Written by: Steve Stover
Date: September 4, 2015

Tourists flocked to the Glass Bowl Restaurant on Main Street in Bexley because of its unusual building design that featured an inverted champagne goblet. The hamburger stand was open from 1938-1968.

Tourists flocked to the Glass Bowl Restaurant on Main Street in Bexley because of its unusual building design that featured an inverted champagne goblet. The hamburger stand was open from 1938-1968.

The Columbus’ restaurant scene has changed dramatically over the course of a generation.

On the September 4, 2015 All Sides Weekend: Chefs in the City, our restaurant reviewers talked about the vast improvements to the quality of eateries in town. In celebration, we look back at some of the restaurants that have stood the test of time and others that are standout fondly in our memories.

If you have any favorites that can be added to this list, share in the comments below and we will update the listing.

Restaurants that are still around after 25 years.

Still Cookin’ After All These Years
Restaurants at least 25 years old, thanks to Doug Motz

  • 94th Aero Squadron
  • Aki Hana (fka Restaurant Japan)
  • Anthony Thomas
  • Apollo’s
  • Auddino’s Bakery
  • Block’s Bagels
  • The Blue Danube
  • Buckeye Donuts
  • Ding Ho
  • The Florentine
  • Garcia’s
  • German Village Coffee Shop
  • Grandview Cafe
  • Hey Hey Bar & Grill
  • Hickory House
  • Ho Toy (since 1959)
  • Hyde Park Upper Arlington (since 1988)
  • Japanese Oriental Restaurant
  • Johnson’s Ice Cream
  • Jurgens German Bakery & Restaurant
  • Jury Room, The (recently closed)
  • La Scala
  • Katzinger’s
  • Knight’s Ice Cream
  • Knotty Pine (It recently reopened)
  • Krema Nut Company
  • Lindey’s (preceded by Palmer Haus and Lindenhoff)
  • Mama’s Pasta & Brew
  • Massey’s Pizza
  • Max & Erma’s
  • Nancy’s
  • North Market
  • Old Mohawk
  • Phillips Coney Island
  • Plank’s
  • Red Door Tavern
  • The Refectory
  • Resch’s Bakery (made the rolls for Reeb’s)
  • Rigsby’s
  • Ringside (formerly know as Clem’s Ringside)
  • Rotolo’s Pizza
  • Rubino’s Pizza
  • Schmidt’s Sausage Haus
  • Spagio (formerly know as Gourmet Market)
  • Sun Tong Luck
  • Taj Mahal
  • TAT Ristorante di Famiglia
  • Thurman Cafe
  • Thurns’s Meats (more than 125 years old)
  • Tommy’s Diner (preceded by Ater’s Drive In)
  • Tommy’s Pizza
  • Tony’s Ristorante
  • The Top Steakhouse (Sonia Modes is still there on the piano)
  • Varsity Club
  • Wendy’s
  • White Castle (nearly 100 years old)
  • Windward Passage
  • Wing’s
  • The Worthington Inn
  • Yoho’s
  • York Steakhouse (West Broad Street)

Historic Columbus Restaurants that are no longer in business

Downtown & Short North

  • 5 on the Boulevard
  • L’Armagnac
  • Benny Klein’s (night club atmosphere; belly dancers)
  • Burgundy Room
  • Christopher Inn (strawberry salad)(Bob Allen Trio)
  • The Clock (“in the middle of the block”)
  • Crystal Room at the Pick Fort Hayes
  • The Dell on Parson’s Avenue
  • The Four Seasons at the former Sheraton downtown
  • Kuenning’s
  • Jack & Benny’s (a restaurant by the same name is now at Hudson & High)
  • Jong Mea
  • Lazarus
  • -Chintz Room
  • -Colonial Room
  • Maramor
  • Marble Gang on Mt. Vernon Avenue
  • Mario’s in the Galleria
  • Marzetti’s (Who can forget the jingle?)
  • Max’s
  • Mills Cafeteria
  • Neil House – Red Lion and Main Dining Room
  • One Nation (atop Nationwide)
  • Paoletti’s Restaurant on South Third Street – Aldo Paoletti is still alive
  • Peppercorn Duck Club (chocolate bar), Hyatt Regency
  • Pewter Mug
  • Seafood Bay Steak & Lobster House on North High Street (Bing Crosby dined here)
  • Tapatio (Bruce Hildreth, Hartley Cousen’s bread)
  • Tommy Hendricks
  • Top of The Center
  • University Club (sweet rolls)
  • The Vault at Broad and High streets
  • Water Works
  • Yong Mea

German Village & Brewery District

  • Carolyn’s
  • The Clarmont
  • Deibel’s (Esther Craw on accordion, Cap City Jazz Band, Gene D’Angelo)
  • Engine House #5
  • 489 City Park
  • Handke’s Cuisine
  • The Place Upstairs (also know as Jimmy’s Place Upstairs), Earl Bradley
  • Maennerchor
  • Reeb’s (roast beef, mashed potatoes & gravy, Resch’s rolls, turtle soup)

