Mary Dixon, making salads at Zachary's Tuesday, looks forward to helping with Sunday's Taste of Columbus. Ten participating restaurants will offer foods from 1-5 p.m. at the benefit hosted by Zachary's at 205 Fifth St. N. in support of Main Street Columbus' beautification and revitalization efforts. Craft beer samplings will also be offered. Taste it all for a $10 donation. Dixon has worked at Zachary's for 19 years. Photo by: Jan Swoope/Dispatch Staff
September 18, 2019 10:51:05 AM
Shrimp, beef kabobs, corn, gumbo, chicken, protein bars, cheese sticks, veggies, desserts, craft beers -- the list goes on. This will be a Taste of Columbus, a new event to celebrate the city's culinary vibe and to benefit the work Main Street Columbus does to beautify and revitalize the historic downtown district. The just-reopened Zachary's will host this taste fest from 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Ten local eateries will showcase a variety of foods. Craft beer samplings will be available, too.
"Other communities are doing this, and we thought it was time for Columbus to step up and offer something where people can taste samples from all the restaurants that wanted to be involved at one time," said Zachary's owner Doug Pellum. That business, at 205 Fifth St. N., reopened last week following a multi-month renovation caused by an April 28 fire.
"Main Street Columbus does so much for downtown and for the community and for the City of Columbus," Pellum said. "This is just a chance to help them and to expose the community to what Columbus has to offer."
Accompanied by live music, participating restaurants including Breaux Bridge, East Mississippi Community College's Lion Hills Center, Harvey's, Huck's Place, JUVA, Kidd's Crawfish, Lost Pizza Co., The Grill, Umi and United Deli will set up under tents on Second Avenue North, between Zachary's and Zachary's Event Tavern (formerly The Elbow Room). That portion of the street will be open to pedestrian traffic only.
Jody Denney, general manager of The Grill, said, "We want to be a part of this because we do believe Columbus, even though a small town, has a lot to offer with all the restaurants." At its tent Sunday, The Grill will serve up steak sticks and fried cheese bites. Their sister restaurant, Harvey's, plans to serve beef and vegetable kabobs.
"We're super excited to be part of it and glad that Columbus is putting this together -- and glad Zachary's is back open to host it for us," Denney said.
Spearheading the organizational effort are Pellum, community volunteer Colin Krieger and Barbara Bigelow, executive director of Main Street Columbus.
According to Krieger, Better Brands Distributing Co. and Clark Beverage Group will provide craft beer samplings from breweries including Bell's Brewing Co., Crosstown Brewing Co. and Parish Brewing, among others.
Musicians at the mic throughout the afternoon will include Bo Jeffares, Dustin Gibson, Jeffrey Rupp and the Bonfire Boys.
To host a community-wide event only days after reopening is something of a feat for Pellum and the Zachary's staff.
"They've done so much to get back open; Doug has proven that there's just not much they can't do, and he's so supportive (of the community)," said Bigelow, who has watched staff and work crews bustle to open the eatery's doors again downtown.
Suzy Huckaby of Huck's Place -- serving chicken and sausage gumbo at its tent Sunday -- is glad to see this event come together.
"Anything that helps anything else in the community is going to benefit everybody, not just the one's who are doing it," she remarked. "We're glad to be a part of it."
Taste of Columbus promises to be a festive and delicious afternoon, designed to bring people together, strengthen relationships and support Main Street Columbus.
"I am really thrilled about it," Bigelow said. "It'll be the first one, and I hope it becomes an annual event."
Enjoy the tastings for a $10 donation. For information about sponsorships, contact Krieger at 662-329-7653. To volunteer, contact Main Street Columbus, 662-328-6305.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.