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Veteran Restaurateur Returning to Broad & High With Two Cafes
Friday, November 30, 2007
Article from Business First by Dan Eaton
Columbus, OH — Almost 20 years after Kevin Ames pushed hot dog lunch carts around downtown Columbus, he is returning to where his Central Ohio food career began with plans for a pair of restaurants. Ames plans to open Cafe Lola in December and Cinco in spring near Broad and High streets in a bid to capture a slice the downtown lunch market. "Downtown foot traffic is always shifting around the Statehouse," he said. "I'm betting that it's about to shift back to Broad and High where it belongs." Cafe Lola's menu will feature tossed-to-order salads, wraps, paninis, pizza thins, soups and breakfast. The average lunch check is expected to be between $5 and $6.50, while breakfast will be about $3. The goal is to get customers their orders in under four minutes. The cafe will seat 40 diners inside and as many as 20 on a patio. Ames isn't stopping with Cafe Lola. He plans to open Cinco on the ground floor of the Huntington Building at 17 S. High Street. That restaurant also would serve fast-casual fare, offering burritos and salads. The average lunch check will be $5, a figure that gave the restaurant its name. Cinco will have seating for 75 patrons inside and 30 on a patio. Ames projects roughly $500,000 a year in annual sales at each restaurant. Ames has been part of the Columbus restaurant scene since 1990, starting with four years of operating push carts. He opened three restaurants in the Short North in the 1990s, starting with Frezno in 1994 and following with Dagwoodz in 1997 and the Press Grill in '98. He sold them in 2003 and opened Cafe Iliana, fast-casual dining spots on Riverside Drive and Gay Street, which he sold last year. -- Dan Eaton

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