Tri Village Area
Grandview Heights, Upper Arlington, Marble Cliff

  • Aspen Inn (Bob Knapp)
  • The Bistro (near Gold Circle/Kohl’s Olentangy) Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, Thelma Camacho
  • Coco’s (white glove service at Third Ave & Northwest Blvd)
  • Cork & Cleaver
  • Del Matto’s
  • The Explorers
  • The Gaslight (Bob Knapp)
  • Geem Loong
  • The Gloria (spaghetti & meatballs) The Ravens played there
  • Gottlieb’s
  • Grandview Inn
  • Gus'(Fifth Ave & Riverside Drive)
  • Jack Bowman’s Suburban
  • Presutti’s Villa
  • Romeo’s Pizza (W. Fifth Ave & North Star)
  • Stu Harrison’s (famous for their burgers)
  • Turkey Trot (turkey restaurant on Riverside, open one day, closed due to food poisoning, ironically)
  • Wilhelm’s
  • Ziggy’s Continental

University District

  • a la carte
  • Casa di Pasta
  • Char Bar (there is a place by the same name across from the Hyatt Regency)
  • Charbert’s
  • The Circle (Olentangy River Road & King Ave)
  • Jai Lai (a Woody Hayes favorite with prime rib, Cesta salad, salt rolls, herb butter)
  • Matter of Taste (Lisa Galat)
  • Talita’s Mexican
  • Tiffany’s, southwest corner of Olentangy & Ackerman, per Doral Chenoweth

North Columbus

  • Fisherman’s Wharf (closed recently)(“Captain Nikky”)
  • Fontanelle (Graceland)
  • Galantine’s (Westerville), successor of L’Armagnac, as is L’Antibes
  • Riccardo’s (Oakland Park)
  • Riccardi’s Pizaa (Morse & High, Watterson hangout)
  • Shelton’s (Blenheim & High)
  • Stan’s
  • Suite 61
  • Tamarack
  • Victoria Station
  • Warren’s Sandwich Shop (High St, South of Broadway)
  • Wine Cellar
  • Wyandotte Inn (near the zoo)

East Columbus

  • Bexley’s Monk (also known as Blind Monk)
  • Buxton Inn, Granville
  • Desert Inn
  • Emil’s Steer In Drive In
  • Glass Bowl
  • Granville Inn (recently re-opened after major renovation)
  • Grill & Skillet
  • Ilonka’s
  • The Kahiki
  • Lum’s Hamilton Road, east of Broad
  • The Playboy Club
  • Toddle House

West Columbus

  • Biltmore Cafe
  • Everglades
  • Jong Mei
  • Lincoln Lodge
  • Salvi’s, (also know as BG Salvi’s – was near Hilliard Rome Road and then last seen near state Route 161 and Frantz Road in Dublin)

Other favorites that are no longer with us

  • Jerry’s Drive In
  • Big Bev Diner
  • BBF
  • GD Ritzy’s
  • Sandy’s

Dancing, Bars, & Dives

  • The Bistro (Kenny Rogers & the First Edition, with Thelma Camacho)
  • Carolyn Club (Rusty Bryant)
  • The Gloria (Ravens)
  • Kitty’s Show Bar
  • Penguin Club (Nu Trons, Ravens)
  • Scioto Trails
  • Valley Dale Ballroom

Miscellaneous – Where were these located?

  • Vera’s Europe
  • Antone’s
  • Gourmet Room
  • Silent Woman

  • shrimlock

    The Silent Woman Bar was i believe on East Main, just east of James.
    The signage in neon or lit up from behind maybe, was extremely provocative.
    It showed an image of a female with her, holding her own head or her head somehow detached.
    Depicting the female as presumably silent. And even holding the knife?
    pretty grisly, and disturbing and was evident to anyone driving around there up till the 90’s, it seems.

  • shrimlock

    The other one that was near the Motel Greg Lashutka got in trouble win he was prosecutor, And i think that was on East Broad, that was the Pink Elephant.

  • Barbara Cruz

    what about hanleys steak house sullivant ave Columbus ohio

  • Barbara Cruz

    does anyone have a copy of the menu or pictures

  • Mr.Gale.B

    I need an exact and correct answer:
    Where was “Top of the Center” located? In WHAT building?

  • Otto Gronkowski

    Slow hipster service and slow kitchen. Expensive prices. Don’t visit if you want to see food on your table in under 45 minutes. However the food quality, taste and presentation is very good! Ambiance is contemporary cool inside, very different from what you may have the impression of from the exterior of this old Tim Horton’s location. Good bar and drink selection. Overpriced menu. On the west coast you can find this style of filipino restaurant serving same dishes for $7.50. Here they will set you back $12-$18. You can’t even get into appetizers for less than $10 unless you want a bowl of rice. Don’t know if they’ll survive, table turnover is way too slow, even though they’re making large profit margin per dish, it’s just way too slow. If you have an evening to kill, this would be a good hangout. Don’t attempt a weekday lunch or dinner. You’ll see a good hipster millinial crowd here.