Columbus is famous as the birthplace of your favorite fast food chains and fast-casual restaurants. But the city’s dining table has more to offer than pre-made hamburgers and steaks. Columbus welcomes global cuisine, especially from the Middle East and Italy. With a steadily increasing population of immigrants with a broad spectrum of tastes, the city’s taste buds have become more and more diverse. As the local restaurant scene has expanded, commercial kitchens have been forced to keep up with the public’s increasingly sophisticated palate, and they have begun to upgrade their dining rooms.
This list features the best restaurant contractors in Ohio’s capital. Firms on this list are capable and experienced in responding to the unique needs of restaurants and food businesses from refurbishing the interior to building a facility from scratch.
In order to arrive with this list, we employed a standardized and systematic set of criteria that measures each firm’s quality of work. We considered awards, accolades, citations, work experience, and familiarity with the restaurant industry.
12) RPM General Contractors
Website | 954-785-8900 | 680 NE 26th Court, Pompano Beach, FL 33064
Since 1986, RPM General Contractors has been building projects all over Florida, Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, and the entire Southeast. Robert McTeague, Jr. and company have provided contracting and construction management services that are recognized by multiple institutions, including the City of Fort Lauderdale and the Community Appearance Board that gave RPM a commercial construction award. The firm has also been lauded by Remodeling Magazine for being one of the largest contractors in the area.
Contemporary American restaurant J. Alexander’s enlisted the services of RPM to build multiple branches, including one in Columbus. The restaurant is known for wood-fired cuisine that sports a wide selection of American staple foods including prime ribs, steaks, seafood, sandwiches, and entrée salads.
11) Shaffer Construction
Website | 614-488-4681 | 3675 Trabue Rd., Columbus, OH 43228
Founded 45 years ago, Shaffer Construction has been building restaurant, office, and retail buildouts all across Ohio. Shaffer is composed of a small team of not more than 20 people but the company is capable of delivering pre-construction, construction, and design services.
When Bill Shaffer graduated from Franklin University, he purchased a major share in the company then-named Columbus Acoustical Company. Four decades later, Shaffer handles the day-to-day operations of his namesake enterprise.
Eleven at Hyde Park, a prominent Columbus restaurant, tagged Shaffer to complete its facilities. The restaurant serves steaks and seafood paired with interesting cocktails and wine in a warmly-lit environment and cozy interior.
10) CCS Construction
Website | 614-467-9910 | 8675 Memorial Dr, Plain City, OH 43064
CCS Construction is a contractor, construction management, and design-build firm responsible for ground-up construction of retail, office, and restaurants all across Ohio. CCS has a strong presence in the state, conducting business with various local companies and non-profit organizations. In the firm’s arsenal of restaurant projects, the firm was able to demonstrate proficiency in building specialized facilities for local staples such as Olentangy River Brewing Co. and Swenson’s, an icon of Ohio drive-in restaurants.
CCS built the restaurant after it demolished the former structure in place in 2018. Swenson’s serve its signature double cheeseburger, the Galley Boy, over an unmistakable and modern structure that reflects the restaurant’s 85-year history.
Website | 614-870-2020 | 5211 Trabue Rd., Columbus, OH 43228
Restaurant contracting specialists Roose is a local family business that has a deep connection with the community. Roose has been around for over four decades and has operations in seven states. In those decades, the firm has built a number of restaurants and recognizable office buildings in Columbus.
Presently, the company is headed by Lynn Roose, Jr., the son of the company founder. Roose has been in the company for 17 years, starting as a laborer and rising to the corporate leadership ranks as the CEO. His leadership has built the company’s portfolio which includes the very first Max & Erma’s restaurant in German Village at Columbus. The Columbus-based restaurant group is famed for its gourmet hamburger. Nowadays, this casual dining restaurant operates all throughout the Eastern and Midwestern US.
Another noteworthy project is Naf Naf Grill, a Middle Eastern grill that serves pita, falafel, shawarma, and other Arab cuisine classics. The grill has opened branches in eight states in just a decade of operations.
8) Construction One
Website | 614-235-0057 | 101 E. Town St., Suite #401, Columbus, OH 43215
With over 1.5 million square feet of completed work, General Contractor and Construction Management firm Construction One is a construction powerhouse that conducts business throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
Four-decade industry veteran William Moberger has led this third-generation family business to interesting projects like The Brass Tap Bar, which enlisted the company’s conversion experience to transform a 2,800 square foot space into a warm and welcoming space. The project lasted for 12 weeks and enabled the pub to serve their clientele better. Brass Tap boasts a curated list of craft beer served in a traditional bar atmosphere.
7) Ruscilli Construction Co.
Website | 614-876-9484 | 5000 Arlington Centre Blvd., Suite #300 Columbus, OH 43220
Ruscilli is a local construction company that is well-known in the Midwestern US. Since its establishment in 1945, the company has provided construction management, construction consultation, design-build, and contracting services to the region.
