Table Talk: The Royce rolls out as 'polished gastropub'
Walter Carpenter Jr. wants customers to leave the Royce, 8791 Lyra Drive in Columbus, happy.
"Hospitality comes first," said Carpenter, who recently opened the gastropub in the lifestyle section of Polaris Fashion Place. "We have a saying around here: 'One band, one sound.' "
The Royce has replaced Cantina Laredo on the east side of the mall complex.
Carpenter, a 20-year veteran of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, described the Royce as a "polished gastropub," casual but refined, with a fresh coat of paint, new carpet, tables and antique accoutrements, plus elevated fare and craft cocktails.
Most items cost $7 to $14, and only a few entrees are more than $25, including the sea bass ($27) and New York strip ($30).
Sandwich options include a classic Cuban with pulled pork; fried chicken with chili peppers and a spicy mayonnaise; and croque monsieur. Carpenter said he and chef Jonathan Olson collaborated on the menu.
Olson, formerly of the Keep Kitchen & Liquor Bar, offers his take on classic SpaghettiOs with house-blended sausage, spinach, peppers and onions, tomato sauce and tiny hoops of pasta.
Meanwhile, a cookie jar filled with three chocolate-chunk cookies is served tableside.
Olson said he used the recipe of his mother, Patsy Carpenter, for the peach cobbler and macaroni and cheese with bacon.
"We wanted to be fun," Carpenter said. "We wanted to be exciting.
"We wanted customers to come in and have a different experience each time."
The Royce, named after Carpenter's wife, is next to the fountain on the lifestyle section's piazza.
Carpenter said the size of the space, 7,100 square feet, might have had some restaurateurs doing a double take. But with big restaurant destinations, such as the Cheesecake Factory, across the commons, it was suitable for his ambitions.
With COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic restrictions still looming, the Royce, which has a private dining room and patio seating, can accommodate more guests than smaller restaurants struggling to fill tables while ensuring social distancing, he said.
"I would say the opportunity came my way, and I took full advantage of it," Carpenter said. "I absolutely love it. It's been a true passion project for me. I've been wanting to do it for years."
Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays.
For more information, call 614-468-1313.
Ivan Kane's Forty Deuce burlesque supper club started cooking July 24.
The restaurant, 3959 Brighton Rose Square in Easton Town Center, said the supper club's opening was delayed as the restaurant installed "extra hospital-grade ultraviolet disinfecting germicidal lamps to ensure the safety of our patrons," according to a news release.
The three-course dinner is $55 and available from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays.
Central Ohio's fifth Nothing Bundt Cakes has opened at 2845 Taylor Road SW in Reynoldsburg.
The bakery is known for regular-size, miniature and bite-size Bundt cakes, which come in a variety of flavors, including lemon raspberry.
The new store is open for takeout and delivery, but it has no dine-in seating.