Dis 'n' Data
By Margaret Marten, Editor
DIS 'N' DATA ARCHIVE
The Pearl Restaurant, Tavern & Oyster Room opened on February 5 in the former Burgundy Room space at 641 N. High St. The Cameron Mitchell gastropub seats about 150 and opens at 4 p.m. every day. Brunch is served on the weekend beginning at 10 a.m. General manager Amberlyn Heiney worked her way up in management at the neighboring Marcella’s before stepping into her current position. Executive chef Peter Chapman left Martini Modern Italian to take charge of the new operation’s kitchen. The restaurant offers a casual setting and bar for those who want to unwind with a cocktail after work or grab a dessert. The chef- driven menu filled with creative content provides ample reason to settle in with a quality meal. Visit online at ThePearlColumbus.com
Further north in the old Havana space, the Arch City Tavern with its magnificent 54-foot mural honoring the city’s history (drawn by Vasiliev Nini), will finally open for business on March 5 at 862 N. High St. Owners Xhevair Brakaj and Koli Memushaj worked tirelessly over the past eight months to create a historic atmosphere of 150 years ago. Their fine workmanship involved designing and building the hardwood bar themselves, constructing a metal arch with lights that spans the room, cutting and laying handmade bricks, as well as commissioning Amish workmen to build the furnishings. Chef Eric Gordon’s menu brings a tasteful collaboration between bar food and craft beer. Everything is made from scratch with ingredients from local markets, meats and bakers. A fig and goat cheese pizza with arugula is on the pie list. Other items include creative burgers with custom-ground beef, moules-frites (a Belgian blend of mussels and fries to complement Belgian beer), onion soup served in a bowl of hollowed-out onion, quality cheese and charcuterie. The alcohol list offers 52 whisky, bourbon and scotch selections as well as 50 craft beer. The Arch City Tavern is open daily from 4 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Visit www.archcitytavern.com or call 614-725-5620 to learn more.
In February, Justin Boehme closed Da Levee for a couple weeks in order to fulfill his three-year-long dream of running the business as a full restaurant and bar. With a liquor and beer permit finally in place, and enough money saved, Boehme decided to rebrand his eatery with a totally fresh look. “You’re not going to recognize a single thing about it once you walk in the front door,” he said. The remodeling project incorporated going green – “upcycling,” using repurposed material, reclaimed barn wood, salvaged Chicago bricks, light fixtures from Napa Valley wine-barrel rings. The seating has a window bar facing High Street, providing a view of pedestrian traffic, and those bar stools were constructed of salvaged wood from destroyed barns in the Joplin, Mo., tornadoes. Longer-term goals include a patio out front once it’s approved by the city (the only streetfront patio along that side of High), and a new frier within a couple months that will expand the Cajun menu. “It was time to close and make my dream come true,” said Boehme. Da Levee, located at 765 N. High, is now open until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 p.m. earlier in the week. A three-year anniversary and grand reopening celebration is scheduled on Friday, March 15. Their number is 614-653-8338. Also visit www.dalevee.com and Facebook.
An unusual entrepreneural effort emerged recently in the neighborhood. The Green Olive Co. opened in December at 861 N. High St. next to Impero Coffee in the former Arms Properties office just south of 1st Avenue. The shop sells extra-virgin, single-varietal olive oils and top-shelf vinegars. Apparently there is much to learn and experience about the subtleties of these liquids since there are as many as 30 varieties of oils and vinegars to choose from. The owner, Lisa McCormack, 36, earned a degree in dietetics from the University of Cincinnati and eventually developed an interest in the health benefits of olive oil. A native of Toronto, Ohio, she worked as a dietician for a couple years, returned to school to become a physician assistant, later working at the Cleveland Clinic before having two children (now 4 and 1). Because McCormack has three sisters in Columbus, she and her husband recently chose to move here to raise their children. With a background in health and a passion for cooking, McCormack – who decided to return to work after the move – wanted to try something new. “I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to educate the public on the benefits of olive oil and share some great recipes,” she said. The oils in her store are sourced from around the world and sold within a year of pressing. What sells when is determined by what hemisphere is pressing the oils. There are some fused with herbs and fruits, or infused with spices (depending on the process), and since it can be purchased in four sizes (as small as one-quarter cup), consumers are able to experiment and enjoy the different varieties without overspending. Pasta, spices, and bruschetta toppings from local producers are also available in the store. The Green Olive Co. is open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 614-754-8652 for more information.
