Chef Andrew Smith’s Forthcoming Restaurant, Isla, is Headed to Merion Village
Originally set to open in Westgate, Smith’s tasting-menu restaurant will instead open in the former Bake Me Happy prep kitchen on Moler Street.
In December, we reported that Roys Ave Supper Club founders Andrew Smith and his wife, Devoney Mills, were planning to open their first restaurant, Isla, in the couple’s own Westgate neighborhood.
Change of plans.
Originally set to open in the same building as Third Way Café on West Broad Street, the tasting-menu restaurant is instead headed for Merion Village. In a phone interview this week, Smith said Isla will take over Bake Me Happy’s former prep kitchen space at 116 E. Moler St., which is currently undergoing renovations. The restaurant will be adjacent to a new coffee shop from Jennings Java, which is occupying Bake Me Happy’s former café space.
The decision to move Isla was one of timing and space, Smith says, adding that he still has plans to work with the owners of Third Way Café, who own the building on West Broad. Smith declined to give further details about what those plans entail.
“We really love the space over here [in Westgate], but we ended up hearing about this Merion Village space. For the concept that we want to do first, it has more space. It's a little more friendly towards [Isla],” he says.
The concept for Isla remains largely unchanged: a tasting-menu format with two seatings of just 12 diners, two nights a week; the space will include a chef’s counter as well and, eventually, a small bar. Smith says he is targeting a September debut for Isla, depending on construction and permitting.
Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Smith moved to Columbus in 2009, landing a job at the Rossi in its heyday. He was soon named executive chef at the Rossi and later added Philco, Salt & Pine and Rockmill Tavern to his resume before taking a step back from the restaurant industry in 2018. Most recently, he and Mills have hosted Roys Ave, an “underground” supper club from their Westgate home, which is the inspiration behind Isla.