Any foodie knows that the city of Columbus in Ohio is a gastronomic empire. From food festivals to fast food chains—Columbus was the site of the very first Wendy’s restaurant in 1969—the city is brimming with a love for all things food. Scattered around the city are diners, bars, and bistros who provide delicious food and architectural feasts for the eyes as well. These gorgeous, functional structures could only have been realized by the best restaurant architects in Columbus, Ohio.  

The top restaurant contractors on this list have been ranked according to their company profile, experience, services offered, customer satisfaction, awards received, and media features and coverage. With these firms’ unique designs and services, as well as their high levels of quality, clients are sure that their discerning tastes and preferences will be satisfied, whichever firm on the list they choose to work with.

If you are thinking about building a restaurant, we recommend checking each builder’s license with the local licensing board, speaking to past clients, and using our bidding system to get competitive quotes from at least 3 contractors. Getting multiple bids is the best way to ensure you get a fair price and that bids include the complete scope of work.

Abbot Studios

130 East Chestnut Street, Suite 302, Columbus, OH 43215

In its 68 years of operation, Abbot Studios has been a top player in the retail scene, with over 5,000 completed jobs in its portfolio. Because of Abbot Studios’s prolific practice, top names in the retail world have recognized the value of working with a firm that has a deep understanding of the unique needs of the retail market. That is why they choose to work with the Abbot Studios Team, a proven leader that consistently delivers smart, innovative solutions with high-quality results.

Heading the firm are William E. Abbot, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB, Sean W. Abbot, the firm’s principals, and Michael H. Lutsch Jr., AIA, NCARB, managing principal. Together, William, Sean and Michael lead the staff at Abbot Studios, who play an integral part in providing the firm’s clients with the kind of innovative design and client services that leads to long-standing relationships. The firm’s diverse and creative team is fundamental to its pursuit of cost-effective, unique solutions for valued partners. For over 60 years, Abbot Studios has used a solution-based approach to provide the attention and support that its clients have come to rely on.

Bass Studio Architects

36 King Avenue, Columbus, OH 43201

Founded in 1992, Bass Studio Architects is a full-service architectural design firm based in Columbus, Ohio. BSA’s services include planning, architecture, interiors, retail, and related design services. While most of the firm’s work is located in Central Ohio, Bass Studio Architects has completed projects successfully in Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Oklahoma. The firm has also completed several major projects in Toledo and routinely performs work for Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

After almost three decades of service, BSA has acquired an outstanding reputation for its comprehensive architectural offerings. Chief in its philosophy is the position the client occupies at the heart of the design process. To the firm, the project is not the drawings or the finished construction—it is the process of getting there, the decisions, the client, the interactive structure that completes the work, and the feelings that remain when the construction is finished. All of these things, along with the studio’s team and the value-oriented materials the team employs, sets the work of Bass Studio Architects apart from the rest. 

DK Architects

2960 Columbus Pike, Delaware, OH 43015

DK Architects has been providing quality service since Dave Kerr started his company in 2011. The firm offers expertise in a full range of architectural services in a wide variety of commercial building types including retail, religious, restaurant, office, medical, veterinary, and industrial.

Dave’s personal approach to his clients’ services is foundational to the firm, resulting in quality projects from start to finish. He spent 15 years at M+A Architects as a Project Manager and Associate, and he was a key figure involved in many of the company’s business decisions. Today, he continues to lead his firm and design team towards designing more people-oriented environments. DK leaves clients’ designs, team meetings, the construction site, and its own office, better places than they started the project.

Gieseke Rosenthal Architecture + Design, LLC

330 W. Spring St., Suite 265, Columbus, OH 43215

Gieseke Rosenthal Architecture + Design is an Ohio-based architectural firm established in 2004. As a local firm, GRA+D has created many of the familiar spaces in Ohio including retailers such as Jeni’s Ice Creams and Northstar Cafe, as well as many additional restaurant, office, and residential projects. 

