COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–The folks behind Fox in the Snow are ready to serve up something new.

Owners Lauren Culley and Jeff Excell will open Icarus at 15 E. 2nd Ave. at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 30. That site is the former Laughlin’s Bakery in the Short North/Italian Village area.

“We didn’t need too much convincing to try something new,” Culley said.

The owners have long been kicking around different concepts and ideas. Excell, in particular, had
been keen to do a sandwich shop somewhere.

“One of the things that surprised us when we opened Fox in the Snow was how much the sandwich took
off,” Culley said.

Culley and Excell first looked at the Laughlin’s space pre-Covid and were interested. Then the pandemic hit. The duo didn’t think it would be prudent to take on a new venture then, so they turned the opportunity down.

The pandemic dramatically increased carryout business, however, making the 1,000-square-foot space with seating for only 15 to 20 people make a lot more sense.

Suddenly a risky venture with little seating and big to-go potential sounded appealing. A year after turning the opportunity down, Culley and Excell reconnected with property owner Wood Cos. and worked out a lease.

Excell said after handling high-demand carryout sales at their three cafes in the past year, they’re
confident in the potential for their new concept.

“We knew we couldn’t do another Fox in the Snow there,” Excell said. “When I saw it, I thought
this could be the sandwich shop.”

Though the menu won’t be the same, the approach will.

“Familiar food, but elevated,” Culley said. “A small menu that tastes amazing. Good hospitality.”

No crazy sandwich names. No out-there ingredients. Simple, straightforward preparations.

“Classics, but the best way we can make them,” she said.

Bread, including ciabatta and focaccia, will have been baked in-house within 12 hours. Meats will
be roasted, brined and sliced at the shop. The corned beef will have a seven-day brining process. The meatballs are a family recipe.

They’ll make their own pickles and own condiments including the Thousand Island Dressing for the reuben. Potato chips too will be fried daily.

“If we can make it, we’ll do it,” she said. “No shortcuts. It’s a real labor of love.”

The menu will start small, but the plan is to grow it.

“We don’t want to over-extend ourselves,” she said. “We’ll need to read the room too. What do the customers like? What do they want? One thing we’ve learned over the years is that it’s easier to add to a menu than to take away.”

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