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Popular Hoyo’s Kitchen makes its move to North Market




Hoyo’s Kitchen will hold its grand opening at North Market on Monday, August 12. Read below for the full scoop on the Somali restaurant.

The foreboding threat of heavy rain looms over downtown Columbus on a summer evening. But upstairs inside the cavernous, empty, and dimly-lit North Market, brothers A.B. and Mohamed Hassan describe the path they’ve walked as the founders and co-owners of Hoyo’s Kitchen, a fast casual Somali restaurant launched alongside their family back in November 2014.

Hoyo’s new North Market location has been met with a few delays, but to the Hassans, who have learned the business without any prior restaurant experience, setbacks are only a slight inconvenience—nothing compared to the uncertainty and stress they’ve been through since Hoyo’s first opened in an awkward strip mall corner on the corner of 161 and Cleveland Avenue in northeast Columbus.

Photos: Rebecca Tien

“We wouldn’t have survived the first few years if it wasn’t just us, our sweat,” recalls Mohamed. “Restaurants are competitive in general, but Somali restaurants in Columbus? There’s one that comes up every year or every few months. And another one that shuts down every few months.”

The concept of a family restaurant was in the works long before Hoyo’s became reality, explains A.B. “We grew up eating good food, and I’d always tell our mom, ‘We’re gonna open up a restaurant to showcase your talent.’ ”

When an opportunity to occupy a space not far from the city’s buzzing international Morse Road corridor presented itself, A.B. knew it was worth the risk. Poise, purpose, and commitment to the mission carried the Hoyo’s team through a tense initial period, when a small and inexperienced staff and a lack of equipment threatened their vision for a fast casual model.

“I just was confident if we offer good food—even though the old adage is ‘location, location, location’—it wouldn’t apply to a business that offered good food.”

The Hassans eventually hit their stride, and along the way grew more comfortable moving away from the norms of Somali restaurants. Most notably, the initial plan to operate as a traditional sit-down restaurant was scrapped in favor of a quick service restaurant model in line with trends across the food service industry. As their comfort with large-scale food prep and customer service grew, Hoyo’s earned a reputation as a Somali restaurant unique for its accessibility to those new to the culture’s food.

“[The American community] realized you could go to Hoyo’s Kitchen and we’re all born and raised here, so we can communicate, we know how to converse with people in English. That worked to our advantage because many of the other restaurants, they’re New American-run. There’s a language barrier. So we broke that barrier down and people appreciated that,” says A.B.

Eventually, word reached North Market Executive Director Rick Harrison Wolfe, who surreptitiously visited Hoyo’s one day to see the buzz for himself.

“They came, and they loved it. They absolutely loved it. Rick offered me an opportunity to propose [the concept for a stall]. He asked me if I was interested and I was like, ‘What? Hell yeah man.’ I never thought North Market was attainable.”

“It was the break that we needed at the perfect time,” adds Mohamed.

It’s hard to tell what’s more impressive about the Hassans: the confidence necessary to start such a bold enterprise from scratch, or the calmness in the face of such a profound step up. Regardless, A.B. and Mohamed are eager to share their recipes with a diverse clientele fond of trying new recipes without reservation.


“Nothing about our stall is subtle. I designed it to be eye-catching,” says A.B. “The food is not scary. It’s familiar, it’s just different. Everyone knows what rice is, our rice is different. People have had chicken before I’m sure, ours is just different.”

“The cool thing about it is everybody that’s here [at North Market] is willing to try something, so you’re not having to coax them or pull them by their ear,” echoes Mohamed, who frequented North Market as a high school senior new to Central Ohio.

“Whenever I would go out, I would come to the North Market. Or when cousins from out of town would come, I would take them to the North Market. This is kind of like a stamp of validation. They were pretty adamant about having a North Market that looks like the city, basically. There’s a huge Somali population in Columbus—the second largest in America—just behind Minnesota. So it’s pretty cool to see the Indian stall here, and then the Nepali stall here, and we’ll be the first African stall in the North Market in their history.”

The mission, first and foremost, is food. Yet A.B. has another tangential assignment in mind for Hoyo’s when their long-awaited debut finally arrives. The friendly fast casual environment is designed to expose customers to the delicacies of a culture with deep roots in the Ohio capital, roots that are here to stay.

