Food News: Way Down Yonder to open a beignets shop; Hunan House closes after 39 years

Restaurant openings, closings and more Central Ohio food and drink news

Erin Edwards
Yonder Gordan owner of Way Down Yonder in the Great Southern Shopping Center on High Street.

Openings & Announcements 

The team behind Way Down Yonder New Orleans Finest Restaurant (3847 S. High St.) plans to open a new spin-off business called Way Down Yonder Beignets & Coffee in Downtown Columbus, according to posts on the business’ social media accounts. The new spot is set to open in at 386 E. Main St. this fall, not far from Franklin University and Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Chef/owner Yonder Gordon has operated her Cajun and Creole family restaurant on the South Side since May 2019. You can read about chef Gordon’s journey here.  

Plans were unveiled last week for the former Hoster Brewing Co. complex in the Brewery District. The Columbus Dispatch reports that the complex is to become Front & Fulton, a 242,000-square-foot development featuring 40 apartments, event space, offices and "four or five bars, restaurants and coffee shops.” Read more about Front & Fulton here

Cameron Mitchell’s El Segundo Mexican Kitchen (698 N. High St.) is ready for its grand opening on Tuesday, Aug. 31. The restaurant fills the Short North spot previously occupied by Harvey & Ed’s. Here’s what you can expect.  

Closings 

The landmark Chinese restaurant Hunan House (2350 E. Dublin-Granville Road) has closed after 39 years in business. Reached by phone Monday, owner Jason Chang confirmed the news, citing the pandemic and the ongoing hiring crisis as reasons for the closure. “We just didn’t have enough staff to stay open,” he said, adding that the restaurant has been up for sale for the past six months. The restaurant's sister business, Hunan Lion, remains open on the Northwest Side at 2038 Crown Plaza Dr. 

Events

With its stylish and serene space, warm and friendly service, creative and delicious bakery and brunch-style fare and its principled commitment to help victims of human trafficking, terrific new Freedom a la Cart Cafe & Bakery has a lot of great qualities. And it has a secret, too. This Saturday, Sept. 4, Freedom a la Cart will reveal its secret: the previously undisclosed Downtown location of Eat Up Columbus, an outdoor soiree held that evening inspired by Diner-en-Blanc-style “underground supper clubs.” The fancy dinner party will feature live music, table decoration competitions, a silent auction and food from esteemed purveyors such as Chapman’s Eat Market, Woodhouse Vegan, Wolf’s Ridge Brewery, and Cameron Mitchell Premier Events. For more information and tickets go to freedomalacart.org/eat-up/. -G.A. Benton