Worth the drive: The Syndicate in Bellefontaine offers fall food, fun

Credit: Alexis Larsen

Credit: Alexis Larsen

The gorgeous explosion of colors happening on tree canopies across Ohio cannot be denied or ignored.

It’s as vibrant, dramatic and attention-grabbing as it comes.

For many of us that means a fall drive is in order.

Time on the road to take in the sights as you wind your way to something in the distance off the beaten path. There are so many options to choose from, but one town I hadn’t been to in a while was Bellefontaine in Logan County.

It’s about 45 minutes from Springfield with a relaxing drive getting there and the highest point in Ohio awaiting at Campbell Hill once you arrive.

It may not be a huge town, but it is quaint with plenty to offer.

When it comes to patios and good food and drink there is one stop you can’t pass up — The Syndicate.

For a journalist like me who has had a 28-year career, coming across a restaurant inspired by and themed after old newspapers is a dream come true.

Credit: Alexis Larsen

Credit: Alexis Larsen

The lot where the restaurant is constructed was Jackson’s News Stand from 1946 to 1993. As you step inside, you’ll see many decorative and historic features from its former life. A large, custom-built bar topped with salvaged glass windows and large quartz countertops resembles a New York-style newsstand. The walls are adorned in local Ohio newspapers from years past.

Credit: Alexis Larsen

Credit: Alexis Larsen

There is a long patio out front facing the main drag with garage doors open to the street in good weather days. There’s also a large, spacious patio with plenty of seating and a stage in the back of the restaurant.

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The restaurant itself offers a wonderful brunch as well as happy hour (4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays) which can be followed by dinner. They rotate specialty dishes and drinks in a steady rotation throughout the year to keep things interesting.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

There are new fall menu features that were added at the beginning of the month. The loaded fried green tomatoes topped with crispy pork belly and beer cheese, finished with a horseradish aioli, pecorino, and chives and the mushroom ravioli with pine nuts tossed in a Parmesan sage butter sauce and finished with pecorino were made for crisp weather like this.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

The brunch on the weekend is definitely not to be missed with a chicken and sweet potato waffle ($16) and shrimp and cheddar cheese grits ($17) with six blackened gulf shrimp, crispy pork belly, grits, red bell peppers, roasted poblanos, Alabama white BBQ sauce, pecorino, and chives that are sure to warm you up no matter what the temperature is.

Credit: Alexis Larsen

Credit: Alexis Larsen

The Syndicate is a great spot to enjoy the fall colors along the way and sit outside and enjoy the fresh air while enjoying something new.

Contact this contributing writer at alexis.e.larsen@hotmail.com.

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HOW TO GO

What: The Syndicate

Where: 213 S. Main St., Bellefontaine

Hours: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday; 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday

More information: 937-210-5165 or https://syndicatedowntown.com

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