Creativity Boosts Menu at Lewis Center Kitchen and Bar
Getting noticed in the competitive Polaris restaurant market is both fun and stimulating for Kevin Fetherolf, chef and co-owner of the Lewis Center Kitchen and Bar.
Sure, traffic numbers and gold-plated demographics are a retailer’s dream, but being independent among dozens of chains means a different set of tests and trials, he said.
âPolaris is a tough cookie because you have a great mix of ethnicity and income,â said Fetherolf, whose restaurant took over the old Louie Bar at 1611 Polaris Parkway in Columbus.
Opened in late 2020, as COVID-19 infections escalated and restaurateurs evolve their business models, Fetherolf and his business partner Jack Chen have decided there is no better time than now to open a kitchen to scratch.
They modernized the interior with new lighting, paintings and wall decorations, giving the space a warm and relaxed feel.
âEven though we knew COVID was going on, we wanted to give it a shot,â Fetherolf said. âWe knew that if we continued to grow the business every week, we would be doing something right. And that’s pretty much how it happened.
Chen, owner of two local House of Japan restaurants, gave Fetherolf the latitude to explore his own culinary path.
âI was lucky,â he says. âI had great people who coached me. And I put the (dishes) together in my head.
âIt tastes completely different,â he said. âIt’s like biting into a hamburger, but it tastes like steak. He’s got that real steak to chew on.
Crispy Philly Egg Rolls are a riff on the classic cheesesteak, served with a homemade steak sauce.
âIt has a bit of bite,â he said. âIt’s a little peppery. It tastes like barbecue.
A number of custom pizzas can be scaled up to the customer’s taste, he said.
Rangoon Salmon Pie is built in the style of folded wontons, stuffed with salmon, cream cheese, red onions, and a sweet Asian frosting.
Burnt tips, a barbecue classic, are prepared in a different way at the Lewis Center Kitchen and Bar. Fetherolf takes interior round cups, marinates them for 24 hours and cooks them slowly to medium. Cut into cubes, the beef is rubbed with a blend of house spices, glazed with barbecue sauce and topped with the reserved natural juice.
âIt melts in your mouth,â he says. âIt’s one of our bestsellers.
Most individual items are priced at $ 10- $ 20, with the most expensive dish being the 10-ounce Australian Wagyu Steak for $ 40.
Fetherolf has said almost everything about the menu can be made vegan, vegetarian or gluten free. He said he chose only the best meat and dairy substitutes, “or I wouldn’t,” he said.
He said staff and his son, Deputy Managing Director Nick Fetherolf, are welcome to give their opinion on whether a dish is appropriate. the menu.
âI like what he offers because it’s not what you will get everywhere else,â said Nick Fetherolf.
Kevin Fetherolf ran Kevin’s Catering while attending Tusculum College – now the University – in Greenville, Tennessee. With a degree in biology, he intended to become a doctor, going so far as to pass the test for admission to medical school.
But his wife informed him that their first child was on the way, so he dropped out of medical school for a life in the service industry, cutting his chops at an Italian restaurant in Florida, where he learned the value. fresh ingredients and how to make pasta and pizza dough from scratch.
Fetherolf then took the corporate route, learning the business side of the industry from companies such as Bob Evans Farms, Les Restaurants Frisch inc. and City barbecue.
He was a Tim Hortons franchisee at one point, but later sold his stake in the chain.
The kitchen is its place, he said.
âI’m a huge guy in the background,â Fetherolf said. “It was just something I wanted to come back to.”
Lewis Center Kitchen and Bar hours of operation are 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Brunch hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, call 614-987-6451.