Clintonville Outfitters site could be the future place for cloud cooking

It looks like a cloud kitchen – or at least some sort of food service – is set to open at the old Clintonville Outfitters site at 2864 N. High St.

According to a concept plan filed with the City of Columbus, the project the developers want to open is a zero-consumption, on-site retail dining venue and a lobby for orders, pickup and take out.

The 9,000 square foot building would include 21 catering kitchens, as well as a cold store, employee washrooms and a bulk delivery area.

No representative of Mour Group Engineering + Design of San Diego or Maker Kitchens LLC of Los Angeles – whose names are appended to the proposal – would comment on the plans.

In the project summary, occupancy use is rated F-1, or catering, but the code does not distinguish between catering and cloud kitchens, also known as ghost kitchens, a fairly new term that means tenants use a small amount of space to build their brand, said Chris Presutti, chief zoning manager for the city of Columbus.

“We are seeing a lot of proposals for cloud kitchens,” Presutti said. “We regulate them in the same way as catering or, perhaps more relevantly, general take-out retail uses.

“We allow them in most shopping districts… and charge for parking for stores because they don’t have on-site dining areas,” Presutti said. “The closest traditional commercial use that I can compare it to is a pizzeria with no seats that sells pizzas by delivery or take out.”

The Mour Group has filed a preliminary concept plan with the city to do a quick review of the proposal, said Tony Celebrezze, deputy director of the Columbus Zoning and Construction Services Department.

The various agencies in the city then raise concerns about the plan, after which the developer is free to file a final construction plan, which is subject to further consideration, Celebrezze said.

The property has already received three waivers from the Columbus Board of Zoning Adjustment related to reduced parking spaces, the width of the parking lanes and a reduction in the area of ​​trees in the parking lot.

The owner of the site is 2864 Clintonville LLC, who purchased the land for $ 511,650 in March 2019.

The Wetstone Beer Co. had planned to open a production plant and tasting room at the site before the end of 2019, because This week had reported, but the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic resulted in the scuttling of the project.

A presentation to the Clintonville Regional Commission has not been scheduled.

The project is in District 1 of the CAC, represented by David Vottero.

“I always encourage all developers to contact us, even informally, because we as a committee work quite effectively as a sounding board,” Vottero said. “I think the idea of ​​it being a ghost kitchen, that seems like a pretty good use of the building.”

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