A former Columbus milk production and delivery company opened for the first time since 1967 and now specializes in more than just dairy products, according to its website.
Budd Dairy Food Hall, located in the Italian Village at 1086 N. Fourth St. and run by Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, opened on April 6. the community and a “Hatch” kitchen, which serves as a pop-up place for a series of rotating chefs to try out new recipes and increase their presence.
Partner chefs specialize in a variety of food types, from southern comfort food and American classics to Hawaiian-inspired poke and Filipino street food. Jenny James, senior director of marketing and events for Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, said Budd Dairy is designed to support its partner chefs and give them a launching pad to focus on their food and community relationships.
“A lot of these partner chefs, it’s either their first place or maybe their second, so a lot of them just figure it out,” James said. “This is why the concept of the food hall suits them perfectly. We take care of all the backend – so they all have, for lack of a better word, little stalls to do all of that magic – so they can really just focus on their food.
Budd Dairy is meant to be a place to grab a bite to eat, but it also has the potential to serve other purposes, said Jeremy Hughes, general manager of Budd Dairy Food Hall. He said he hopes this will also serve as a venue for community events and activities in the near future once the hall partner chefs settle in.
“We really want this place to be where people come to see events,” said Hughes. “We want to do yoga on the roof – there are all kinds of possibilities. A farmer’s market is something we would like to have on-site for the long term here one day a week. Right now, our focus is only on ensuring that our food hall operations are as strong as possible. “
The pandemic was a big challenge for Budd Dairy Food Hall, and Hughes said the hall’s official opening was delayed due to the severity of COVID-19 in the Columbus area.
“We were scheduled to open last May, and unfortunately about seven weeks before opening we were hit with the pandemic and the closures, which required us to take a look at our operations,” said Hughes. “At the end of the day, we kept the restaurant closed because we wanted to make sure that our partner chefs were going to be able to survive and be successful.”
Now that it’s open, James has said Budd Dairy is cutting its total capacity to 600 in half and accommodating just over 300 people until the pandemic subsides. The room also allows customers to sit manually instead of allowing customers to sit on their own, a rule that James says will also change with the pandemic.
James said customers are required to wear masks when not eating or drinking and the room offers contactless menu viewing and ordering through the use of QR codes and the “Toast” app.
The dining room has indoor and outdoor seating to provide an ideal safe and healthy dining experience with a variety of food choices in each dining space. James said the food hall has been successful since it opened, seeing a constant flow of community members.
“It’s been busy,” James said. “It was great – we had a lot of success on social media. I can tell you that we have a lot of different age groups. “
As summer approaches, James said she expects Budd Dairy Food Hall to continue to thrive as a casual place to hang out with friends and enjoy delicious food. The room is open Tuesday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and more information on Budd Dairy can be found on its website and Instagram.