GRA+D welcomes the challenge of any kind of project. A great deal of its work comes from what it refers to as entrepreneurial clients—clients highly invested in whatever it is they are doing. The firm finds that these clients are passionate and smart, and place a great value on architecture that captures what it is that makes them and their enterprise unique. The firm seeks out opportunities to work for clients with a great deal on the line, and because the client goes all out in terms of dedication to the project, so does the firm.

M+A Architects

775 Yard Street, Suite 325, Columbus, OH 43212

Over the course of nearly four decades, M+A Architects has carved out a reputation as a reliable and collaborative partner, with an experienced team that practices its trademark brand of smart and sustainable design, balancing the art and science of architecture across several dedicated design studios. The Columbus-based firm’s collaborative and holistic creative process is service-oriented and solution-driven, designed to deliver sustainable and sophisticated built environments tailored to meet client needs.

M+A’s diverse portfolio features a list of groundbreaking and award-winning projects that span a broad range of industry sectors, including community/municipal, workplace, retail/mixed-use, healthcare, higher education, multifamily, senior living, and affordable housing. Pictured below is an example of the firm’s work on the locally beloved Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers restaurants. What started as a collaboration between M+A and the largest franchisee Raising Cane’s Ohio (RCO Limited) on a single restaurant soon blossomed into a long-term relationship spanning twelve years and 30 locations.  The firm utilized an integrated project delivery approach with a focus on early teaming, which helped minimize errors and maximize budgets for each project. M+A also worked successfully with various municipalities as the owner’s advocate to comply with zoning standards. Today the firm continues to work with RCO to evolve their prototype and to continue to support their needs in bringing One Love of chicken finger meals to all Caniacs.

Midland Architecture

1277 E Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43205

Founded in 2015 by Matt Diersen and Greg Dutton, Midland Architecture is a design studio with offices in Pittsburgh and Columbus. The firm creates spaces that generate beauty through simplicity. With projects throughout the United States, from New York and Los Angeles to the rural Midwest, the award-winning studio is equally at home in green spaces as it is with dense urban areas.  

The studio is helmed by powerhouse duo Matt Diersen and Greg Dutton, who have led the firm to create designs that have landed on the pages of Dwell, Wallpaper,* New York Magazine, and GQ. The firm has also been showcased on Discovery’s Building Off the Grid and HGTV’s Restored by the Fords. The firm’s projects have also been recognized through numerous awards by institutions such as the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and periodicals such as Architect Magazine.

mode architects

174 Thurman Avenue, Columbus OH 43206

Founded in 2008, mode architects is an architectural design firm with a focus on idea-driven design concepts, coupled with sound real estate and technical advice that results in the creation of outstanding spaces. The firm is a full-service architectural design firm offering architecture, interior design, space planning, planning, branded environments, and wayfinding services.  Its experience is varied across many building types including office, medical, financial, retail, bar/restaurant, event venues, and residences.  

Heading the firm is owner Mark Ours, who has over 18 years of experience, and has practiced architecture all over the world while working with a large international design firm. Under his leadership, the firm believes that the difference between any two designers or design practices is their ‘process’ or their ‘methods.’ mode architecture trusts that focusing on its process and what differentiates the firm individually as designers will produce better work, improve collaboration, and provide the best resources for its clients and their projects.


27 East Russell Street, Suite 300, Columbus, OH 43215

Nvironment is a design and architecture group specializing in restaurant, corporate, and retail spaces. In over 10 years of practice, Nvironment has been developing a reputation as an agile team that truly cares about its clients.  It is this care that allows the firm to collaborate so effectively with its clients, and that makes a world of difference during the complex projects it does for them. 

More than just a group with a set of design skills that provides architectural services, the Nvironment team is a living, breathing, extension of its passion. The care with which it handles every project goes beyond what any client could ever expect. For the firm, the projects it designs aren’t ‘work’—they are labors of love.

