Preston's: A Burger Joint is Moving to Clintonville

The local smash burger spot will depart the historic North Market on Friday, Dec. 30.

Erin Edwards
Columbus Monthly
Classic double burger with banana pudding at Preston's in the North Market. (Photo by Tim Johnson)

After two years as a North Market vendor, Preston’s: A Burger Joint is relocating to its first standalone restaurant space, according to Preston’s co-founder Matthew Heaggans. The popular smash burger restaurant will take over the former Buddha Bowl space (and prior to that, Blunch) at 2973 N. High St. in Clintonville, next door to Combustion Brewery & Taproom.  

In a phone interview Friday, Heaggans laid out his reasons for departing the market for the 2,150-square-foot space in Clintonville, including the ability to serve dinner and the opportunity for Preston’s to have its own liquor license and seating. 

“At the market, we don't have access to a full dinner crowd,” Heaggans said. “[Clintonville is] a really enthusiastic neighborhood; they like their choices. We become accessible to a lot of families for dinner, which is a brand-new thing for us.” 

In addition to its signature cheeseburgers, Preston’s new location will feature expanded food options, including menu items from Honey’s, Preston’s sibling fried chicken concept. (The Honey’s brand may pop up again in the future, Heaggans said, but the Clintonville space will not be co-branded.) Customers will be able to order at the counter or use QR codes to order at their table. Meanwhile, Heaggans envisions the bar program as tight and efficient, with a couple of beers, wines and house cocktails. 

Now co-owned by chef Heaggans and Bake Me Happy's Letha Pugh, Preston’s was founded more than five years ago by the chef and his former business partner Catie Randazzo, who recently moved to Los Angeles. The burger spot, which is named for Heaggans’ grandfather, first launched as a pop-up above a now-closed Brewery District bar, Three Sheets. Before becoming a smash success in its own right, Preston’s was conceived as a way to test the waters for Ambrose and Eve, the fine-dining restaurant from Heaggans and Randazzo that closed in 2020.  

Heaggans said that his previously announced plan to expand Preston’s with a location in Groveport has fallen through, noting that “the construction costs there were just unmanageable." 

The last day to get your Preston’s fix at the North Market is Friday, Dec. 30. Heaggans is targeting the second or third week of January to reopen Preston’s in Clintonville. 

Preston’s decision to leave the North Market follows the announcement last week that the butcher shop Saddleberk has also departed the Spruce Street market. Saddleberk’s North Market Bridge Park location remains open. 

More Food & Drink News 

Dos Hermanos Tacos unveils its swanky new eatery today (Monday, Dec. 19) at 3946 Morse Crossing in Easton Town Center. (Some customers may remember the address as the former home of Edamame Sushi & Grill.) Starting out a decade ago as a single truck on Morse Road, Dos Hermanos has grown into a multi-pronged business with stalls in both North Market locations, a location at Food Fort 2.0, catering services, multiple food trucks and now its first standalone restaurant with a full bar. In addition to its regular menu of street tacos, tamales and chips and guacamole, the restaurant is expected to add desserts and some Oaxacan specialties like tlayudas.