Sycamore to open in German Village this month

Columbus Business First

Photo by Dan Eaton: The Sycamore, seen here under previous ownership, will reopen this month.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST)–A revived Sycamore will open in German Village this month. It’s returning with more than a makeover. It’ll be serving breakfast and lunch in addition to dinner.

Good Food Restaurants acquired the space at 262 E. Sycamore St. last year. The previous owner was Grow Restaurants, which opted to sell rather than reopen the restaurant during the pandemic.

To make the breakfast offering, in particular, more convenient, Good Food converted one of the front windows to a carryout window so customers can either walk up and order or order coffee and a pastry online and pick it up.

The morning menu will feature espresso and coffee, fresh pastries – baked in-house or supplied by Sassafras Bakery – and light breakfast offerings, including an omelet and an egg sandwich.

At 10:30 the lunch menu goes live with salads, sandwiches, and small plates. It’ll be a casual, counter-service setup. One of the sandwiches will be porchetta with elements supplied by Butcher & Grocer, but all the wrapping, herbs, and roasting will be done in-house.

Breakfast and lunch are comparatively resource-light operations meant to help maximize the value of the historic space, said Tony Heaphy, Good Food’s vice president. But the real reason for being will be dinner service.

“Our focus is still very much dinner,” he said. “We want to retain some of what people loved about the previous Sycamore. We want it to be a relaxed, but elevated experience.”

Heapthy knows that previous experience well. He and his husband live in Olde Towne East and visited the restaurant often, as did chef and sister Jackie Heaphy.

The restaurant will be open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday and for dinner 4 to 10 p.m. those days. That hour closed will allow the transition to dinner. The restaurant also will be open Sundays from 7 a.m. to noon.

The dinner menu still is being finalized, but it’ll include starters, small plates and entrees so customers can build the sort of evening they want — maybe a selection of small plates and drinks or maybe a fuller, traditional dinner.

They’re making pasta in house including a signature agnolotti dish. Another Italian specialty will be suppli al telefono, which Heaphy described as a cross between a mozzarella stick and arancini. There’s a lobster roll and a burger and a hanger steak and a whole branzino.

The bar will have an array of specialty cocktails, alongside beer and wine. There are televisions at the bar, but the sets can be concealed with mirrors so the restaurant has some flexibility. If a big game is on for example, the televisions can be unveiled. If not, they can stay hidden.

The space was designed by Mary Dietsch Architecture & Design. The goal was to create flexibly functional space for daytime service that remains reverential to the space’s history. The space has been a Sycamore Café in one form or another, across multiple owners, since 1920.

Good Food is an experienced operator. The company has eight Beer Barrel Pizza & Grill restaurants, including three in the Columbus area. It also owns six Happy Daz diners in Northwest Ohio.

Though the more casual Beer Barrel has been the company’s expansion brand, Good Food has experience with more elevated operations. It also owns the Old City Prime steakhouse in downtown Lima.

John Heaphy, Tony’s father, started Good Food in 1996 with the purchase of Happy Daz. The company purchased the Beer Barrel in 2005.

“We’re passionate about the Beer Barrel as well, but those are very large, huge restaurants,” Heaphy said. “(Sycamore) is a creative expression for us, just like Old City Prime is for our father.”

For more business headlines, go to ColumbusBusinessFirst.com.

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