Pontia Architecture

39 East Main Street, Suite 101, New Albany, OH 43054

Pontia Architecture is a multi-disciplinary, Columbus, Ohio-based firm with diverse project experience. The company provides its clients with the highest level of personalized and professional services to meet their needs for today and tomorrow. Constantly evolving allows Pontia Architecture to offer skilled and comprehensive services to its clients. 

The firm operates on a philosophy of three Q’s, or what it likes to call QUALITY^3: Quality Service, Quality Design, and Quality Documentation. Pontia Architecture believes that this strategy is both the key factor for the success of its operations and its goal with every project the firm designs. When clients choose to work with Pontia Architecture, they can be sure that the firm will bring quality to work as it completes projects for clients.

red architecture + planning

589 W Nationwide Blvd, Suite B, Columbus, OH 43215

red architecture + planning is a full-service architectural and MEP engineering design firm. Since its conception in 2006, red has continued to evolve to include a broad understanding of all aspects of architecture and engineering, as well as how to incorporate those principles within a project in a holistic manner. The firm is able to do this by offering its clients a large scope of services. Some of red’s areas of expertise include architectural services, space planning, interior design, construction administration, sustainable design, Building Information Modeling (BIM), and visualization services.

red closely examines a project and the potential influence the project will have on the community. It is the firm’s belief that a well-designed built environment encourages growth and improvement among its people. red knows that each project serves not only the client’s needs, but the needs of those around the project as well, which is why it strives to accomplish this by assembling the best team of architects, designers, and engineers possible to breathe life into clients’ ideas.

Shremshock: Architects & Engineers

7400 West Campus Road, Suite 150, New Albany, OH 43054

Shremshock’s multi-studio culture offers a unique perspective on architecture, engineering, and interior design based on a commitment to quality service and a collaborative team approach. With licenses across the US, Canada, and Mexico, Shremshock is dedicated to the strategic growth of its clients through the intelligent design of inspirational and sustainable spaces, wherever they may be.

Shremshock’s team of professionals applies expertise over a broad range of disciplines and building types, bringing vast experience and knowledge to every project. The firm understands that in an ever-changing environment of new technology and market trends, companies must respond quickly to stay ahead of the competition. Shremshock is able to stay on top of the game through the breadth of experience and collaborative nature of its design studios that allows its notable clients, like Tim Hortons and Wendy’s, to reach their goals on time and on budget while maintaining the highest level of professional service.

Tim Lai ArchitecT

401 W Town Street, Studio 233, Columbus, OH 43215

Experienced in a variety of building types, Tim Lai ArchitecT focuses on creating thoughtful, one of a kind projects. The firm has worked with clients who are opening or renovating restaurants, bars, cafes, retail stores, entertainment facilities, etc. The firm has also worked with existing businesses that are expanding and moving to larger spaces. Its design-oriented focus and modern aesthetics have created interesting spaces as the firm offers clients elegant and efficient design solutions that can be achieved on time and on budget.

The firm is headed by principal Tim Lai, an Ohio & Indiana licensed architect with 20 years of professional experience. Tim leads the firm with his experience in many building types and projects of various scales in the U.S. and overseas. In 2010, Tim started his own practice with his wife Eliza Ho to focus on local and regional projects. He has since built a reputation for his elegant, thoughtful and functional design with a modern sensibility, qualities which were recognized by American Institute of Architects, International Interior Design Association and Columbus Society of Communication Arts.

About Our Rankings

This list takes a range of ranking criteria into consideration, including but not limited to: work history, customer satisfaction, awards and recognition, geographic area of work, cost, building permits, and clientele. We spent over 40 hours researching local contractors before calculating the final ranking for this post. If there is additional information about your business that could affect these rankings, please fill out this form and we will take it into consideration.

Get Bids For Your Build

If you are thinking about building a restaurant, we recommend checking each builder’s license with the local licensing board, speaking to past clients, and using our bidding system to get competitive quotes from at least 3 contractors. Getting multiple bids is the best way to ensure you get a fair price and that bids include the complete scope of work.