POWELL, Ohio (WCMH)– Owner and chef of Novella Osteria Matthew Phelan says opening a restaurant in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic has sometimes been like a “looming black cloud” but the city of Powell has “been amazing.”
“They have definitely come out, supported us, given us great feed back so far. It’s been amazing to open up in Powell,” Phelan says about his new Italian restaurant.
Phelan returned to Central Ohio after culinary school and working in many East Coast restaurants, mainly in New York City. He is from Dublin and says his plan was always to return home eventually.
“I think I kind of got burned out of [NYC]. I said I was going to be there for five years. It ended up being around seven,” he said. “I think the time was right to come back an open a place. The food scene [in Central Ohio] is definitely a little bit more advanced than from when I left before, so that was pretty much the main reason.”
The plan to open Novella Osteria started more than a year and a half ago and well before COVID-19. Phelan say the opening was delayed due to construction slow downs, but he never hesitated to open or put a pause on his plans to open until after the pandemic when restaurants can be back to operating like normal.
“The ball was kind of rolling, and we obviously invested so much into the project that it was kind of like whatever happens we going to have to roll with it and adapt, and we’re going to have to pivot with it,” he stated. “Thank God we’ve at least [been able] to get people in the restaurant– obviously with plexiglass and taking all of the safety precautions have definitely worked out for us.”
Novella’s menu focuses on fresh, homemade pasta.
“We do pretty much everything in house. It’s a seasonal menu, but just highlighting pasta,” Phelan added.
CLICK HERE for more information on Novella Osteria.