Westerville restaurants tout 'happiness in a box,' 'Welcome Back special'

Marla K. Kuhlman
ThisWeek group
Bartender Tyler Sole prepares to light a smoker to put the finishing touches on a drink called the Uptown Old Fashioned, a choice of bourbon or rye with vanilla syrup and angostura bitters and smoked with cinnamon bark, at Asterisk Supper Club, 14 N. State St. in Westerville, on Nov. 30.

Westerville restaurants are finding ways to keep their customers coming back while following safety protocols as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

“It is of the utmost importance that all our guests feel safe when dining in our establishment,” said Kelli Allen, general manager of Asterisk Supper Club, 14 N. State St.

Allen said a fair amount has been added to the menu to make it takeout-friendly, and curbside pickup for all takeout orders is available upon request. 

“Like all restaurants, we have had really good days and some not-so-great days,” Allen said. “What makes all of this worth it in the restaurant world is the guests. 

“Regulars or not, you make an impression and it lasts. Without them we would not be here, and we are forever grateful for everyone who steps in our doors.”

She said Asterisk hasn’t had the business to need outdoor heating elements as there’s always space inside, where everyone must follow social-distancing protocols and wear masks while waiting to get their food. 

Allen said one of the fun and exciting things Asterisk offers and patrons can look forward to is a Winter Tea Party To Go. 

This year it will be two weekends, Dec. 12-13 and 19-20. 

“We are glad we can do it this way this year, as this tea party is a crowd favorite, but we have limited seating and sell out fast,” Allen said. “This way everyone will get a little happiness in a box. Even if large families have to have a virtual tea party with their loved ones, it will feel special to them in one way or another.”

The tea party will feature two winter-themed teas, a soup, six tea sandwiches, two mini scones and two mini desserts. 

“We are extremely grateful to still be operating and look forward to many more years to come,” Allen said.

Curbside delivery

Tony Cabilovski, owner of Uptown Deli and Brew, 41 N. State St., said carryout orders increased dramatically at the onset of the pandemic and during the shutdown.  

“I’m guessing it will increase again as the weather continues to get colder,” he said. “Our entire menu is available for carryout, so we didn’t need to add carryout-specific items. 

“Fortunately for us, our menu items travel well and are conducive to carryout.”

Uptown Deli and Brew offers curbside pickup and communicates with guests through text messages when they arrive. 

“We run their order out to them,” Cabilovski said. “On the brewery side, we also offer growlers and those have become very popular for carryout and curbside delivery, as well.”

He said Uptown Deli and Brew definitely will keep the patio open through winter. 

“We will seat and serve guests out there if it isn’t too cold and unreasonable,” Cabilovski said. “We’ve added a couple of patio heaters, as well, to help in the colder temperatures.”

'Welcome Back' special

The Old Bag of Nails Pub, 24 N. State St., is offering specials, even lowering the price of its popular fish and chips.

Dannielle Davis, general manager, said a “Welcome Back” special for a basket of fish and chips costs $10 until the first of the year at all locations. 

“Many businesses raised their prices,” she said. “We actually cut ours. Normally, it costs $13.99.”

Davis said the restaurant offers many lunch specials, too.

“Everyone eats here or gets it to go,” she said. “The goal is to make people leave with full bellies. We’re doing OK.”

Inside the restaurant, Davis said, sanitation is taken very seriously, and the high booths help with social-distancing requirements. 

“If we have a wait, we do old school,” she said. “We would ask them (customers) to wait in their car. We take their name and give them an about time. When the table is ready, we will call them on their phone.”

Davis said another special currently being offered is for any table spending $50 or more, a $10 gift card is provided for the next visit. 

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla