The off-campus portion of North High Street’s landscape continues to evolve.
The newest edition to the changes came Wednesday with the announcement that Eddie George’s Grille 27 will be relocating from its current location in the South Campus Gateway to Grandview Yard in the coming months.
“We have had a very successful 10-year run at South Campus Gateway,” said Marc Buehler, president of g3 Restaurants, which manages four sports-themed eateries across the country, including Eddie George’s. “It’s always tough to leave a location, but the opportunity to move to such a dynamic project — we just couldn’t say no.”
Eddie George’s Grille, presently situated at 1636 N. High St. near Chittenden Avenue, will be moving to 775 Yard St. in the space soon-to-be vacated by the Buckeye Hall of Fame Grill.
Buckeye Hall of Fame Grill is set to close its doors for the final time Sunday, ending a five-year stint at Grandview Yard.
“When we hit the five-year point, we began to look at a variety of opportunities that were there for us,” said Tina Guegold, vice president of Nationwide Realty Investors, which is the real estate firm overseeing the area’s development . “When Eddie George’s reached out to us about relocating to Grandview Yard, we started looking at the (Buckeye Hall of Fame Grill).
“It seemed to be a great fit.”
Buehler said the renovation of the new space will commence “soon” after Buckeye Hall of Fame Grille vacates the space. The application process for all the necessary permits is nearly underway, which lends itself to a quick turnaround.
The target date for cutting the ribbon at the new, 8,000-square-foot location, he said, is “late spring.”
While the construction on the new venue is ongoing, the Eddie George’s on High Street will remain open for business. There will be a minor time frame when neither restaurant is in operation. For a point of reference, Buehler said the current location will “close on a Tuesday” and the Grandview Yard store will “open on a Thursday.”
One of the original tenants in South Campus Gateway, Buehler said it was a “tough decision” to sever ties with the location, but at the end of the day, he feels the move is the right one for Eddie George’s.
In the Gateway, parking can be be a challenge for patrons, and when class is not in session, the restaurant’s business takes a hit, Buehler said. The company expects both of those downsides to be erased due to the relocation.
On days when the Ohio State football team played in Columbus, the store was known to be filled to the brim, as nearly every seat was filled with fans clad in scarlet and gray.
The fact that the restaurant will no longer be just off campus was considered, Buehler said, but the new location isn’t too far away, so he is confident its current following will remain loyal.
“We liked the fact that we are still close enough to campus that we can draw from our current fan base that uses us,” he said. “But game days aren’t all we’re built for. We’re built for 360 days a year. We want to be a year-round restaurant destination for folks.”
The company did mull over the possibility of keeping the High Street location and just opening a brand-new restaurant, but Buehler said it “didn’t make sense” to have two stores “within 2.5 miles of each other.”
“The benefits of Grandview Yard outweigh the benefits of Campus Gateway, in our view,” he said.
Eddie George’s arrival at Grandview Yard will prelude a slew of other new additions to the budding, near-downtown district.
Directly across from the building in which Eddie George’s will operate, a second hotel, the Courtyard by Marriott, is set to open in summer 2016.
The Grand Event Center, along with a new round of apartments, is also slated to open sometime over the summer, Guegold said.
All of the new growth in the area was a prominent catalyst in Eddie George’s choice to relocate.
The restaurant will build off the atmosphere it has on High Street, Buehler said, and all of the employees of the current store are able to stay aboard.
“It’s really a dynamic area,” Buehler said. “And we’re excited to be a part of it.”