Ruscilli’s presence in the midwestern region is represented by four generations of the Ruscilli family, now headed by Louis Ruscilli. The family business has completed projects in multiple sectors including healthcare, faith-based, public works, and retail, among many others.
High Bank Distillery, a local craft brew brand, hired Ruscilli to complete its 18,000 square-foot project. High Bank serves upgraded casual foods from local ingredients and self-produced alcoholic beverages in an interesting space that consists of a large patio and distilling areas.
6) Imperial Builders
Website | 513-385-2201 | 800 Compton Rd., Suite #31 Cincinnati, Ohio 45231
When Sherry Smith established Imperial Builders she did not know that the firm would leave a mark on various industries from finance to healthcare, to retail and restaurants. Over four decades into the business, Imperial stands to be one of the few woman-owned businesses on this list. This feat is admirable not just because of her excellence in a field dominated by men but also because of the firm’s longevity. Imperial Builders provides Commercial General Construction, Construction Management, and Design-Build services with a focus on high-value commercial projects.
Imperial Builders has completed multiple restaurant projects including McAlister’s, a deli restaurant and sandwich shop that operates in over 26 states. The branch constructed by the firm has a full-scale brick and mortar facility where their famous sandwiches, salads, and iced tea are served.
5) Ozanne Construction
Website | 216-696-2876 | 1635 E 25th St., Cleveland, OH 44114
For over 60 years, Ozanne Construction has been providing general construction and construction management services all throughout the state. Ozanne is a distinguished local institution, active in local organizations such as the National Association of Minority Contractors and getting featured in local publications such as Crain’s. The firm averages over $70 million in work-on-hand and a $100 million more in its management services.
Ozanne has built interesting projects all over Midwestern and Southern US. The firm has completed projects of all sorts from landmark buildings to airport restaurants. The Pub at the Cleveland Hopkins Airport is one of Ozanne’s best projects. Famous for its pale ale, wine, and spirits, The Pub takes the edge off of lengthy layovers with great beer and a charming British atmosphere.
4) Cahill Construction
Website | 614-442-8570 | 6331 Fiesta Dr., Columbus, OH 43235
Restaurant construction specialist Cahill Construction is a contractor that has operations in 47 US states and seven Canadian provinces. Company principal Trey Cahill, Construction Management alumnus of the University of Cincinnati, leads the company in completing more than a thousand retail establishments.
Since 1996, Cahill has been building retail boutiques and restaurants as well as tenant construction, amassing a thick portfolio of unique and interesting concepts. One of Cahill’s projects is Gallo’s, a kitchen and bar concept that showcases Italian cuisine and presents itself as a neighborhood kitchen. Gallo’s offers sumptuous Italian entrees and classic alcoholic beverages over an appropriately-lit environment.
Website | 614-488-4000 | 1220 Dublin Rd., Columbus, OH 43215
Ranking second on Columbus Business First’s Top Commercial Contractor list and ranking first in AGC National Construction Safety Excellence, Elford is a prominent name in the local construction industry. Elford has been around since 1910, paving a construction philosophy bourne out of open communication, trustworthiness, and continual learning. These guiding principles afforded the company more than a hundred years in service and an over 85% repeat client rate.
Elford has constructed a three-phase restaurant cluster including Donatos, Black Brick Bar, and RAM. This 14,655 square-foot, two-storey facility houses the three food concepts and the complex culinary specifications by these institutions. The three different restaurants’ synergy also contributes to the successful nature of this project as these restaurants are connected seamlessly through a thoughtful buildout.
2) Compton Construction
Website | 614-949-4712 | 691 Parsons Ave., Columbus, OH 43206
Despite its recent establishment in 2012, Compton Construction has been one of the city’s most well-regarded contractors. Compton garnered several business awards including Inc. 5000 Fast 50 list in 2016 and 2017 and Ohio Made Award. These accolades demonstrate Compton’s unprecedented growth and fluency in the local construction industry.
Founder and CEO Blake Compton takes charge of the company business operations and preconstruction services. He is also the executive for multiple businesses in different industries. His leadership enabled Compton to have a laundry list of completed restaurant projects, often sporting a contemporary look and progressive cuisines. Restaurants like Hot Chicken Takeover, The Land-Grant Brewing Company, and the Carvery serve bold cuisine in inviting modern spaces. Hot Chicken Takeover serves spicy fried chicken at large communal tables that create an old-fashioned sense of community.
Website | 614-221-1818 | 150 E Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
Hailed by ENR as one of Top 400 Contractors every year since 2005, Continental is one of this list’s most affluent contractors. Continental has construction operations in over 18 states and a 92% repeat client rate. Since its establishment in 1984, the firm has completed various projects in retail, commercial, and mixed-used industries.
Continental, together with architecture firm Chipman Design, built Houlihan’s, a restaurant chain with a nationwide reach. This single story 5,572 square foot restaurant shell building houses the restaurant-cum-bar that serves made-from-scratch and health-conscious cuisine. To balance the greens, the restaurant also serves cocktails and spirits depending on the diner’s mood.