Written by: Steve Stover
Date: August 13, 2017

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.

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

The Blue Danube in Old North Columbus has been open since 1940. Photo: Kinsworthy.1/Wikimedia Commons

  • 94th Aero Squadron
  • Aki Hana (formerly known as Restaurant Japan)
  • Anthony Thomas
  • Apollo’s
  • Auddino’s Bakery
  • Block’s Bagels
  • The Blue Danube (since 1940)
  • Buckeye Donuts
  • Buxton Inn (Granville)
  • Ding Ho
  • Garcia’s
  • German Village Coffee Shop
  • Grandview Cafe
  • Grill & Skillet
  • 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
  • La Scala
  • Katzinger’s
  • 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)
  • 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 (since 1886)
  • 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

Historic Columbus Restaurants that are no longer in business

Downtown & Short North

The Florentine neon restaurant sign in Columbus.

The Florentine served classical Italian meals on West Broad Street in Franklinton from 1945-2016. Photo: R. Gust Smith/Flickr.

  • 5 on the Boulevard
  • L’Armagnac
  • Benny Klein’s (night club atmosphere; belly dancers)
  • Bermuda Onion Deli
  • Betty’s Fine Food & Spirits (2001 – 2014)
  • Burgundy Room
  • Christopher Inn (strawberry salad)(Bob Allen Trio)
  • The Clock (“in the middle of the block”)
  • Court of Small Clams
  • Crystal Room at the Pick Fort Hayes
  • Deep Wood
  • The Dell on Parson’s Avenue
  • Doersam’s
  • Dragonfly and later Till dynamic Fare, Izzy & Mo’s Deli
  • The Florentine
  • Forester’s (now the home of diNovo, opened in 1875)
  • The Four Seasons at the former Sheraton downtown
  • Isabella’s at the Christopher Inn (featuring the strawberry salad and the Bob Allen Trio)
  • Jack & Benny’s (restaurant by the same name is now at Hudson and High streets)
  • Jong Mea
  • The Jury Room
  • K2U
  • Kuenning’s
  • Lazarus
    • Chintz Room
    • Colonial Room
  • L’Antibes
  • The Mansion (in the former Governor’s Mansion)
  • Maramor (1920-1972)
  • Marble Gang on Mt. Vernon Avenue
  • Mario’s internationale in the Galleria
  • Marzetti’s (Opened in 1186, Who can forget the jingle?)
  • Matreoshka Russian Tea Room
  • Max’s
  • Mills Cafeteria (1911-1976)
  • Neil House – Red Lion and Main Dining Room
  • One Nation (atop Nationwide)
  • O’Shaughnessy’s Public House
  • Out on Main (later David’s on Main, Brownstone)
  • Paoletti’s Restaurant (1922-1972, Aldo Paoletti is still alive)
  • Peppercorn Duck Club (featuring its chocolate bar), Hyatt Regency
  • Pewter Mug
  • QCB, 7 S. High St (1918-1964)
  • Queen Bee, 248 S Fourth St (1949-2009)
  • Rigsby’s Kirchen (also known as Rigsby’s Cuisine Volatile)
  • RJ Snapper’s
  • Rosendales
  • Seafood Bay Steak & Lobster House (Bing Crosby dined here)
  • 16 East
  • Strada World Cuisine
  • Tapatio (featuring Bruce Hildreth, Hartley Cousen’s bread)
  • Tommy Hendrich Steakhouse (1961-68)
  • Top of The Center
  • University Club (sweet rolls)
  • The Vault
  • Water Works
  • Yong Mea

German Village & Brewery District

The Clarmont restaurant on South High Street in the Brewery District served many of the city’s power brokers during its 65 years in business. The eatery closed its doors in 2012. Photo: R. Gust Smith/Flickr.

