Elizabeth Lessner hopes her newest restaurant venture is a blast. The co-founder of the five-restaurant Columbus Food League is adding a sixth eatery to the portfolio.
The Grass Skirt seeks to revive the fire-and-tiki kitsch of tiki bars of yore with Polynesian fare and flair at 105 N. Grant Street in spring 2012. “We’re working on a volcano,” Lessner said. “We can’t promise it yet because it may not work.”
Also part of the South Pacific plans — steaming drinks, a waterfall, Spam, pineapples and maraschino cherries. “We all grew up loving the Kahiki,” she said of the once-popular Columbus restaurant that lives on as a frozen food brand. “We try to find niches. Our restaurant group goes for a fun vibe.” The venture includes the rest of the Columbus Food League team — Carmen Owens, Amy Brennick, Tim Lessner and Harold LaRue. One appeal of the old MadLab Theater and Gallery space was that it was a high-ceiling and open space — giving the business brain trust the freedom to be more creative, including not just the Polynesian decor but the ability to build the kitchen from scratch.
Menu details still are in the works, but pricing will be affordable, Lessner said.
The Grant Street location, which will be next door to the new downtown Hills Market, also hopes to be a lunch and dinner draw for students at nearby Columbus State Community College and the Columbus College of Art & Design.
Dan Eaton covers retail, restaurants, manufacturing, automotive and the advertising/PR industry for Business First.
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