Now more than ever, public media is essential. Give Now.

Written by: Steve Stover
Date: November 1, 2019

The new Watershed Bar & Kitchen features views of Watershed's distillery. Photo: Steve Stover

The Watershed Bar & Kitchen features views of Watershed’s distillery. Photo: Steve Stover

The Sunday New York Times travel section on September 29 published another piece about Columbus distilleries and their food options.

Craft breweries have flourished in Columbus, following the national trend.

The surge in small distilleries – think whiskey and other spirits – started a few years ago after the Ohio General Assembly relaxed craft-distilling rules. The legislative change spawned nearly 60 craft distilleries in Ohio and especially the Columbus region. Many offer tasting rooms, bottle shops and restaurants.

The Times featured Watershed Distillery with chef Jack Moore, and Middle West Spirits with chef Avishar Barua, number three and four, respectively, in the new Columbus Monthly top 10 restaurants in Columbus. The Times also mentioned Noble Cut Distillery in Gahanna, High Bank Distillery Co. in Grandview Heights, Echo Spirits Distilling Co. in Grandview Heights and 451 Spirits in Clintonville.

The New York Times referenced Columbus in its Jan. 8, “52 Places to Go in 2019,” a compendium of places in the world to visit this year. On March 26, the Times featured several Columbus eateries in “An Awakening in Columbus, a Reckoning in Williamsburg.”

James Beard Award Winner Comes to Columbus

James Beard Award-winning chef Jonathon Sawyer has opened See Saw in the Short North. He’s the first such award winner to open in Columbus. Sawyer won the 2010 Food and Wine Magazine Best New Chef Award and the 2015 James Beard Award, Best Chef Great Lakes. Bon Appetit named his flagship Cleveland restaurant, the Greenhouse Tavern, 2009 Best New Restaurant in the U.S.

Sawyer describes See Saw as, “Greenhouse Tavern goes to college,” featuring, modern American cuisine, with vegetable-forward farm-to-table small plates and live-fire cooking with wood and charcoal. The atmosphere is convivial, comfortable and casual, with seating in three areas: a large and light-filled first-floor dining room with windows opening to the street; a second-floor venue for private parties and VIP events; and a covered rooftop bar.

Check out our full review.


Summer 2019 was busy, with an important new restaurant opening almost weekly. Here’s sampling:

  • Katzinger’s in Dublin
  • Gemut Biergarten in Old Town East
  • Shake Shack in the Short North
  • Fireproof in Short North
  • The Old Spot near Grandview Yard
  • See Saw in the Short North
  • Ampersand Asian Supper Club in the Short North
  • Sartori Ramen in the Short North
  • Town Hall, a Cleveland import, in the Short North
  • Swensen’s in Hilliard
  • Johys Sushi opened on Thurman Avenue
  • Urban Meyer’s Pint House in Dublin

    Other News

    RIP: Former Dispatch restaurant critic Doral Chenoweth — known for good reason as “the Grumpy Gourmet” — died Sept. 15 of natural causes at age 98. He was a World War II veteran, politician, gossip columnist, marketer for shopping centers, and playwright, but best known for his time at the Dispatch (1982 to 2000). He was gruff but a caring friend and colleague. We profiled the Grumpy Gourmet when he celebrated his 96th birthday.

    Cameron Mitchell Restaurants announced the final tenants for the much-anticipated Budd Dairy Food Hall on N. Fourth Street in Italian Village. They are Boni, serving Filipino street food; Pokebap; Stauf’s Coffee Roasters; Cousins Maine Lobster and Tacos Rudos.

    Mitchell’s Harvey & Ed’s in the Short North closed on October 29.

    Trillium closed its campus location in September.

    The Katzinger’s group on Sept. purchased the Grandview Spagio and Spagio Cellars. Longtime owner Chef Hubert Seifert will stay on as a consultant. His wife, Helga, also stays on part-time. Chef Hubert will continue ownership of Aubergine Private Dining Club, according to General Manager Colin Gregory.

    Ruth’s Chris will open in the Hampton Inn near the Convention Center (former Deep Wood space),

    SIP (Somewhere in Particular) Brewing is opening SIP Local in the former Actual Brewing location in Clintonville.