Given central Ohio's flourishing number of dining options, a three-month rollout might seem excessive for a new restaurant.
But Charlie and Natalie Jackson said they would rather fly their banner at the right time than get it wrong at the start.
The father and daughter said they now are ready to flaunt their fare at Natalie's Music Hall & Kitchen, which opened in early December in 9,000 square feet at 945 King Ave. in Columbus, the former home of King Avenue 5. It is just north of Grandview Heights.
Syncing a live-music venue and a separate dining component was not easy, Charlie Jackson said.
"From day one, we always wanted to have a great restaurant," he said.
So at the guidance of general manager Michael Vehlber, the Jacksons brought in veteran journeyman chef Bradley Balch, most notably of Tucci's and the Sycamore and former partner of Trillium Kitchen & Patio, which has since closed in Columbus' University District.
Charlie Jackson said Balch was given carte blanche with the menu, which offers everything from seafood gumbo to pork-belly ramen, as well as pastrami, which is cured, smoked and cooked sous vide on the premises and served on sourdough bread with pickled napa cabbage.
"It's really hard to explain," Natalie Jackson said of the menu.
One of the early surprises was the popularity of the grilled baby octopus in a yuzu vinaigrette, Balch said.
"It's a different animal, trying to balance the musical side of things and the restaurant side of things," he said. "We're trying to feel out what people want around here."
Balch said a new seasonal menu would be introduced by the end of the month.
Most items are priced $11 to $25.
The Jacksons also are the founders of Natalie's Coal-Fired Pizza & Live Music, 5601 N. High St. in Worthington, and the Light of Seven Matchsticks, a modern-day speakeasy located in the restaurant's basement.
Natalie's quickly became known for its gourmet pies, with crust charred from the high heat of the coal-fired oven, and as an intimate place to catch a live band.
Yet that limited space is somewhat constraining, and some guests do not feel comfortable dining next to a blaring speaker, Charlie Jackson said.
The new location offers a separate space for music, where a limited menu is served. The 150-seat hall features a variety of music, he said.
Still, the new Natalie's, with a revamped dining room and reoriented bar area, cranks out pizza from a 5-ton oven imported from Italy, which is fueled by wood and gas.
"It's a monster," Charlie Jackson said. "We had to knock out a wall to bring it in. Then we put the wall back up."
The oven also is used to roast the daily oyster option.
"I think we wanted to branch out and be known for more than pizza," he said.
Kitchen hours are 4 to 9 p.m. Sundays, 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and 4 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays. The restaurant is closed Mondays. For more information, call 614-436-2625.
After three years of running an online-subscription, retail and wholesale business, the owners of Florin Coffee have created a sit-down venue at 874 Oakland Park Ave. in Columbus, just east of Interstate 71.
The 25-seat cafe opened about a month ago.
Joelle Hochstedler, who owns the business with her husband, Hans, said they're excited to bring Florin Coffee "to real life."
"This area doesn't have any coffee shops," she said.
The coffee roaster, which got its start at the COhatch coworking space in Worthington, has been at the address since October 2018.
Joelle Hochstedler said the place offers a mix of micro-lot and well-cultivated beans from Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Guatemala and Kenya, among other countries.
The coffee is a medium light roast.
Other coffee beverages are available, as well as herbal teas from Foraged & Sown organic farm and traditional teas from Spirit Tea.
Florin sells baked goods and other items from a variety of local sources, including Pattycake Bakery, Tupelo Doughnuts and Sammy's New York Bagels.