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Reinventing the Meal: Mobile Bar

When Lehne Runyon gets an idea, she holds it close, nurtures it like a seedling, and plants it, obsessing over it until it has taken root. The latest shoot she has lovingly coaxed from the ground is in the form of a little camper with a big job. Runyon and her husband Dallas operate Short [...]
Jeni Ruisch

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When Lehne Runyon gets an idea, she holds it close, nurtures it like a seedling, and plants it, obsessing over it until it has taken root. The latest shoot she has lovingly coaxed from the ground is in the form of a little camper with a big job.

Runyon and her husband Dallas operate Short and Stout Bar, a complete mobile service for events, but there’s one catch: You BYOB. Due to liquor regulations in Ohio, there’s no such thing as a mobile liquor license. (Booze on wheels, typically doesn’t go over well, yeah?)

Photos by Collins Laatsch

Still, Short and Stout is on a roll. With six events under their bar belts starting in September of last year, and 10 already slated for 2018, S&S is turning into the little bar that could, and is. Runyon has long been a fan of bloody mary bars, and she’s spent years setting them up for brunches and parties. Her new affinity for setting the vibe served as the inspiration for the mobile bar. She started searching for VW buses to take her show on the road, but then realized a camper would have more room, and within a few weeks, she found Penelope, the original short and stout. (Now, Greta, a 1964 Atwood Camper, leads the fleet.)

Runyon and her husband both have artistic as well as culinary backgrounds. Their flare for styling is apparent in their streamlined and on-trend look. And their years of collective experience in service shines through in the practicality of their setup and amenities. All of the juices are hand-squeezed for fresh, handcrafted cocktails. They bring glassware, straws, napkins, garnishes, and perhaps most importantly—ice. Imagine the load off the bride-to-be or party planner’s mind if they didn’t have to worry about the bar details. Just buy your beer, wine, and liquor and bring it to the site. They’ll bring everything else–including the kitchen sink. Along with the invaluable touch of personal, personable service.

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“We also aren’t just bartending at a table, we have experience being behind the bar from many years in the service industry. It’s all about the vibes,” Runyon says.

Beyond tending to your thirsty guests, Short and Stout has a growing collection of decor available for rent, including vintage chairs, a macrame backdrop, and a growing collection of glassware.

This all goes perfectly with the little-something-extra the couple employ to make things even easier for party people and the affianced: a simple photo booth for your guests to make memories. It’s a halo light ring, iPad with Simple Booth software and a stand. The client can set up a custom backdrop, booth, or dedicated photo op area, and just rent the equipment along with their bar. Guests can digitally share their photos, or rent a printer if they want to create a party favor station.

The perceived snag of not being able to legally sell liquor ends up being but a blip on the Runyon’s business radar. They help you plan your custom drink menu, and cater it to your guest count, using their experience to tell you how much to order. They set up, clean up, and can provide additional bartenders for big events, and power supply for convenience when outlets are at a premium, or you wanna take your bash out to the country. They bring all the essentials to keep the bar running smoothly for all your refreshment needs, even for kids and teetotalers. Sure, it’d be nice if the laws changed and they got a slice of the alcoholic pie, but the genius in the couples’ setup is that, to make a lasting impression, and take some of the work out of planning, you provide the bottles of booze, and they provide you with so much more.

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Food & Drink

Restaurant Week Sneak Peek: Wolf’s Ridge Brewing

Regina Fox

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In less than 10 years at its natural sunlight-soaked digs on N 4th Street, Wolf's Ridge Brewing has managed to become a place revered not only for brewing some of the best beers the city has to offer, but also for serving some of the best food.

What better time to experience them both than Restaurant Week January 20-25?

We were lucky enough to get a sneak peek of Wolf's Ridge three-course menu before it was released to the public, and we think you're really going to like it.

First Course: Choice of baked brie, endive salad, or bread and butter

The endive salad offered depths with every bite: the brightness of the shaved pear, the fresh earthiness of the endive, the texture of the fennel, the crunch of the walnuts. But the star of this dish was certainly the pool of tangy, creamy blue cheese dressing hiding below the colorful mixture.