  • Bavaria Haus
  • Burgermeister Wien Haus
  • Carolyn’s
  • The Clarmont
  • Deibel’s (Esther Craw on accordion, Cap City Jazz Band, Gene D’Angelo, now Barcelona)
  • Engine House #5
  • 489 City Park
  • Handke’s Cuisine
  • Hoster Brewing
  • Inner Circle
  • The Place Upstairs (also know as Jimmy’s Place Upstairs), Earl Bradley
  • Maennerchor (Recently reopened as Valter’s at the Maennerchor)
  • Reeb’s (roast beef, mashed potatoes & gravy, Resch’s rolls, turtle soup)
  • Scheherazade Night Club (in the South End featured belly dancers)

Tri Village Area
Grandview Heights, Upper Arlington, Marble Cliff

  • Aspen Inn (Bob Knapp)
  • Baby Doe’s
  • The Bistro (near Gold Circle/Kohl’s Olentangy was also home to Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, Thelma Camacho)
  • Coco’s (white glove service at Third Ave & Northwest Blvd)
  • Cork & Cleaver
  • Del Matto’s
  • The Explorers
  • First Amendment
  • The Gaslight (Bob Knapp)
  • Geem Loong
  • The Gloria (spaghetti & meatballs, The Ravens played there)
  • Gottlieb’s
  • Grandview Inn
  • Gus’
  • Jack Bowman’s Suburban
  • Le Cafe
  • Peasant on the Lane
  • Presutti’s Villa
  • Red Bull Inn (on Henderson Road, featured the lobster pot)
  • Romeo’s Pizza
  • Stu Harrison’s (famous for their burgers)
  • Turkey Trot (turkey restaurant on Riverside, open one day, closed due to food poisoning)
  • Wilhelm’s
  • Ziggy’s Continental

University District

  • a la carte
  • Casa di Pasta (Stella Chapin)
  • Char Bar (there is a place by the same name across from the Hyatt Regency)
  • Charbert’s
  • The Circle
  • Damon’s
  • Hennick’s
  • The Huddle
  • Jai Lai (a Woody Hayes favorite with prime rib, Cesta salad, salt rolls, herb butter)
  • Matter of Taste (Lisa Galat)
  • Seva Longevity Cookery
  • Seva (is now in Ann Arbor and Detroit)
  • Talita’s Mexican
  • Tiffany’s

North Columbus

  • Ann-Ton’s (now Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza)
  • Fisherman’s Wharf (closed recently, featured “Captain Nikky”)
  • Fontanelle (Graceland)
  • Galantine’s (Westerville, successor of L’Armagnac and L’Antibes)
  • Knight’s Ice Cream
  • Riccardo’s (Oakland Park)
  • Riccardi’s Pizaa (a Watterson hangout)
  • Shelton’s
  • Stan’s
  • Suite 61
  • Tamarack
  • Victoria Station
  • Warren’s Sandwich Shop
  • Wine Cellar
  • Wyandotte Inn (near the zoo)

East Columbus

postcard from the Kahiki Supper Club

The Kahiki Supper Club restaurant will rise again, if only for one night.
The Kahiki Supper Club was a Columbus dining destination, serving polynesian food. The Kahiki was open from 1961 to 2000.

  • Bexley’s Monk (also known as Blind Monk)
  • Butch’s
  • Bryn Mawr (famous for brunch)
  • Desert Inn
  • Emil’s Steer In Drive In
  • Glass Bowl
  • Granville Inn (recently re-opened after major renovation)
  • Ilonka’s
  • Jong Mei
  • The Kahiki
  • Kuenning’s Suburban
  • Lum’s Hamilton Road
  • The Playboy Club
  • Toddle House
  • Willard’s

West Columbus

  • Biltmore Cafe
  • The Everglades
  • Lincoln Lodge
  • Patton’s
  • 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 (also known as Burger Boy Food-O-Rama)
  • GD Ritzy’s (slated to be coming back in 2017)
  • 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
  • Travel Agency (Majestics)
  • Valley Dale Ballroom

Miscellaneous – Where were these located?
If you know, leave a comment below.

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

  • Anthony J. Salamon

    Silent Woman…Main Street..Whitehall…Just east of the Lavender Pussycat.

    Also, Ciao Restaurant in Upper Arlington, Emerson’s Steak House..Bexley.. All you can eat steak on Thursday..

    Dancing…Charlie Bear’s..East Side…Dixie Electric, West Side, Ciro’s…Bexley

    Others…Sandy’s Hamburgers, Havana..Short North

  • Regular Joe

    What about the Salty Seaman on Weber/Hudson?

  • shmoopatties

    The Red Bull was on OLD Henderson Rd, not Henderson Rd. My first job was salad bar attendant there. Additionally, Big Bite and Backyard Burgers were a couple of Fast Food joints that got their start in Columbus.