COLUMBUS, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST)–The Rockmill Tavern is back, although it’s now operating under a new name and offering a new menu.
Bandit: Pizzas and Pairings by Rockmill at 503 S. Front St. opened for carryout business Thursday. Dine-in will come soon. The seating area is being renovated, but customers are encouraged to enjoy a drink while they’re waiting to pick up pizza.
“Our team has been amazing through this tough time of transition and are excited to reconnect with our friends in the community,” owner Matthew Barbee said in a news release. “It’s good to be back.”
Rockmill Tavern opened in the Brewery District in 2016 as a dining and drinking extension of the Lancaster brewery. It closed in May to make way for the remodel and rebrand.
Barbee previously told Columbus Business First the change was a response to the impact Covid-19 has had on dining habits, alongside ongoing staffing challenges.
In the interim, he opted to focus the Rockmill team on its Lancaster brewery and event space. That facility successfully rolled out a pizza menu that gave Barbee confidence it would translate well to the Brewery District space.
As the full name implies, the restaurant seeks to pair its pizzas with wine and its Belgian-style beers for those seeking such combinations. A wide assortment of its beers and wine bottles are available for carryout.
Pizzas include the more traditional Priceless Heirloom, topped with locally made Ezzo pepperoni, and the Ticket West, which features grilled chicken and pesto, or more creative concoctions like the Diamond Hands, a surf-and-turf pizza topped with angus sirloin and bay scallops, and the Everything He Owned, which is topped with lobster.
The Bandit part of the name has a backstory. The brewery’s Lancaster farm land once was home to the Blue Ball Tavern, a watering hole and distillery, that, according to local news reports, saw its fair share of rowdiness — including the robbing and killing of some who stopped in.
Bandit’s initial hours will be 4 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday for takeout.
For more business headlines, go to ColumbusBusinessFirst.com.Rockmill Brewery opens Bandit in the Brewery District