OHIO WEATHER

Mercury Diner adds to restaurant scene near children’s hospital


Mercury Diner has replaced Crest Gastropub on Parsons Avenue.

Mercury Diner has joined the constellation of restaurants in the orbit of Parsons and East Livingston avenues, an up-and-coming area on the local dining scene.

Offbeat in design, Mercury Diner blends the look and décor of different eras under one roof at 621 Parsons Ave., the space previously occupied by the Crest Gastropub.

“We just wanted to create a restaurant for the modern era,” said owner Abed Alshahal, noting that Mercury Diner falls under his Alchemy brand.

The menu is a mix of modern and classic, offering plates such as the “spaceballs,” Frech toast donut holes with strawberry sauce and vanilla pudding dip, to a familiar breakfast of eggs, sausage or bacon, home fries and toast.

Mercury Diner offers breakfast and lunch classics, including a burger.

An early favorite for patrons is the egg-and-cheese breakfast sandwich, set on a house-made English muffin, offering a layer of Havarti and garnish of the house Mercury sauce.

Disco fries, popular on the East Coast, are topped with gravy, white cheddar and chives.

Individual dishes are $8 to $15.

Ala carte items, sandwiches, salads and homemade desserts round out the tidy menu, which is restrained compared to other diners. Mercury also has Brioso Coffee, ice cream floats and milkshakes.

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Because Mercury is just south of Nationwide Children’s Hospital and related construction projects, the diner is trying to attract third-shift workers with a happy hour from 7 to 11 a.m. Thursdays through Sundays.

“What we love about the diner is it’s for everyone,” Alshahal said.

The restaurant was named after a passenger train that had operated throughout the Midwest from 1936 to 1959.

The interior is highlighted with quirky bric-a-brac from different eras, velvet booth seating, outer-space murals, a reconstructed bar and decorative lighting.

“I think it feels like a diner,” said Emma Swysgood, project lead for Mercury. “It’s got a strong vibe.”

Mercury Diner ads a space-age vibe to a diner decor.

Alshahal also is a partner in A&R Creative Group, known for restaurants such as Ethyl & Tank, Hoof Hearted Brewery & Kitchen and Fourth Street Taproom & Kitchen.

The group also is known for the Crest, which continues to operate a Clintonville location.

The Parsons Avenue spot closed down more than two years at the beginning of COVID and was used as a commissary kitchen for the other A&R properties.

Entrance of Mercury Diner

The ownership opted to recast the space as a new concept, Alshahal said.

“We kind of had our hands full managing a pretty diverse portfolio,” he said.

The space also was expanded. It is now 2,400 square feet with seating for 110. Another room, to be used for private functions and spillover seating, still is being remodeled.

Hours are 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays, closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. For more information, call 614-852-3036.

onrestaurants@dispatch.com



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