COLUMBUS (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST) — One of Columbus’ most venerable dining institutions is getting bigger.
The Top Steak House at 2891 E. Main St. near Bexley is adding a patio that will increase its total seating capacity by around 75%
The outdoor addition will have 82 seats plus an additional 12 at an outside bar. The inside seats around 150.
Construction is expected to begin next month with a targeted opening of Memorial Day.
“This is an opportunity to grow our business more, especially in the March to November period,” according to the ownership group, which is led by wife and husband Regina and Denver Adkins.
While the interior will retain its dark, Rat Pack, supper club feel, the outdoor seating will give guests the same food and service, but in a new environment, the owners said. Columbus-based Design Collective designed the patio.
“With increased interest in outdoor dining, a dynamic patio environment is a great way to drive business,” Design Collective Principal Brent LaCount said. “We believe that this design will place them in the top tier of patios in the Columbus area.”
Though the owners had been thinking about a patio for a few years now, the Covid-19 pandemic made now the time to do it.
The restaurant group said the added sales from the patio would be welcome at any time, but they expect some customers may still be reluctant to dine inside the restaurant for the next year or so and may be more comfortable on the patio.
The Top will now have that option.
Business during the pandemic has been down but not as much first feared, the owners said. Permanent protections, like glass panes between booths were put in place to increase diners’ comfort, according to the owners.
The hope is the patio will bring the restaurant back to pre-Covid sales at least, if not go beyond that measure.
The current ownership group acquired The Top in 2006. They’re just the third owners of the restaurant in its 66-year history.
One of the original owners, Bill Sapp, who opened the restaurant with Lee Henry in 1955, died this month. The Columbus restaurateur also opened and/or owned the Kahiki, Cafe Martinque, and The Wine Cellar in his career.
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