Speck Italian Eatery Opens Downtown; Ho Toy Closes After 64 Years

Restaurant openings, closings and more Central Ohio food and drink news

Erin Edwards
Columbus Monthly
Speck Italian Eatery is located in Downtown Columbus at 89 N. High St. in the Nicholas building.

Openings & Announcements 

The highly anticipated opening of Speck is here. Chef Josh Dalton’s riff on fine-dining Italian, which originally opened in 2019 in Delaware, made its Downtown debut this week on the ground floor of the Nicholas building at 12 W. Gay St. You can have a look at Speck’s opening menu here, which includes housemade focaccia, rigatoni Amatriciana, lobster risotto, gnudi cacio e pepe and more. Speck, which is named after the Italian cured ham, was honored as a Best New Restaurant by this magazine in 2019. Chef Dalton is also the chef-owner behind Veritas in Downtown Columbus, as well as Delaware’s 1808 American Bistro and Cove: A Seafood Joint. His next project is a French bistro, which is slated to open across the street from Speck on the northeast corner of High and Gay streets. 

Central Ohio will soon have its fourth Shake Shack location, and this one sports a drive-thru. The national chain, launched in 2004 by restaurateur Danny Meyer, is expected to open its newest local storefront on Monday, Feb. 6, at 3734 W. Dublin-Granville Road in Northwest Columbus. Shake Shack’s other Central Ohio locations include the Short North, Easton Town Center and Polaris. 

Delaney’s Diner is preparing to add a third location to its family of greasy spoons. Its newest diner is opening Monday, Feb. 6, at 674 Main St., inside Groveport’s new 1847 Main development. Delaney’s also has locations in Westerville and on Columbus’ East Side. Preston’s: A Burger Joint was originally slated to open at 1847 Main, but that plan fell through. Preston’s is now hiring at its forthcoming location in Clintonville.  

Cup O' Joe opened a modern and spacious new coffee shop this week at the Vera on Broad apartments, 366 E. Broad St., not far from Columbus College of Art & Design. Cup O' Joe, which has another coffee shop location in Clintonville, is an offshoot brand from Stauf’s Coffee Roasters. 

Chef Moves

The innovative Downtown coffee shop Parable (149 S. High St.) announced that it’s launching its own pastry program, with local pastry chef Aaron Clouse at the helm. Clouse brings more than 10 years of experience to the role, including running the pastry programs of A&R Restaurant Group, Mmelo Confections, Hilton Columbus Downtown and the Refectory. Clouse has also appeared several times on Food Network competitions. 


The Columbus Dispatch reported this week that the Chinese restaurant Ho Toy, located Downtown at 11 W. State St., has closed after 64 years, according to a sign on the restaurant’s door. 

Lola’s Kitchen & Bar (201 S. High St.) has closed but will reopen after a refresh on Feb. 28 as a more casual concept called Downtown Tavern. In an Instagram post, co-owner Lori Ames said that Downtown Tavern will remain under the same ownership but offer a more affordable menu with a sports bar vibe, burgers and $15 mimosa kits. 

The locally owned soup and sandwich chain Zoup! has shuttered two of its Central Ohio locations: the Capitol Square location at 41 S. High St. and the Tuttle Mall eatery at 4971 Tuttle Crossing Blvd.