Restaurant openings, closings and more local food and drink news.

The city’s newest hotel bar and restaurant is about to open at the Crowne Plaza Columbus-Downtown, which has undergone a 10-month renovation. Vine + Forge Restaurant & Lounge (33 E. Nationwide Blvd.) will hold a soft opening starting at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, with a limited food menu. The bar’s cocktail program is the handiwork of Cleveland-based bar consultant Shawn Ford, a regular on the TV show “Bar Rescue.” The street-level restaurant, headed by executive chef Angela Allison, will unveil its full food menu in November.

The Columbus Italian Festival takes over the southern end of Italian Village this weekend, featuring a variety of Italian foods, cooking demonstrations and live entertainment.The festival’s epicenter is St. John the Baptist Catholic Church (720 Hamlet St.). Event hours are 5-11 p.m. Friday, noon-11 p.m. Saturday and noon-7 p.m. Sunday. Visit for more information.

A new Persian eatery called Caspian Restaurant is now open at 4989 Cleveland Ave. in Northland. Chef/owner Victoria Nemati’s menu features a variety of traditional salads kebabs, stews such as ghormeh sabzi and desserts such as baklava.

Choripan Argentine Grill is now serving empanadas, wings and sandwiches at 5927 Karric Square Dr. in Dublin. 

Watershed Distillery’s popular Nocino, an Italian walnut liqueur, is currently being re-released as a barrel-finished Nocino. The limited-release spirit, which spends seven months in one of the distillery’s spent bourbon barrels, took home gold earlier this month at the 2019 New York World Wine and Spirits Competition. Bottles are available at the distillery (1145 Chesapeake Ave.) and at area liquor stores and retailers.