Food News: Zaytoon Mediterranean Grill joins Budd Dairy; Downtown loses another eatery

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

Erin Edwards
Hummus and falafel from Zaytoon Mediterranean Grill

Openings & Announcements 

Zaytoon Mediterranean Grill is set to join Budd Dairy in the food hall’s incubator space, The Hatch. Zaytoon, meaning olive in Arabic, serves a menu of homemade hummus and falafel, lamb and beef gyros, chicken shawarma and more. It will make its Budd Dairy debut on Tuesday, Sept. 21. Owner Mo Jallaq, who hails from Hebron City, Palestine, opened his first restaurant last year at 5450 Westpointe Plaza Drive in Hilliard. Zaytoon replaces The Cheesecake Girl, which left the market's incubator space in mid-September and opened its first standalone storefront that same week in Dublin. The news follows last week’s announcement that Mrs. Turbo’s Cookies is joining Budd Dairy in its new rotating kitchen for sweets, dubbed Sugar. 

Travis Owens, the creator of what was arguably Columbus’ best cocktail bar for a time, has joined Wolf’s Ridge Brewing as its bar manager. The former Curio owner will also oversee the bar program at the brewery’s forthcoming bar, Understory, in Old North. Since closing Curio on June 30, 2018, Owens has operated his own cocktail consulting and bar ice business, Behind the Glass. Click here to learn more about what Owens has in store at Wolf’s Ridge and about his decision to jump back behind the bar.  

Comune (677 Parsons Ave.) announced this week that it has a new executive chef. Matt Harper joins the plant-based restaurant after serving as executive chef at Orto in Baltimore and Kensington Quarters in Philadelphia. Prior to that he was chef de cuisine at Philly's award-winning Israeli restaurant, Zahav. Harper is the third executive chef in less than three years for Comune, which was heralded as one of the best in the city not long after opening in November 2018. 

New Albany has a new breakfast spot called Morning Ritual, the sister brand to LC’s sporty restaurant, The Goat. The new coffee shop is located at 5704 New Albany Road W, just steps away from The Goat. It opens at 7 a.m. daily, with coffee sourced from Nashville’s Frothy Monkey Roasting Co., biscuit sandwiches and pastries. 

Closings

The pandemic appears to have claimed another Downtown restaurant, according to a “For Lease” sign in the window at Andes Bar & Grill (79 S. Fourth St.). The dining room has been cleared out as well. The Latin American restaurant had been temporarily closed since June because of staffing issues. It's unclear whether the restaurant will relocate; messages left with the owner have not been returned.  

Events

The 2021 Ohio Pawpaw Festival, celebrating one of America’s largest native tree fruits, takes place Friday through Sunday, Sept. 17-19, at Lake Snowden in Albany, Ohio. (In case you missed it, Alive’s own Joel Oliphint has a pawpaw primer here.) The community event celebrates Asimina triloba through educational presentations and competitions such as a pawpaw cook-off and a pawpaw-eating contest. Learn more at ohiopawpawfest.com

North Market’s Mix & Shake event, previously scheduled for Oct. 1, has been postponed until further notice. According to a post on the North Market website, the decision to delay the event stems from the pandemic and the city’s mask mandate, which would prohibit guests from strolling around the market while eating and sampling spirits from Ohio distillers. According to the announcement, “all ticket holders and other event stakeholders will be contacted regarding next steps.”