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Bites & Sips: Chili’s Heads for Campus, 2 New Restaurants, Middle West Expands Distribution & More

There’s new spots for ramen and seafood, plus a big-name chain that’s making its way to the University District. Drink vodka for a good cause, find your favorite local spirits in new states and more in the latest edition of Bites & Sips!

Fukuryu Ramen Opens Third Location

Fukuryu Ramen opened the doors to its third area location at 2027 Polaris Pkwy in late July. Offering a menu of small plates like chicken gyoza, edamame and kimchi fries, along with a lineup of 10 styles of ramen, rice bowls and salads, the new restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner.

Fukuryu Ramen opened its first location in Upper Arlington in 2016, expanding to Bridge Park in Dublin in 2017.

Find your ramen fix from 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and 5 – 8 p.m. Sunday to Wednesday and 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and 5 – 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

For more information, visit

Cove, A Seafood Joint Opens in Delaware

Cove, A Seafood Joint is now serving dinner in Delaware at 15 E. Winter St.

It’s the latest concept from Chef Josh Dalton, and the third restaurant he’s opened in the space. The Delaware address was the original home of Veritas, which relocated to Downtown Columbus in 2018, making room for Speck Italian Eatery, which had a stint in the space before also making its way to Downtown, with plans to open soon in mixed-use development The Nicholas.

On Cove’s menu, diners will find dishes by sea – oysters, clams and mussels, a lobster roll, fish tacos, octopus and more, along with a few from-the-land selections like wings, a prime rib po’boy and a duo of salads. Creative cocktails and a selection of wines and beers populate the drink menu.

Cove is open from 5 – 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. (Seating is first come, first serve for now.)

For more information, visit

Chili’s Heads for the University District

Chili’s (Baby Back Ribs) will open its fourth area location this fall at 1400 N. High St. The Dallas-based chain will take up residence at mixed-use development Uncommon, which sits just north of King Avenue.

Representatives from Chili’s confirmed the restaurant is aiming for a Mid-October opening. The University Impact District Review Board has also approved wall signage for the new eatery.

Chili’s currently has three locations in Central Ohio – Hamilton Quarter near New Albany, Polaris and Dublin.

For more information, visit

The Pit Makes a Pit Stop at Budd Dairy

The scent of barbecue is wafting from Budd Dairy Food Hall in Italian Village as the The Pit BBQ Grille returns for another round at rotating kitchen space Hatch.

Diners will find a streamlined menu of smoked meats and accompanying sides, plus Pit Specials like their Polish Boy, an all-beef polish sausage topped with fresh cut fries, coleslaw and PIT Sauce, or Polish Girl, take the boy and add in pulled pork, pulled chicken or brisket.

The Pit previously occupied Hatch from late 2021 into early 2022.

In addition to Budd Dairy, fans can get their barbecue fix from The Pit’s restaurant in Clintonville or stall at North Market Bridge Park, with an additional spot at East Market slated to open soon.

For more information, visit

The Polish Boy

Local Distillery Launches Spirit of Giving Campaign

Sip on a locally-made vodka and support a non-profit? Echo Spirits Distilling is making it possible. The distiller recently launched its Spirit of Giving campaign which will donate a portion of the proceeds of the sales of its House Vodka to various local charities and non-profits.

A new non-profit or charity will be selected every month, fielded via a nomination form on Echo Spirts’ website.

“We are fortunate enough to be in a good position in our lives and in our business,” said Founder Joe Bidinger, “and we’ve always felt it was our responsibility to make the world a better place through our business. We’ve been looking for a long time for the right way to give back. Our House Vodka is the best way to do it.” 

The first beneficiary of the Spirit of Giving Campaign will be the TriVillage Mentor League, supported by sales during the month of September.

For more information and to nominate an organization, visit

Middle West Spirits Expands Distribution

Imbibers in 15 more states will soon be sipping on Middle West’s lineup of “grain-to-glass” spirits. The local distillery will expand its distribution network through a partnership with Independent Distributor Network to Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.

“We could not be more excited about our expanding partnership and distribution footprint with IDN,” said Victor Spotloe, vice president of branded sales at Middle West Spirits. “We’ve built an incredible relationship thus far with the IDN team and, strategically, it made sense to continue growing within their network. While we are certainly grateful to the access of services and solutions they provide, we are also thrilled to help grow their portfolio of brands, especially with our award-winning whiskies.”

Middle West will distribute all 15 of its current products, spanning bourbon, whiskey, vodka and gin, through the partnership.

For more information, visit

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