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Popular Chicago Italian restaurant lighting fire in Columbus

614now Staff

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A popular Chicago restaurant will be lighting a new fire in Columbus soon. Sono Wood Fired will open its first location outside of Chicago at 4055 The Strand West in Easton Town Center this fall.

Sono Wood Fired serves an authentic Tuscany-influenced Italian cuisine featuring house made pastas, hand-crafted wood-fired pizza, antipasti and an inviting wine bar filled with the warmth of the team members.

Sono Wood Fired has been Michelin Recommended for four years, named “Best Pizza” by Chicago Best, “Best Pizza in Chicago” by Chicago Magazine, received the “Hungry Hound Award, “Top Pizza Restaurant Chicago” by Rewards Network and “Diners Choice Award” by Open Table.

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“Our approach resonates with the true Italian food and pizza connoisseurs,” said Martin Murch of Good Eats Group. “We are eager to open at Easton Town Center, in my home state of Ohio. Guests will have an enjoyable culinary experience at Sono Wood Fired due to our focus on quality ingredients and thoughtful preparation of our food, wine selection and hand-crafted cocktails.”

“Sono Wood Fired offers an array of authentic classics along with unique dishes you won’t find anywhere else,” said Jennifer Peterson, Chief Executive, Easton. “With its popularity in Chicago, a town that really knows pizza and pasta, we knew that it would hit the ground running in terms of popularity for Easton guests. Whether you stop by for a bite during brunch, come to create your own pizza with your kids or to celebrate a special occasion with loved ones, you are going to get a great meal in a great atmosphere.”

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Food & Drink

Brand new concept opening today in former CBC Restaurant

Regina Fox

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The CBC Restaurant successor will finally take the helm today. Matt & Tony's Wood Fired Kitchen is open now at 525 Short St.

Matt & Tony’s Wood Fired Kitchen will focus on contemporary American cuisine and craft cocktails in an eclectic space, according to a release. This is a spinoff concept from Pat & Gracie's Downtown co-owners Matt Rootes and Tony Wildman.

"We believe that there is a need downtown for prime steaks and great seafood at a reasonable price,” said Rootes. “We’re committing to excellent food and service in a relaxed and fun atmosphere with plenty of free parking available.”

Since the CBC Restaurant closed back in July 2018, the space has undergone extensive renovation to better suit the contemporary Matt & Tony's brand.

After announcing the closure, CBC Restaurant planned to rebrand as Oxbow on Short. However, severe health issues rendered one owner, Doug Griggs, incapable of continuing.

Mat & Tony’s is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week with most menu items under $20. Hours are 11am- 10pm Sunday through Thursday and 11am- 11pm Friday and Saturday.

More information can be found at mattandtonys.com.

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Food & Drink

Dick’s Dive will be your new favorite hole-in-the-wall bar

Regina Fox

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Columbus has plenty to offer for fans of smoked cocktails and rooftop views, but today, I've got something for the mediocre brown liquor and dive bar enthusiasts. Dick's Dive is now open directly below Zeno's at 384 W. Third Ave., serving "beers your dad would drink" in the perfect basement bar atmosphere.

Dick's Dive is a tribute to Owner Quinn Allen's late father and local business legend Dick Allen. He is immortalized through family photos that line the walls of the dive, neon signs that once hung in the family basement and garage, and through the "Dick Allen," the bar's signature beverage made of Double Paramount run, soda, and a splash of sugar-free Red Bull.

The bar is furnished with a shuffleboard table, a Touch Tunes machine, a soft leather sofa, a few TVs that will show football games, and several wooden round tables that look to have been scored at an old estate sale. Allen opted for round tables as opposed to smaller two-tops or long bench-style seating to encourage intermingling between small groups of bar-goers.

"We expect the crowd to be as mismatched as the furniture," Allen said.

The black and white checkered floors are scuffed from years of fun when the basement was used as a private events space, and though newly-renovated, the corner bar has a built in authenticity—I'm sure it could tell a story or two.

The ceilings hang low and the lights are even lower, creating the perfect windowless well to forget your problem and the time.

Typically, it requires a great deal of time for a new bar to be dubbed a "dive," but Dick's is different. Through its colorful history, storied decor, and organic hole-in-the-wall vibe, I can confidently lump it in with my favorite dives around the city like Meister's, Mike's Grill, and Byrne's Pub.

Cheers, Columbus, we can now drink cheap beer in a basement and not have to hide it from our parents.

The bar is open from 6pm- 2am. Tuesday through Friday, times vary Saturdays based on Buckeye kickoff, and Sunday from 11am- 2am.

In case you haven't already painted a picture in your mind, take a virtual stroll through Dick's Dive with our 360° photos below.

Note: use the left/right arrows in the upper-left corner to navigate between images.

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Food & Drink

I had a Baja Blast at High St’s recently-opened Taco Bell Cantina

Asa Herron

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Once again, Taco Bell has surprised us all by adding alcohol to their drink menu. Upon hearing that the Taco Bell Cantina at 1525 N. High St. obtained its liquor license, my expectations were very ambivalent. Am I going to walk in and see a full bar with a separate area to order food, a la Plaza? Or are they going for something like Chipotle with bottles of beer and fresh margaritas available to order at the register?

Taco Bell’s drink menu turns out to be a similar, cheaper version of Chipotle’s drink menu. Instead of bottled Coronas and Patron margaritas, Taco Bell offers beers on tap and the option to add rum, vodka, or tequila to your freeze. All of the freeze flavors are available to make alcoholic––including the holy grail of Taco Bell beverages, the Baja Blast.

Photos: Amal Saeed

In keeping with Taco Bell tradition, the prices for the drinks are fairly cheap. You can get a 16-ounce Bud Light for $3, Corona for $4, and Thirsty Dog or Lost Coast for $5. However, the real treat here is the alcoholic freeze, which is only $5. The key to enjoying one of these boozy Baja Blast freezes is to keep mixing it and drink it fast. Otherwise, the alcohol you have mixed in will all go to the bottom.

The numerous televisions on the wall and high-top tables with stools to sit at create an atmosphere that could loosely pass as a casual bar. The real potential of this Taco Bell drink menu lies in its ability to transform your pre- gaming on your way to Short North bars. It’s a great quick stop before the rest of the night, or a way to bring it to a close with one last drink.

I’m not so confident that this new drink menu will go well in hours just before the south campus hotspot closes at 4am, but I can only imagine the level of intoxication that will be reached by some individuals. It’s no secret that Taco Bell is caviar to anyone under the influence. As long as the one security guard on duty can handle his own, you can bet we’ll be back for drinks at Taco Bell Cantina.

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