The latest updates from the bar and restaurant scenes

There’s good news on the local bakery front following the unfortunate closing of Granville’s Lucky Cat Bakery, whose breads you could find on local restaurant menus and grocery shelves. Jeff Benkel, a Columbus native and Ohio State grad, plans to launch Buckeye Bread Co. this spring. 

The bakery, which is currently under construction at 1505 Alum Creek Dr.,will fill a void locally by producing “artisan-quality breads in commercial quantities with daily fresh delivery,” Benkel said via email.

Benkel has lived in Phoenix for the past 34 years and brings with him considerable experience. He founded the wholesale artisan bakery Arizona Bread Co. 26 years ago. 

“This bakery is the result of my annual trips to Columbus to meet with friends and take in a Buckeye game,” Benkel said. “After speaking with a group of restaurant managers in the Short North about where they got their bread, it became quickly apparent that no one in Columbus is doing what I do in Phoenix.”

Although Arizona Bread Co. has a café/bakery in Scottsdale, Benkel said he has no plans to open a storefront in Columbus. However, the company’s breads will be available on a retail level at local farmer’s markets and groceries.

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There’s a new Korean barbecue option in town. Don Pocha has opened at 4710 Reed Rd. in Upper Arlington alongside its sister restaurant, Poong Mei Asian Bistro. Customers can cook Korean barbecue at the table or choose from a variety of hot pots and soups. Don Pocha also offers barbecue meals to-go.

The plant-based restaurant Comune (677 Parsons Ave.) has reopened for carry-out after being closed since November out of safety concerns associated with COVID-19. Comune is offering a daytime menu from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday that features some of its old favorites such as dan dan noodles, a sweet potato torta and togarashi fries.

Novak’s Tavern & Patio (475 N. High St.) has decided to temporarily close its doors, according to a post on the bar’s Facebook page.