Foodies and happy-hour regulars alike are soon to have to go a greater distance to get their fix, as Cazuela’s Grill is relocating. Lucky for these individuals, the journey will be merely a few more steps up High Street.
The View on Pavey Square, a mixed-use development project by Celmark Development Group Inc. in partnership with Solove Real Estate, is set to house the new restaurant at 2321 N. High St. between West Northwood and West Oakland avenues.
“When we first got the news (that Cazuela’s would have to move) from the developers in February, it was kind of scary. We’ve been here for 10 years and didn’t know what we were going to do,” said Yessica Quezada, an employee at Cazuela’s. “But two weeks ago, NorthSteppe Realty bought the Mughal Darbar Indian restaurant and asked if we wanted the property this week.”
Cazuela’s signed the lease for the Mughal Darbar space, equipped with a bigger patio, and is set to move there in the near future.
However, while Cazuela’s will remain a North High Street institution, there has been concern expressed by the surrounding community about the Pavey project posing a threat to the old neighborhood’s character.
Protect Old North! — a more than 700-member organization that began on Facebook — has been pushing for preservation of the neighborhood.
“The people that live in the Old North are the ones reaping the consequences of Pavey Square’s involuntary repurposing of the neighborhood from individual to corporate ownership,” said Evan Davis, a member of Protect Old North! “The patio near Cazuela’s, built in the ’70s, established an arboreal gateway into Old North and the community has always taken pride in their atmosphere and ambiance. Those precious things are at risk here.”
Sam Runta, a representative on the University Area Commission, said the commission has been receptive to community concerns.
“The Columbus Board of Zoning Adjustment voted unanimously last Tuesday in approval of a zoning variance requiring Pavey Square building to stick to design setbacks,” Runta said.
The six 19th-century houses next to the current Cazuela’s building must be kept intact and the development has scaled back from its originally conceptualized 11-story structure in February to six, Runta explained.
According to a statement released by Celmark’s lawyers, the new development is currently slated to be located behind those six houses, contain 297 bedrooms and have 230 parking spaces off Northwood Avenue.
The project’s zoning variances have been approved by the Board of Zoning Adjustment. The remaining hurdle for the developers is next month’s University Area Review Board inspection of a conceptual redesign of Pavey Square. If the design is approved, the developers will be granted their building permit, Runta said.
Bharat Baste, COO of project architect BBCO Design, declined to comment for this article.
Celmark Development Group Inc. did not respond to questions despite multiple attempts for comment.
Though the Cazuela’s building will be demolished, Quezada remained optimistic about the future.
“My family grew up making food and we’re going to continue sharing our love with Columbus and students at Ohio State as long as we can,” Quezada said.