A charcuterie with an in-house bakery, The Table, will be opening soon at 21 East Fifth Avenue in the Haller Building right across from Brothers Drake Meadery. Co-owner Christen Corey said they are targeting April or May for the opening with seating at about 80. The space had been gutted, stripped down to the bare walls, “rustic and gorgeous,” with 14-foot-high ceilings when they began renovations, so it required a lot of work. Their food, concepted around slow food and farm-to-fork, will include baked goods, cheeses, cured meats, jams, “just keeping it as fresh and healthy as possible,” said Corey. The Table will be open 7 days for breakfast, lunch and dinner and include a bar. Back-lot parking is accessible off Mt. Pleasant right off Fifth Avenue. Look for developments in the next issue of the Gazette.
The North Market continues its search for a new executive director after David Wible’s departure in January. The 60-year-old Detroit native began his marketing career as an advertising executive in Chicago before moving to Columbus and putting in almost 20 years with Red Roof Inn before bringing his expertise to the market where he worked for 12 years. “I think the strength that I brought to the position was the ability to help place the market competitively in the community,” said Wible. He’s also proud of the fact that through tough economic times, the market continued to grow and evolve. Market sales more than doubled since 2000 when he came on board. Wible loves to cook and was a market shopper long before he was hired, so he hasn’t retired from that. “It’s nice to become a full-time shopper,” he remarked in a recent phone conversation.“You get to enjoy the market in a slightly different way.” He also has found time to take care of things around the house that need organizing and to “collect his thoughts.” But even with retirement, there’s no sleeping in late. Not since he and his wife Mary rescued a Treeing Walker Coonhound a few months ago named Annie. “That’s kept us busy and active,” he said. “So there’s no sleeping in with her around.” They do find more time to visit with family, two married sons and a granddaughter, Teagan. A second home in Northern Michigan gives them a handy travel destination with the thrill of kayaking and other activites. “I’d say I’m out and about more,” Wible said. “You have more opportunity to do what you want, so you just do what you want.” He noted that the market is in a really strong position now. “The board is continually looking for ways to make the market even better,” he said. “I think this was a good opportunity to step away and give someone else a chance to provide some new leadership.”
Sherri Brunner passed away on January 22 at the age of 44 from a rare bile duct cancer. We mentioned Sherri in this column a year ago when she closed her Short North store, Go Figure, due to health concerns. At the time, she was undergoing treatment in a case study at the James Cancer Hospital. According to close friend Mary Ellen Baker, the diagnosis was difficult to pin down, and once they finally discovered the problem, Sherri was only given a few months to live but she hung on for over a year. “Sherri was someone who really embraced life,” said Baker. “She had a personality that fit the size of her body, basically.” As a full-figured woman, Sherri loved fashion, but was frustrated that she could not find stylish clothes in her size. Determined to make it easier for larger women to be fashionable, she opened Go Figure, a consignment apparel store for full-figured women, in 2009, after Baker closed her own business Counter Culture and offered her the space at 988 N. High. When Sherri spoke with the Gazette at that time, she said shopping for fashionable clothes was definitely a struggle. Her girlfriends would buy “really cute tops and dresses,” while the only thing she could find was a handbag or necklace. Prior to opening the shop, Sherri ran a personal chef business for three years called Cooking Sherri. She was a trained professional chef, a graduate of the culinary program at Columbus State Community College. “She was somebody who when she saw something that needed to be changed, she actively did it,” said Baker. “When she decided she wanted to be a better cook, she went to culinary school. When she felt like women who were heavy weren’t being served as far as fashion went, she opened a store.” She strived to bring the full figure into the fashion fold, even staging larger models at events in the Short North. “If she met you and liked you, she immediately welcomed you,” said Baker. “She was just very warm, inviting and very giving.” Raised in Gahanna, Sherri is survived by her husband of 16 years, Christopher, her father William Drosos, her twin sister Terri, and four other siblings. A celebration of Sherri’s life will be held on Sunday, April 28 from 4 to 9 p.m. at the Northbank Pavillion, 311 W. Long St., with flowers, champagne, chocolate, a host of Sherri-instructed foods, and great music.
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