Gahanna restaurants plate various delivery options for customers

Marla K. Kuhlman
ThisWeek group
Brandon Ferguson and Olivia Dorado (in back) get the outside tables ready for guests at Barrel & Boar in Gahanna on Nov. 23. Restaurants are trying to keep outside dining possible through winter months.

Some Gahanna restaurants are offering free meal delivery, curbside pickup and heated patios in trying to retain patrons while keeping them safe during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Cap City Gahanna, 1301 Stoneridge Drive, is offering complimentary delivery within a 6-mile radius of the restaurant, said Ryan Kolsky, general manager. 

“Overall, carryout is a big part of our business, with about 40% carryout,” he said. “It has been a new normal. It’s working out for us.”

When the restaurant is full, Kolsky said, Cap City has a text system to let guests know when their table is ready. 

“Curbside has been our big focus,” he said. “It works similar to reservations. When guests arrive, we have them text. We have carryout parking spots and everything comes out right to them.”

Inside, he said, plexiglas dividers are appropriately spaced. 

Kolsky said a new air-filtration system also has been installed that kills 99% of bacteria.

“It has made people more comfortable,” he said. “We’re doing everything we can to keep going.”

Carryout carries Arepazo

Maria Gonzales, general manager at Arepazo Gahanna, 93 N. High St., said online orders are being handled through DoorDash and ChowNow food-ordering platforms. 

“Thank goodness for carryout,” she said. “That’s what’s keeping us afloat at this location. We had to transition to online only. They pay ahead. To everyone who has been supporting us, we’re grateful. Not everyone is tech savvy or wants to pay with credit cards. We appreciate the help.”

Inside the restaurant, Gonzales said, only eight tables are available for seating because of social-distancing requirements, and only two chairs are at the bar.

“Now we’re taking people’s numbers and let them know when we have a table available,” she said. “We’re grateful for everyone who’s taking the time to help us. We’re a small, family-owned restaurant. We’re thankful.”

101 Beer Kitchen counting on apps, gift-card deal

Alex Reibold, sous chef at 101 Beer Kitchen, 397 Stoneridge Lane, said overall sales have shifted from dine-in to more than half takeout service.

“Out of overall sales, we were 8% to 10% (takeout), and now we’re 50% to 55% to-go sales,” he said. “We’ve done the curbside carryout.”

Reibold said 101 added DoorDash and Grubhub and saw an increase in sales.

“Whether eating in or taking to go, the chef does a great job,” he said. “We’re cautious to make sure we’re being as safe as possible.”

Reibold said the restaurant would text customers in the event of a line for a table, but that hasn’t been needed lately. 

“When we reopened in May, people were crowding, and we put up plexiglas and marked floors. We hired staff to make sure people were standing at the correct marks,” he said.

Reibold said business was about 80% leading up to Thanksgiving, but he since has seen a severe decline. 

Customers are being offered a gift-card deal, he said.

Anyone who purchases $100 in gift cards will receive $20 to spend Jan. 2 to March 28, 2021.

Firepit warms Barrel & Boar's patio

Sam Carl, executive chef at Barrel & Boar Creekside, 121 Mill St., said patrons enjoy sitting at the restaurant’s outside firepit and the partially covered patio.

“Customers like to sit there and enjoy the scenery and lights,” he said. 

Carl said the business has had the heaters for quite a while.

“They crank nice and hot,” he said. “There are windows throughout the patio, and you can see the pretty lights. We have TV’s out there. We will have the games on Saturdays and Sundays.”

Carl said the business is trying to make it as comfortable as possible for customers. 

“We’re keeping everything clean, and everyone wears masks,” he said. “We have hand-sanitizing stations everywhere.”

Carl said Barrel & Boar is putting an emphasis on takeout this winter.

“We’re getting together extra takeout for sales,” he said. “We will put together some family feasts, holiday meals with fixin's on the side.”

City: Heaters are on the horizon

In response to the challenges posed by COVID-19, the Gahanna business community has been employing creative ways to offer safe and socially distant environments for customers, emphasizing outdoor dining options, expanding online ordering and adding delivery services and incentives, said Laurie Jadwin, Gahanna mayor. 

“With colder weather approaching and options for outdoor dining more limited, some restaurants are adding new family-meal options for carryout, seeking to attract increased online business at a time when in-dining options are even more challenging,” she said.

Jadwin said the city would add new outdoor heaters to the Creekside Plaza to make it more comfortable and appealing for guests to stay in the area while supporting local businesses.

The heaters are scheduled to be delivered by early January, said Carrin Wester, city communications manager.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla