Evening dining options in Plain City are about to expand. On Tuesday, village officials joined the owner and operators of Tavern 161 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony which will mark one week until their grand opening.
Those attending the event were greeted by owner Jason Shumway who offered coffee and donuts and encouraged visitors to tour the nearly finished establishment.
Shumway took over the building at 155 W. Main St., the previous location of the Plain City Pub, in March 2017. Since then, he has worked transforming the inside into a restaurant and bar that will have its grand opening next week.
“We’re a family-friendly operation here. After eight, the live music is going to kick in, the adult settings are going to kick in and it’ll be up to the parents’ discretion,” Shumway said. He has partnered with Sweet T’s Southern Style Kitchen, a food truck headed by Chef Travis Hyde located in Westerville, to provide the bar with a full restaurant menu.
“We want to have live music, we want to have a place where people can come in and eat,” Shumway said. “Chef Travis is pulling some things off his menu and making them exclusive to the Tavern.”
The business is really the combination of those two ideas.
Shumway, a Michigan native who moved to central Ohio in 2003 and has lived in Plain City for six years, is a businessman by trade. He currently owns a construction company, Bradford Xteriors, which specializes in roofing, siding, and window replacement. Through a chance suggestion, an agent at his insurance company paired him with Hyde who was looking to open a brick and mortar store.
“I’ve always wanted to have a family business,” Hyde said. “And being able to work in the restaurant is a step toward that since this venture isn’t more than two years old.” He started his food truck as a love-letter to the southern kitchens he grew up around, serving southern-style comfort food such as Po’ Boy sandwiches and Cajun Jambalaya.
“We’re doing scratch cooking here as well, which means we’re going to be using fresh ingredients and high quality food,” Hyde said. “A lot of places don’t do that because they worry about costs and this and that. But I have a passion about this and want to bring forward the best I can.”
Hyde went to culinary school at Columbus State Community College and has worked in restaurants his whole career. He has been executive chef at a variety of places including Z Cucina and the New Albany Country Club.
Tavern 161 will have its grand opening Tuesday, Jan. 23.
Reach Michael Williamson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619.