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Jed’s fires up off-campus

Chris Poche / Design Editor

A new restaurant has come to Ohio State’s off-campus area and is prepared to serve up

some heat.

Jed’s Express, opening Thursday, will feature a signature menu item known as fireballs, flash-fried breaded chicken tenders covered in the customer’s choice of sauce.

“The chicken is never frozen, it’s always fresh. What we do is we cut them every day, we put a light breading on them and we flash-fry them and toss them into any sauce that someone would like,” said Ryan Johnson, owner of Jed’s Express. “We’ve got 14 different sauces to toss the chicken in.”

The restaurant, located on East 11th Avenue close to High Street, is an express style of Jed’s Barbeque and Brew, the restaurant Johnson and Mike Govito already own in Hilliard. There are also four other Jed’s restaurants located in northern Ohio.

Govito said they decided to open a branch near campus because their food appeals to young adults.

“We feel the fireball is going to go over well with the students,” Govito said.

Students will have the option to upgrade the original fireballs to specialty fireballs. One variety of specialty fireballs, the ‘hangover balls,’ are topped with tater tots, green peppers, onions, bacon, fried eggs and melted cheese. Prices for the fireballs range from $5.99 to $9.99, he said.

Zach Dodenhoff, an Autumn 2010 graduate in turfgrass science, has been to a Jed’s in Toledo and said he’s excited about the new off-campus location as he lives in Columbus and visits campus regularly.

“I’d say the regular fireballs are my favorite (food at Jed’s,)” he said. “I’ve never had a bad meal there. It’s always pretty good and pretty greasy. It’s like ten times better than B-Dubs.”

Govito said they want to adjust the atmosphere to fit in better with a college environment.

“We want people to be able to get their food very quickly and also with great taste,” Johnson said.

Govito and Johnson both hope to add a delivery option by this winter, Govito said.

“We just want to get on our feet, get the new location running smoothly before we start delivery, something we’ve never done before,” Johnson said. “We just want to make sure it’s done right.”

Jed’s Express will also serve other American-style items, such as sandwiches, salads, soups, homemade chili, fried pickles and dips.

The inside of the restaurant hosts a unique, edgy style, with hand-painted murals of artists like Jimi Hendrix, Jay-Z and Heath Ledger as the Joker.

“The music playing (in the restaurant) is from ‘60s rock to modern rock to alternative from the ‘90s,” Govito said.

The owners have high expectations for their success near campus.

“Once we get open, there’s no doubt in my mind we’re going to do great here,” Govito said.

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