R.I.P. Rigsby’s Kitchen / Cuisine Volatile
Posted by cmh gourmand on November 9, 2015
Rigsby’s Kitchen or Rigsby’s Cuisine Volatile if you have been around town a while, closed it’s doors this past weekend. It had a good run lasting from February 1986 to November 2015 in the same location and with the same owner which is impressive in the restaurant game. And when the doors closed the food was still good, the reputation still in high regard and the experience still special. Rigsby’s did not die out due to a loss of food quality or falling behind the times. While many reasons have been speculated on, a part of the demise is due to the success of the restaurant and the area it helped grow around it. Rigsby’s was a pioneer in the Short North in an age when the neighborhood still had shades of a red light district and the shadow of the Short North Posse in its aura. In an era before the Convention Center and downtown living, setting up business on the Short North was a risk. Owner Kent Rigsby took that leap of faith and in the process helped draw new people and new development to the Short North.
I won’t go on about meals I’ve had or for some of you readers meals you may not have had a chance to enjoy. I only wrote about Rigsby’s once – and I wish I had done so more. For me, Rigsby’s was a favorite place to eat during an OSU home game when I could plan on having the spot to myself.
Instead of food I’ll mention a few things that Kent Rigsby contributed to the Columbus dining scene during the lifetime of the restaurant, so in no particular order: he helped bring the Mona Lisa mural to the Short North, A James Beard Award Nomination in 2012, K2U, Eleni-Christina Bakery (named after his daughter), The Flatiron, Tasi Cafe, serving on the board of Dine originals, many top 10 of Columbus Dining awards and Ray’s Living Room (an art gallery).
Rigsby has never been one to toot his own horn or maintain a status quo for too long so I am sure the end of Rigsby’s means something creative and/or culinary somewhere down the line from Kent Rigsby.
If you care to share your own memories or comments on Rigsby’s, I’d love to hear them – comment away.