Food News: Harvest is the Columbus Zoo’s official pizza; Martha’s Fusion Kitchen now open

The latest updates from the bar and restaurant scenes

By Erin Edwards
Spicy Yuma pizza and a Harvest Pale Ale, from Harvest Pizza

Locally owned Harvest Pizzeria is now the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium’s official pizza provider. Zoo visitors can now find the pizza at the Congo River Market Food Court and Mapori Restaurant in Heart of Africa, as well as at Harbor Pizza when Zoombezi Bay opens. No word yet on whether the animals like Spicy Yuma. 

Martha’s Fusion Kitchen, a new spot for Mexican food and more, recently opened at 3331 Maize Rd., formerly Bella’s Pizza. The eclectic menu includes salads, barbacoa and birria tacos, gyros and pizzas.

Lola’s Kitchen + Bar is expected to open soon at 201 S. High St., a Downtown restaurant space that has been empty since short-lived Tios Tacos and Tequila left the picture. Its owners are restaurant veterans whose past businesses include Cinco, Café Lola and Burgers Dogs and Fries.

The Jimmy V’s space at 912 S. High St. is under new ownership and now has a new name: Double Take Bar & Grill. The food menu covers all the bar fare classics such as wings, nachos and burgers but also includes American grill staples such as steaks, pastas and seafood.

It was announced Tuesday that Willowbeez SoulVeg, Carnell Willoughby’s vegan soul food pop-up, is the latest addition to the historic North Market on Spruce Street. The new merchant is expected to open this spring and will take over the space most recently occupied by Pistacia Vera. Read more here

Crunchwerks, the nascent cloud kitchen from the owners of Summit Music Hall and chef Mysti Burris, is ready to welcome customers in person. The venue at 2210 Summit St. will open its doors for dine-in on March 6, with live music soon to follow. Crunchwerks, which pays homage to the beloved Taco Bell Crunchwrap, was conceived as a way to bring in money while Summit was shut down because of COVID-19. Read more about Crunchwerks and Summit’s pandemic pivot here.

The forthcoming Jackie O’s on Fourth project received overwhelmingly positive feedback at Tuesday’s meeting of the Columbus Downtown Development Commission. Commissioners asked the brewery’s owner, Art Oestrike, and the project’s designers to come back next month with more details about the development’s materials, lighting and streetscaping improvements. Oestrike made clear that the new Jackie O’s concept at 171 N. Fourth St. prioritizes outdoor spaces because of the pandemic. The proposed design features a large, multi-tiered patio with ample greenery and parking for food trucks. Phase one of the new brewpub will not include indoor drinking and dining, though a kitchen is expected to be added at a later date.

The food merchants at Budd Dairy Food Hall are holding a series of hiring events over the upcoming weeks. The in-person hiring events take place from noon to 4 p.m. Feb. 27, March 6 and March 13 at the food hall, 1086 N. Fourth St.