“Food is part and parcel to the culture. It’s the gateway to the culture,” he explains. “We’re just doing our part to elevate the culture and the people, and the first way to do that is through the food. Some people don’t even know we have a cuisine. Media tells people we were starving—there was a famine in Somalia, of course, that came because of the lack of a central government. But Somali food is one of the best foods in the world.”

The process of normalizing and accepting a foreign culture may have never looked so natural and inevitable. Despite making history inside one of Columbus’ oldest institutions, the Hassans are calm, collected, and ready to proceed.

“The only pressure I have is to represent it right. I want to make sure I represent it right, because we’re gonna be the first ones to do it here, and we’ve got to make sure people leave thinking, ‘Maybe I’ll try another cuisine within the continent. Maybe I’ll check this out.’ … North Market]’s gonna be crazy but I feel like I’m not even stressed out. I’m really not. I’m just ready to do it.”

Hoyo’s Kitchen is located at The North Market on 59 Spruce St.
For more information on the restaurant, check out for the latest.

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Food & Drink

Too Good To Eat: SuperChef’s stuffed Scriddle Pancakes




Pancake my eyes off you, sweet cakes, cause no one stacks up to you.

Feast your eyes on the thickest thiccest pancakes that Columbus has to offer. SuperChef Ohio serves up these jumbo stacks of comfort in style, by combining the culinary flavors of savory and sweet—essentially, the best of both worlds.

Stuffed to the brim with scrambled eggs, deliciously sweet candied bacon, and house-made sausage all covered up in warm maple syrup, these cakes are not to be missed.

Picture this: four of the thiccest, fluffiest, and softest pancakes stacked one on top of each other with hot maple syrup cascading down the sides.

Grab that knife in your hand and take that first slice down all four pancakes all at once. Watch as the warmth from the layered cakes is released, and along with it all the combined flavors of sweet and salty bacon and sausage.

Shove a generous helping of the cakes into your mouth and close your eyes. Feel instantly comforted by the penultimate flavors of breakfast all in one bite.

Take a big swig of coffee (or milk, whatever suits you) and prepare for another bite of breakfast dream come true. Fancy yourself a one-stop-shop for all your breakfast needs? SuperChef Ohio has got you covered.

SuperChefs has locations in Downtown and Gahanna. Visit for more information.

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Food & Drink

5 reasons to look forward to North Market Bridge Park, new merchants announced

Regina Fox



You now have five more reasons to be excited for Dublin's North Market with its recent announcement of merchants. North Market veterans and newbies alike are coming together for the first phase of committed businesses for the Bridge Park public market.

Momo Ghar, Dough Mama, Market Bar, Coastal Local Seafood, and The Dublin Farmer's Daughter will occupy five of the 19 stalls.

“Like we have done for 143 years at our downtown location, we are successfully curating the best-in-class fresh meats, seafood, bakery, and produce categories for the Bridge Park facility that will provide a unique experience for visitors,” said North Market Executive Director Rick Harrison Wolfe.

In case you're not hip to the dynamite dumplings, Momo Ghar will be opening a third location inside North Market Bridge Park. As Food & Wine so affectionately wrote, “Once you try this food, you will never have any problem finding your way back here.”

Dough Mama is yet another Central Ohio favorite, serving "stick-to-your-bones" comfort food with a twist, according to the website. Guests can enjoy homemade biscuits, sandwiches, soups, desserts, pastries, and more.

Market Bar will be quenching the adult thirsts of North Market Bridge Park goers with a variety of craft beer and fine wines to go. This concept is owned by Pete Volker and Wayne Lin.

Central Ohio seafood distributor Ian Holmes, owner of Coastal Local Seafood, will bring his expertise to the North Market Bridge Park merchant community. Upon opening their first retail shop at North Market Bridge Park, Coastal Local Seafood will be able to provide the same wonderful seafood ingredients for home chefs and will also serve on-site menu items such as lobster rolls and crab cakes. Dublin residents and guests can look forward to enjoying fresh oysters at the New England-themed raw bar.

The Dublin Farmer's Daughter is a new concept from the owners of Copia Farm, partners Caitlin Bergman and Dan McLeod. This venture will focus on the highest quality ingredients sourced from our farm and other local farms said Bergman in a release.

