Three alumni of Latitude 41 have gone out on their own. Jarod Norris, Tyler Minnis and Daniel Scalzo opened the Angry Bear Kitchen on May 2 in the former Sage Bistro space at 2653 N. High St.
Three alumni of Latitude 41 have gone out on their own.
Jarod Norris, Tyler Minnis and Daniel Scalzo opened the Angry Bear Kitchen on May 2 in the former Sage Bistro space at 2653 N. High St.
Working together at the Downtown restaurant Latitude 41, “We got along really well and we started discussing opening our own place over drinks,” Scalzo said. Those talks eventually led to a business plan and “just window-shopping (for locations). We looked around at places to see if it could work.”
When the former Sage Bistro space opened up, they decided to take the leap.
“It was just a great opportunity. Before we knew it, we had bought a restaurant,” Scalzo said. “ We wouldn’t do it if we weren’t confident in ourselves, but we’re definitely still nervous and excited. All of those are good feelings when you do something like this.”
Angry Bear Kitchen’s name sprang from their time at Latitude 41, where the three could get pretty gruff in the kitchen. The staff began referring to them as angry bears.
The restaurant itself isn’t so gruff. The theme is “new American, but what we’re doing is really all over the board,” Scalzo said.
The menu includes a variety of small plates and entree options, such as beef tongue, seared salmon, lamb skewers, frittatas and fried chicken.
“We also feature a lot of foods on the chalkboard that we don’t necessarily highlight on social media,” Scalzo said, such as charcuterie and other small plates and salads.
The eclectic wine list includes unusual grape varietals from all over the world.
The owners’ philosophy is “to use as local and sustainable a product as we can,” Scalzo said.
They do have a trump card on the local produce front. Minnis’ dad owns a small farm near Zanesville. The three angry bears have been able to choose what to grow there and then incorporate it into the menu. They also are using ingredients from Columbus urban farms.
The Angry Bear does look a bit different from the Sage Bistro days.
“With the structure, we didn’t have a lot of options but we did take out some walls to open up the kitchen,” Scalzo said. They changed colors, updated the plumbing and made the ceiling darker and the floor lighter. They also added woodwork and shelving, using wood from the Zanesville farm.
It was a big decision to go out on their own, but so far, Scalzo said, he and his partners don’t regret it.
“Honestly, it’s great being able to work with my two best friends,” he said. It’s also been fun and interesting “being out of the kitchen taking on other roles like being the accountant, the (human relations) department and the handyman. It’s definitely exciting. It’s definitely been stressful, but it’s also very rewarding.”
Angry Bear Kitchen is open from 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, call 614-884-0639 or go to www.angrybearkitchen.com.New options for breakfast and beer in Lancaster
Downtown Lancaster is getting a makeover. Two restaurants have opened there in recent weeks. Table 1, a breakfast and lunch spot at 157 W. Main St., is serving traditional breakfast foods along with soups, salads, hamburgers and sandwiches from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Ale House 1890, a bar and gastropub, is at 149 W. Main St. in the former Minute Bar space. It has craft beers on tap, plus a menu of hamburgers and flatbread pizzas.Off the menu
• Brezel Pretzel is expanding beyond Columbus. It’s opening a spot this fall in Cincinnati, at6 W. 14th St. It will be Brezel’s first stand-alone location and its first outside Columbus.
• Central Ohio’s second Tom + Chee opened Friday at 1844 Hilliard-Rome Rd. in Hilliard. The Cincinnati-based grilled-cheese restaurant’s first in the area opened in Pickerington in May.
• Wine Spectator magazine has honored several Columbus restaurants with its Grand Honoree award, which recognizes restaurants around the world with the best wine lists.
Local honorees: Barcelona, Bel Lago, Mitchell’s Ocean Club, Mitchell’s Steakhouse at Polaris, the Oak Room in the Granville Inn, the Refectory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Shaw’s Inn in Lancaster and Smith & Wollensky at Easton.
Dispatch restaurant columnist Denise Trowbridge can be reached at email@example.com.