Food News: Understory sets opening date in Old North; Columbus Distillery Trail launches

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

Columbus Alive
Understory, set to open Jan. 21, is located in the historic Open Air building in Old North.

Openings & Announcements 

Wolf’s Ridge Brewing’s much-anticipated new sister concept, Understory, is set to open Friday, Jan. 21, at the Open Air building (2571 Neil Ave.). Located in Old North, Understory will feature a food menu unique to the location, a cocktail program led by beverage director Travis Owens and, in warmer weather, a large patio that sits along the Olentangy Trail. During the initial opening phase, Understory’s lounge hours will be 3 p.m-11 p.m. Thursday and 3 p.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday. The plan is to eventually add Wednesdays and Sundays. 

This week, Experience Columbus announced the launch of its new Columbus Distillery Trail, a curated experience co-sponsored by Destination Grandview. The digital Distillery Trail passport includes 451 Spirits, Echo Spirits Distilling Co., Endeavor Brewing and Spirits, High Bank Distillery, Middle West Spirits, Noble Cut Distillery and Watershed Distillery. “Stamping” your passport at all seven of these local distilleries earns you a Distillery Trail t-shirt. Those 21 and over can sign up for your digital passport by visiting the Columbus Distillery Trail website

Deborah Quinci, the co-founder of Quinci Emporium (688 N. High St.), announced on Instagram yesterday that her business is moving to 11 Buttles Ave. Quinci opened her Short North cookware store in 2016 and it has since morphed into a destination for cooking classes, wine tastings and freshly made Italian prepared foods. “I wanted a place that feels more like a home where cooking classes and wine tastings occur every week, and people gather by a fireplace or around a long dinner table to savor life with great food and others,” she wrote in the announcement. Quinci, who was named Columbus Monthly Tastemaker in December, expects that the new venue will open in April. The current location will remain open through the end of this month. 

Justin Boehme’s Cajun and Creole eatery Da Levee is making a comeback at its former home, 765 N. High St., which is now a bar called Short Supply — also owned by Boehme. Orders for crawfish etouffee, gumbo, maque choux and more can be placed for pickup or delivery at dalevee.com

Lindey’s (169 E. Beck St.) has added a “Temperance Selections” menu to its substantial beverage program. The menu features nine nonalcoholic options, including a “gin” and tonic, golden milk and NA beer from Connecticut’s Athletic Brewing. 

While some restaurants are cutting back, Skillet (410 E. Whittier St.) is expanding its hours. The Schumacher Place brunch spot had been operating Friday through Sunday only during the pandemic. Starting next week, Skillet will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. 

Temporary Closings 

Dublin’s Hen Quarter (6628 Riverside Drive) announced on social media that it has closed until further notice, citing rising COVID-19 cases and the ongoing labor shortage.