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Luck of the Irish: Pub recommended for Commons

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A British/Irish pub and grill would be the new tenant for a vacant restaurant space in The Commons under a recommendation adopted by a city commission.

Columbus Redevelopment Commission accepted the proposal of Jordy McTaggart’s Grill and Pub as the new tenant at a special meeting Wednesday night. The restaurant was proposed by Tim Rohrer of Nashville and David Baker of Shelby County. The pair own and operate three Montana Mike’s Steakhouses, including the one in Edinburgh.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to jump in and be part of the bustling downtown district,” Rohrer told the commission.

The owners hope to be open by St. Patrick’s Day.

Rohrer said that the restaurant is not part of a chain and would be the only restaurant of its kind within an hour drive of downtown Columbus.

Once the lease is approved, Rohrer said that he expected the reconstruction of the space to take about 120 days. Laura DeDomenic, a Realtor with F.C. Tucker/Scott Lynch Group, who presented the pub proposal to the city, said she is hopeful that the timeline would allow the pub to open by March 17.

The commission referred the proposal to its attorney, Stan Gamso, for contract negotiations. After negotiations, the contract must be approved by the Redevelopment Commission and twice by the City Council. Although the commission is scheduled to meet again Nov. 18 and City Council on Nov. 19, it is unlikely that the contract negotiations could be completed in time for those meetings, Gamso said.

The City Council could waive its rules and approve the contract twice in one meeting instead of over two weeks.

A tenant review committee composed of members of the City Council, the Redevelopment Commission and The Commons Board recommended Jordy McTaggart’s over three other proposals: an Arni’s, a Tropical Smoothie Café and a Commons Coffee Bar.

Tim Shuffett, a City Council member who served on the tenant review committee, said the Irish pub proposal best fit the 14 criteria the committee used to judge the proposals. Although he stressed that the City Council had yet to vote on the proposal, he said he thought the council would support the restaurant bid.

Cheryl Buffo, a member of The Commons Board, said she supported the proposal because Rohrer and Baker “do restaurants a lot and they do them well.”

The Commons space has been vacant since March when the previous tenant left after disputes with the city over utilities, rent, buildout costs and a change of the restaurant name and concept.

A taste of Ireland

What: Jordy McTaggart’s Grill and Pub was chosen by the city to be the next restaurant in The Commons.

Who: Proposed by Tim Rohrer, of Nashville, and David Baker, of Shelby County, who own three Montana Mike’s Steakhouses.

Menu: American fare and Irish/British favorites such as fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, and corned beef and cabbage.

Prices: Lunch, $7 to $12. Dinner, $8 to $20.

Space: The entire vacant 5,511 square feet in The Commons.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.

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