Food News: The Royce gastropub opens; local breweries take part in Black is Beautiful campaign

Erin Edwards
Chef Jonathan Olson, who recently left The Keep Kitchen & Liquor Bar. He's the new head chef at The Royce in Polaris.

An independent restaurant calledThe Royce has filled the vacant space left by Cantina Laredo at Polaris Fashion Place. The new gastropub opened this week at 8791 Lyra Dr. The Royce is the work of ownerWalter Carpenter (he named it after his wife, Royce). Thehead chef is Jonathan Olson, a Columbus native who most recently led the kitchen at Hotel LeVeque’s The Keep Kitchen & Liquor Bar.

The Wine Bistro at 925 N. State St. in Westerville is being rebranded. The restaurant group that owns The Wine Bistro, City Brands, is changing the concept toNapa Kitchen + Bar, a sister restaurant that has locations in Dublin and Montgomery, Ohio. The spot reopens on Thursday, July 9, with a fresh look and menu of salads, flatbreads, steaks, seafood, pasta and an emphasis on wine.

As restaurants continue to struggle with operating amid the pandemic, some businesses are taking a break.The Brown Bag Deli in German Village is taking a few days off as Covid-19 cases spike in Ohio. Also,The Bottle Shop announced that it has suspended on-premise drinking as coronavirus cases in Ohio continue to climb, though its adjacent market remains open with grab-and-go cocktails and wines. Meanwhile,Katalina’s Harrison West café has temporarily closed out of caution after an employee tested positive for COVID-19 at its sibling location in Clintonville. 

The North Market has expanded its hours again after operating under limited hours because of the pandemic. The Spruce Street market is now open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Merchant hours may differ. 

Several local breweries are participating inBlack is Beautiful, a global campaigncreated by California-basedWeathered Souls Brewing Co. The campaign seeks to raise awareness of racial injustice and raise funds for police brutality reform and legal defenses. Participating breweries were tasked with brewing a moderately high ABV stout, with 100 percent of the proceeds from every Black is Beautiful beer going to local charities supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.Local participants (which are rolling out beer releases at different times) includeLand Grant Brewing, BrewDog USA, Seventh Son Brewing Co., Nocterra Brewing Co. and Olentangy River Brewing Co.