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Game Day Destination: Urban Meyer’s Pint House offers food, fun, and football




Head coach, decorated collegiate champion, and the reason Jim Harbaugh probably can’t sleep at night; these are just a few of the many hats former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer wears. Though Meyer has stepped down as head coach of the Buckeyes’ football team, his tenure with the program has grown roots in the Columbus area. And now that Meyer is fully into his life after football, he’s added the hat of restaurateur to his repertoire.

Now open in Dublin Bridge Park is Urban Meyer’s Pint House—a joint venture between the former Buckeye coach and Corso Ventures. According to Justin Kintz, Corso’s Marketing Director, the restaurant will riff off the concept of Corso’s Short North Pint House with Meyer calling some of the shots just like he did on the sidelines with the Bucks.

“It’s still a pint house, a great place to come and watch the game, we just gave it a Dublin twist,” Kintz said.

This Dublin twist and location comes from Meyer himself as he and his family currently call the suburb their home. The restaurant’s interior matches this Dublin description as it features a simple and approachable setup that still manages to feel quietly chic. Multicolored wood paneling on the walls gives way to strings of simple but tasteful exposed bulbs across the ceiling, as rows of high definition TVs line the walls, playing sports.

The new eatery’s menu contains the expected (and solidly crafted) slate of sandwiches and pizzas one would expect from a sports pub, but with an elevated twinge. One of the Pint House’s featured dinner entrees is linguine with clams which is a borrowed recipe from its sister restaurant, Forno Kitchen + Bar. Kintz explained that Meyer had become somewhat of a regular at the Short North bar and restaurant.

“Urban loves Forno, and his favorite thing there is the linguine with clams,” said Kintz, “So he brought it over.”

The dish is made up of littleneck clams on linguine with Roma tomatoes, white wine, garlic, and lemon, and is available for $19. Other dinner entrees include salmon, petit filet, house battered buttermilk chicken tenders, and Pasta Forno, a rigatoni dish in vodka sauce.

Another menu item borrowed from Forno is their arancini appetizer. The fried risotto balls with Fontina cheese and San Marzano sauce, are now also a favorite appetizer at the Urban Meyer Pint House as well.

“It’s the best-selling item there,” said Kintz.

While the eatery serves lunch and dinner currently, they will soon be rolling out a brunch menu of their own as well. Additionally, each Wednesday the restaurant will feature a special of beer-broiled chicken, fries, and beer for $10, with drinks coming from a rotating series of breweries that is scheduled to change bi-weekly.

Take one look at the restaurant’s name though, and you should know that it isn't just known for its eats. In fact, it’s in the establishment’s libations that patrons will find the most direct nod to the former Buckeyes football coach. 

In a collaboration with the Columbus-based Land-Grant Brewing Company, the pint house worked to create its very own beer in tribute to Meyer. 7-0 Ale is a 5% ABV Kolsch-style Ale that’s light-bodied, crisp, and easy drinking. The beer is available in both cans and on tap.

It’s name, 7-0 Ale, is a figure that appears frequently throughout the taphouse, one that diehard Buckeyes fan will likely catch. It references Meyer’s perfect 7-0 record in tilts with the rival Michigan Wolverines during his seven seasons in Columbus.

Additionally, the pint house features over 20 $7 craft pours alongside a list of canned and bottled beers and ciders for $4.50 and $5.

And beer isn’t the only thing on the drink menu either. In addition to a litany of champagne and wines with both glass and bottle prices, a menu of fun cocktails are available for purchase.

According to Lintz, the Frosé cocktail at Forno (made up of frozen rosé wine, Absolut Grapefruit, fresh strawberries, and lemon) has become a favorite of Meyer’s wife, Shelley Mather Meyer, so much so that it’s been given space on the menu at Urban Meyer’s Pint House, referred to as Shelley’s Frosé. Beside a list of signature and custom cocktails, the restaurant offers the Monster Mule, a 96-ounce Moscow Mule; a jumbo martini that serves four; and Shelley’s Punch Bowl, a mixture of Belvedere, Lustau rose vermouth, lemon, hibiscus tea, Peychaud’s, raspberry, and cava, served out of a giant flamingo vessel.

The restaurant, located at 6632 Longshore Dr. in Dublin, is Monday through Thursday from 3 pm until closing, Friday and Saturday from 11 p.m. until 2 a.m., and on Sunday from 11 a.m. until close.

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