Dis 'n' Data
By Margaret Marten, Editor
DIS 'N' DATA ARCHIVE
The former Starbucks’ space at the corner of Poplar and High with its wide windows provides an inviting glimpse into the new glistening interior of Le Chocoholique, the Short North shop for chocolate addicts (or for anyone in need of a sweet diversion) that opened in late June. Monica Barr, 38, and Dana Jablonski, 39, are the owners. You will probably find Monica’s 21-year-old son and her niece in the store helping out too. The family-owned business is still in the developmental stages, so they continue to tinker with and broaden the menu – quick lunch and breakfast items are a definite, as well as wine and cheese for an evening stop in the shop. “On Friday and Saturday night, we’re just like any other restaurant down here, seemingly,” said Barr. “And once we have the wine and other foods, it will be more so.” Their inventory includes offerings from over 40 vendors and 500 items of chocolate, which means there is never a dull moment when making a selection from the display of creamy concoctions. That’s the funnest part, said Barr. “One customer asked me and three other people who were working on a Friday night to each put together three of our favorites for him.” While Barr’s tastes run traditional (peanut butter and caramel) another worker favored strawberries, and eventually the four of them managed to create a unique and inviting mix, and have a little fun while doing it. Fun and pleasure are words that easily come to mind while eating chocolate, or while examining the many dreamy offerings on display at Chocoholique. The shop is open every day – as early as 7 a.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. They close very late, except on Sunday when they wrap up at 6:30 p.m. The store is located at 601 N. High St. Visit their Web site at www.lechocoholique.com or call 614-223-4009 for more information.
The restaurant Knead opened at 505 N. High St. next to the Hampton Inn last month. Owners Rick and Krista Lopez have run upscale restaurants before, so they should be able to maneuver that delicate balance between creative cuisine and common fare that keeps the customers coming back. The name “Knead” reflects hand-crafted items, and they use seasonal Ohio ingredients, which is enough to inspire interest from those who yearn for basic home cooking but not the banal unhealthy grub that often passes for homestyle. One item noticed in a recent Dispatch review reflects some innovation without excess: the vegan Slop V Joe is served on a homemade brioche-like roll with walnuts, spelt, chickpeas and shiitake bound in a tomato base. It sounds like a healthy, appetizing combination of ingredients. Knead has a Facebook account with plenty of information from patrons and friends. The restaurant is open Tues. - Thurs. 8-11, Fri. 8-12, Sat. 9-12. Their number is 614-228-6323.
John Allen’s pizza project at the Short North Tavern did not pan out as planned. We reported in June that he invited Bill Yerkes of Bono Pizza to spend a couple days a week firing up his popular pies at the Tavern. Yerkes’ itinerant business has fans in the Short North, and plenty of folks visit the tavern, so the joint pizza operation would benefit everyone. A problem developed when they discovered Allen’s oven wasn’t hot enough to bake Yerkes’ pies. Allen decided to purchase the special oven required and managed to find one at a fraction of what it would cost new. After paying over $2000, he ran into more trouble when he learned that he needed “three-phase electric” to run the oven, costing an additional $10,000. At that point, Allen threw in the towel. “It a really cool oven. It’s the kind they use on the east coast to make bagels. But I couldn’t see investing $12,000 to make pizzas.” Without the power upgrade, the oven became a worthless heap of scrap metal weighing over 800 pounds. “I couldn’t even give it away,” said Allen.
A trio of art businesses have closed or will be closing shortly: Art + Home, Byzantium, and Kathryn Gallery. All three have been supporters of this newspaper through advertising, so we would like to thank them for reaching out to us and becoming a part of our publication over the years. They have given much of their time, energy, and resources to the community, so their absence will be felt as a great loss by many, particularly those who share their artistic spirit and have maintained a close relationship with them through art purchases or friendly visits to their shops. We wish them all the best with future endeavors.
The last time I spoke to restaurateur Kent Rigsby, he was scheduled to undergo surgery for a broken collarbone suffered in a bicycle mishap while riding with a group of fellow cyclists – “younger people making sort of a mistake,” he explained.
News about upcoming events in the neighborhood can be found in Community Events and the Bulletin Board.
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