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Ivan Kane has dedicated an extraordinary amount of time to his Columbus venue—and he’s not done yet

Ivan Kane has dedicated an extraordinary amount of time to his Columbus venue—and he’s not done yet

Sarah Sole

Since opening his first venue in 1997, Ivan Kane has made his mark in big cities across the country. 

But when he introduced his brand to Columbus in January 2020, something strange happened. The nightlife innovator, so accustomed to creating concept after concept, was forced to stay put for a while when the pandemic hit and potential projects dried up. 

“I was able to focus primarily on the Columbus Forty Deuce,” Kane said. “I was able to really constantly make these adjustments.” 

Kane for a good while during the pandemic focused on just keeping the doors open at 3959 Brighton Rose Square in Easton Town Center. And as business leveled out, he was able to not just hold onto Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce Cafe and Speakeasy, but build on the original design. And alongside Executive Chef Chad Roth he’s still working to make it an even bigger experience for guests. 

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“I don’t know if I’ll ever stop that,” he said. 

A cafe and speakeasy club, Forty Deuce in Easton was designed to be experiential. And Kane has focused his creativity on the menu as much as the entertainment. 

The name Forty Deuce pays homage to Kane’s childhood—it was a nickname for 42nd street at Times Square, where Kane and fellow classmates would often go when they cut school. The menu, Kane said, is a love letter to his memories of New York. The gourmet burgers have names such as The Times Square, The Broadway, and The Rockefeller Center. When he grew the items on the menu, the naming convention stayed put. 

Kane wanted to show Columbus the fine eats one could find at some of his favorite New York haunts. In addition to adding more whimsical burgers to the menu, he added munchies, sandwiches, salads, and New York-style Pizza (“The Pizon” is a fresh-baked, 8-inch pizza made with housemade sauce, a blend of mozzarella and provolone cheese, old world pepperoni, and parmesan reggiano sprinkled on the top). 

Forty Deuce’s Skyscraper Shakes are as much a staple of the menu as the gourmet burgers are, and they come topped with all manner of sweet treats such as entire brownies, lollipops, and intact cake slices. Kane recently added two shakes and a rootbeer float to the menu, and they push the envelope in much the same way as the existing offerings do. There’s “The Pippin” (sweet white icing rim rolled in orange sprinkles, handmade vanilla and orange cream swirl ice cream topped with gummy orange candies, orange flavored wafers, and a frozen Orange Creamsicle ice cream pop), “The Big Apple” (sweet white icing rim rolled in Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, caramel drizzle, handmade vanilla and apple pie ice cream, Sugar Rush caramel apple pie cookie, made-to-order warm housemade churro, and an optional Fireball mini airplane bottle), and “The Soda Jerk,” Kane’s take on the classic American rootbeer float that features rich and creamy vanilla ice cream in a frosted mug, topped with a gourmet spiced root beer pop and a dollop of whipped cream. 

For Kane, attracting customers for the entertainment experience as well as the inventive culinary delights is about ensuring they’re getting “the bang for their buck.” Since opening in Easton, Kane has continued to build brand awareness here, and he’s found his niche. 

“It’s been a really rich experience for me here,” he said. 

Want to read more? Check out our print publication, (614) Magazine. Learn where you can find a free copy of our new June issue here!

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