Food News: Columbus to resume outdoor dining program; Cajun Boil Bar opens on North Side

The latest updates from the bar and restaurant scenes

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
Patrons enjoy outdoor patio seating Downtown at Wolf’s Ridge Brewery in Sept. 2020.

The city’s Temporary Outdoor Seating Pilot Program, allowing restaurants and bars to use right-of-way and parking lots for customer seating, will resume this spring. The city’s program originally went into effect last September, well after other Ohio cities, in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and support struggling businesses. It expired in November. Last year, restaurants such as Wolf’s Ridge Brewing, Hubbard Grille and Hen Quarter took advantage of the new program, allowing them to spread out outdoor dining areas into adjacent parking areas, alleys and sidewalks to allow for safe social distancing. The program resumes on March 15. 

Platform Beer Co. employees quit their jobs and staged walkout at the brewery’s Downtown Columbus taproom on Saturday, claiming unsafe work conditions related to COVID-19 and black mold in a taproom cooler. In a statement released on Saturday, Platform co-founders Justin Carson and Paul Benner said they would begin on Monday “scheduling small group conversations with all employees, across all locations as an open forum.” The Cleveland-based brewery, which is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, opened its Columbus taproom in December 2016. Alive has more on the Platform walkout here

Cajun Boil Bar is a recent addition to the city's North Side, serving low country-style seafood dishes, fried foods, po'boys and more. The new restaurant is located at 1748 E. Dublin-Granville Rd. 

A new spot blending South Asian fare with Mexican, Asian and Italian flavors is now open for takeout or delivery at 560 S. High St. in the Brewery District. Jasmine Fusion Grill is located on the second floor in the same building as Columbus Axe Throwing. So far, the menu includes items such as samosas filled with mac ’n’ cheese, seekh kebabs and a chicken tikka hoagie. One of the restaurant’s owners, Zulfiqar Ali, was previously head chef at Tandoori Grill on Bethel Road. 

Yellow Brick Pizza is popping up March 6-8 at Short North Tavern (674 N. High St.), where the pizzeria will introduce a new creation. Its new Tiger Style Pizza promises a blend of Sicilian and Detroit styles, featuring a thick crust.  

Parsons North Brewing Co. (685 Parsons Ave.) has reopened its taproom and patio for limited on-site imbibing after operating strictly as a carry-out since November.  

Esquire recently named Middle West’s Vim & Petal gin one of the “19 Best Gin Brands to Drink Right Now,” joining other more well-established brands such as Bombay Sapphire, Gordon's London Dry Gin and The Botanist.