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Columbus restaurant owner closes two storefronts, warns of “closure tsunami” for downtown restaurants – 614NOW

Columbus Restaurateur Tom Dailey has announced that he and business partner Sung Jin are opening two locations of Zoup! on or before Jan. 27, and Dailey also believes more than a few downtown restaurants are likely to close for the foreseeable future.

Daily, which is a franchisee of several Zoup! locations in the Columbus area, announced that that chain’s storefronts at 41 S. High St. at Capitol Square and 4971 Tuttle Crossing Blvd. near the Mall at Tuttle Crossing, both will close no later than January 27.

“Zoup Capitol Square has been hit hard by the expansion of home working and hybrid employment practices and three years of pandemic-related impact,” Daley said in a statement on the closures.

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He added Zoup’s Tuttle Crossing location! Has been hit by similar challenges, in addition to a continued lack of consumer traffic. He said both companies were also impacted by years of staffing, supplier and inventory issues due to COVID-19.

Dailey doesn’t believe the misery will end anytime soon for Downtown Columbus restaurants.

Commenting on Tim Horton’s closure at the corner of Broad Street and High Street Downtown, Dailey warned that a “closure tsunami” could soon be imminent for downtown restaurants.

“Costs and labor are skyrocketing, vacant buildings, lack of customers and business catering, no staff. We have (barely) survived three years of COVID, but cannot survive this.. The closure of restaurants in the inner city has only just begun,” he said in a statement

Downtown has recently seen a spate of closures, including The Dry Mill, LaSalle’s Kitchen & Bar, Lola’s Kitchen + Bar (although this was replaced by a new concept from the same owners), and Tim Horton’s. Not long before that, Nosh on High also closed its doors. The Dry Mill and LaSalle’s Kitchen + Bar both lasted less than a full year.

Other downtown restaurant owners, such as Palma Aracri, the longtime Columbus pizzeria owner, have recently doubled down on Downtown Columbus. Aracri, who recently closed its on-campus location but kept its downtown pizzeria, Araci on Gay, pounded the table for the area in an interview for (614) Magazine last year. He opened Aracri on Gay just over a year ago and has been operating a restaurant in Downtown Columbus for over 30 years.

While there have been closures, there has also been an influx of new concepts en route to Downtown. Popular spots such as Bar Cichetti launched Downtown last summer, and recently the new downtown bar Fomo Lounge also opened its doors. In addition, Esco Restaurant & Tapas, founded by rapper 2 Chainz, plus the new home of Speck Italian Eatery and Jackie O’s massive new Fourth Street taproom will all open in Downtown Columbus in the coming months.

Where do you think Downtown Columbus is headed?

Read more? Check out our print publication, (614) Magazine. Find out where to get a free copy of our new January issue here!