Two business partners in the Trevioli Italian Kitchen restaurant in north Columbus have now set their sights on opening two more eateries, one at Main Street Village near Columbus Park Crossing and the other on Broadway in the city’s downtown district.
Chef Trevor Morris and businessman Sanjay Choudhury, who launched Trevioli Italian Kitchen on Blackmon Road in May 2017, will first sink their teeth into converting the former Main Street Grill & Bar at 6298 Veterans Parkway into a fine-dining restaurant, with plans to open by the middle of November.
“We looked at this property a year ago and it just so happened it recently became available, so we decided to jump on it. We’re naming it Hudson’s after my son. I guess we’re calling it American (cuisine), which in the restaurant world means cook whatever you want,” Morris said Tuesday with a laugh.
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For customers who frequent the 110-seat eatery in the future, the menu that is still a work in progress is expected to have a mix of seafood and steaks, with tacos and burgers part of it as well, said Morris, who plans to be back and forth between the existing Trevioli Italian Kitchen and Hudson’s to make certain there are no issues. His wife, Brandi, now is the general manager at Trevioli.
“It’s exciting and a little nerve-wracking, too, because it’s a whole other baby basically,” she told the Ledger-Enquirer recently. “But, yeah, we’re excited for new adventures and other stuff besides the fresh pastas.”
The property tucked inside Main Street Village just off Whittlesey Boulevard came available when Main Street Grill & Bar closed a few weeks ago. That business was launched in early 2017 by Columbus-based performing DJ Roongsak Griffeth, whose stage name is Roonie G. The Sound Factory, a club and bar next door, remains open.
Choudhury said he was an investor in the restaurant operation and as it became clear that it would not survive, he took control of the property with plans to reinvent it as a much quieter fine-dining establishment with good food and a softer atmosphere that will include either light jazz or piano music in the background. Michael Woodham has been chosen to manage the restaurant.
“It is a challenge to have two restaurants because there’s different kinds of foods. One is Italian food and the other is American food,” Choudhury said. “But we have to grow, and we’re also planning a Trevioli downtown in the first quarter of 2019. We have a couple of spaces there (on Broadway) that we are working with a couple of Realtors on right now.”
Morris said Trevioli Italian Kitchen is established and streamlined enough in its operation on Blackmon Road that it can be replicated “fairly easily” downtown. His wife will be integral to that location as well, he said, with her organizational and business management skills expected to be one of the keys to success during the coming growth within what is turning into a restaurant company.
“We now have recipes, we have books and checklists and things that I never did before. I’ve always just flown by the seat of pants,” said Morris, whose original Trevioli’s Artisan Pasta Company in north Columbus operated in a converted storage space. “So when it comes to putting another Trevioli elsewhere, I think it will be a lot easier under her control. As for me, going from one restaurant to two, I think, is incredibly difficult. But Sanjay said if you can get to two, you can do 100. You’ve just got to figure out how to get to two.”
The chef also said being downtown and, specifically, on Broadway will be a great fit for Trevioli Italian Kitchen. He likes the “old school feel” of the area, the older architecture and how the area is now growing. Choudhury said the success of the whitewater rafting attraction and the development of more apartments and hotels make it an attractive moment to enter downtown.
“There’s a lot of people walking around downtown and Columbus is growing and that area has a lot of potential down the line. The only challenge is the parking there,” said Choudhury, conceding existing eateries such as Mabella’s Italian Steakhouse will be good competition, but also complementary to the restaurant offerings in and around Broadway.
“They are an Italian steakhouse and we are more Italian seafood and handmade pastas,” he said. “Those are two different styles of cooking and two different clientele. It’s a little competition between each other, but that’s a healthy thing because people have a choice and have different items at different restaurants to choose from.”
Hudson’s, meanwhile, plans to be something completely different from the previous restaurant models in the space at Main Street Village, Morris said. In the past, owners would simply move in to the property, renovate a bit and then open up. The new restaurant, which is now being cleaned up and will get new decor, won’t be anything like the previous eateries, he said, which should help it be successful long term.
“We were talking about it last night,” the chef said Tuesday. “It’s in the middle of everything in north Columbus, but it’s tucked away. It’s kind of like the armpit of Columbus Park Crossing. In some ways that’s good, because it will be a nice little restaurant that’s private and classy and quiet, but you’re in the middle of everything. You know me. I’ve always enjoyed those spaces going back to the storage unit.”
With the restaurant named after his 3-year-old son, Morris said customers also should expect to find a few “accents” in the establishment that refer to the youngster. That likely will include at least one menu item.
“Yeah, I was thinking something like a Hudson burger,” he said.