The Fontanelle was located in almost the same place as today's BW3. I took this picture in January, 2004; the restaurant was closed by then.
Click picture to enlarge.
The Fontanelle restaurant was a fine dining restaurant opened in 1963. When its owner, Bob Susi, died on November 26, 2006, ColumbusChefs.com remembered him this way:
Robert “Bob” Susi, one of the brightest pictures in the history of Columbus restaurants, made his mark in the business for a number of reasons. His fine dining Fontanelle Restaurant in Graceland Shopping Center beat all the odds when it came to longevity. He sold it after 34 years and stepped away from the business [April, 1997].
Susi, who had been in ill health for some time, passed away November 26 at age 73 at Riverside Methodist Hospital.
Insiders, certainly the Columbus Health Department, remember that Susi set the standards for cleanliness and sanitation. He was known for what many close friends called his Saturday night after-hours shift. Once closed, his crew went to work cleaning every aspect of the kitchen – floor to ceiling. In the 1970s and 1980s health inspectors pointed to the Fontanelle as a how-to sanitation example.
While the Susi menu was heavy with Italian fare, his restaurant also ranked as a classy steakhouse. But, his close friends have another fond memory. The menu offered frog legs – fried or sautéed in garlic butter. He was one of the first restaurant operators in Columbus to use the phrase “dining experience” in describing his management style.