September 13, 2013
The owner of Hubbard Grille in the Short North has added the bar and retail wine shop next door to its growing food family.
Taste Hospitality Group Ltd., the Dublin-based owner of Hubbard Grille, has acquired Wine on High, 789 N. High St., from Joshua Shapiro for an undisclosed price. Shapiro was unavailable for comment yesterday.
“We weren’t necessarily looking to buy, but it was the right time, right place, so we’re excited,” said Sheila Trautner, president of Taste Hospitality, which now owns five restaurants and special-events centers in the Columbus area.
Trautner got into the restaurant business through the back door. She went to work for a Big Four public accounting firm after college.
“After about a year of doing that, I got really, really bored,” she said. “I worked at a restaurant part-time on the weekends just to make a little bit of extra money, and I truly fell in love with it.”
Trautner opened her first restaurant, Mezzo, in Gahanna in 2007. She sold the business early this year to a developer that is using the restaurant space for other tenants.
Next came Creekside Conference and Event Center in Gahanna, which Taste Hospitality acquired in 2008.
“That’s doing quite well since the resurgence of corporate business in the last year or so,” Trautner said. “It’s a niche product, in terms of the restaurant-quality food and environment we offer there.”
Then came Hubbard Grille in 2010, Mezzo Dublin in 2011 and Venue at Corazon in Dublin last year, she said.
As for Wine on High, Trautner plans to update its decor and slightly change its inventory. She also hopes to use its upstairs bar area for private events when Hubbard Grille is fully booked.
“It’s great to see a local, home-grown group that is growing,” said Scott Heimlich, president of the Central Ohio Restaurant Association, and owner of Barcelona Restaurant and Sidecar Global Catering in German Village.
Both Heimlich and Trautner see the restaurant and special-events industries as complementary.
“Business has changed,” Heimlich said. “We have to be open to look at other opportunities.”