeover in Clintonville.

Two years ago, the partners invested in a food truck, which is available for catering birthdays, weddings and other special events.

They started promoting the new restaurant in recent weeks by using the truck to distribute samples, Martin said.

"The food truck has expanded our brand and helped people get to know us," he said.

Hours at the Parsons Avenue location will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays for the time being, though hours could be expanded after they settle in, Chekwa said.

For more information, call 614-824-1879.


Chatime is now Kirin Noodle Bar in Clintonville.

Specializing in Asian-style teas, the restaurant at 4227 N. High St. has undergone a name change because owner Qiuyi Chen has added a menu of dim sum and noodle dishes.

Chen said she will keep her Chatime franchise, part of a Taiwan-based company, while serving steamed and fried buns, dumplings, noodle soups, dry-noodle dishes and appetizers, created using her own recipes.


A new place in downtown Columbus might help central Ohioans escape the winter blahs, if only for a short time.

Palmas Tropical Escape is open at 46 N. High St.

The tropical theme is evident both in decor and on the menu, which includes dishes specific to the Caribbean, Central America and South America.

Omar D'Angelo, who also operates Barroluco Argentine Comfort Food, 47 N. Pearl St., owns the restaurant.