Second Course: Choice of salmon, grilled cauliflower, or pork tenderloin

Without a shadow of a doubt, I believe each one of the entrees offered during Restaurant week are slam dunks, but to me, the choice was obvious: pork tenderloin.

The three plump and pink cuts of pork were so tender, they could be easily cut with just a butter knife. The succulence of the meat played well with the sweet, nutty sunchoke puree, and rich smoked hazelnut butter. Like the french origin suggests, the demi-glace soaked into the tenderloin truly was the "icing" on top.

Third Course: Choice of cheesecake or fudge bar

If at the end of your meal you're feeling bright, light, and flirty, the cheesecake is for you. The toasted coconuts coating the mousse-like rum cheesecake, icy pineapple sorbet and orange marmalade will send your palate on an all-inclusive trip to the seaside.

Feeling a little more dense or moody? The punch of the espresso ice cream, thick chocolate bar, and sticky caramel crémeux will have you closing your eyes, and "mmm"ing through every bite.

At $40, the Wolf's Ridge Restaurant deal is quite possibly the best time to experience the creative, elevated menu. But, you and the other 900,000 residents of Columbus already know that, right? So, don't wait to make your reservation!

To learn more about Restaurant Week January 20-25, visit eat614.com.

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Food & Drink

Restaurant Week Sneak Peek: Pig out on amazing deal from Hoggy’s

Mike Thomas

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Longtime fans of barbecue in Central Ohio will remember Hoggy's, the family-owned local barbecue chain which originally opened in 1991. Recent history saw Hoggy's step away from the restaurant game in favor of a thriving catering business. With a newly-renovated store on Bethel road, this OG Columbus BBQ joint is getting back in the retail mix.

Scroll down for an exclusive giveaway

We recently stopped by Hoggy's to preview all the delicious goodness they've cooked up for Restaurant Week. With a deal this sweet, it's time you got reacquainted with this awesome, homegrown barbecue spot!

Restaurant Week Deal: Choose three meats, two sides, and your choice of cobbler or banana pudding, all for $15.

You read that right: THREE meats. While Hoggy's brisket, pulled pork, or pulled chicken are all solid choices, be sure that one of your trifecta of picks is the baby back ribs. These are truly some of the best ribs we've tried in town.

Bonus sleeper pick: we found Hoggy's wings to be exceptionally crispy and flavorful, serving as the perfect delivery method for their great BBQ sauces.

When it comes to sides, you really can't go wrong at Hoggy's. From the potato salad to the "cowboy style" baked beans, each side has the same home cooked flavor that you'd hope to find at a family cookout.

As long as you're treating yourself, don't be afraid to go double-starch in the sides department. The mac and cheese (with both penne and elbow macaroni) is a can't-miss, but then who in their right mind can can pass on cheesy potatoes?

If you have any room left for dessert, either of the available options will be sure to send you over the edge into a food coma. Hoggy's satisfying cobbler is served oven-hot, just like grandma used to make. Likewise, the decadent banana pudding is everything it should be and more, with a fluffy, creamy texture that is unlike anything we've seen elsewhere.

When it comes to Restaurant Week, Hoggy's isn't playing around. For $15, this is one of the best bang-for-the-buck deals on the entire RW lineup. Don't sleep—there will be time for that after you've stuffed yourself with sides, dessert, and all the delicious smoked meats you can handle!

To learn more about Restaurant Week January 20-25, visit eat614.com.

Comment your favorite BBQ side dish to be entered to win dinner for two at Hoggy's!

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Food & Drink

New plant-based diner takes root in Downtown

614now Staff

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From the people who brought us Eden burger comes a new plant-based diner sure to satisfy your hunger.

4th & State is a vegan cafe and diner located in the heart of downtown Columbus under the leadership of Chad Goodwin.

Click here to read more about Eden Burger

Featuring fare aimed at both breakfast and lunch, hours will soon be expanded to cover dinner service to coincide with the launch of the restaurant's beer and wine program.

Below are pictures of a few of the most popular breakfast items thus far:

4th & State is located at 152 E State St. and is open Monday through Friday from 7am- 3pm, and Saturday through Sunday from 9am- 4pm. To learn more, check out their Instagram.

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