The SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) will celebrate the opening of the new Discovery Café to the public tomorrow, another awaited milestone in the facility’s $125 million expansion & renovation project.

“Discovery Café is designed to change the perception of food at the Greater Columbus Convention Center and add to the culinary scene locally by creating a restaurant experience inside the convention center with rotating deli menus and fresh, local ingredients,” said Daniel Palawasta, general manager for Levy’s operations at the GCCC.

Discovery Café is located inside the facility’s west entrance, between Exhibit Hall A and Exhibit Hall B, and features a variety of seating options.

Operated by Levy, Discovery Café features four distinct concepts in one location:
• Columbus Grille: Selections include the buttermilk-battered chicken sandwich, Mediterranean turkey burger and the Eisenman burger — named after the facility’s architect — augmented with iceberg lettuce, vine ripe tomatoes, red onions and chef’s classic sauce on a brioche bun.
• Crimson Cup: Offering fine coffee and tea, Crimson Cup has been roasting coffee in small batches in Columbus since 1991 and was named Roast Magazine’s 2016 Roaster of the Year. Crimson Cup focuses on sustainable operations, fair trade and organic coffee by buying coffee beans directly from farmers.
• Homegrown Market: Selections include chicken & dumpling soup in a cup or bread bowl, gourmet side dishes (German potato salad, penne pasta and cole slaw) and signature sandwiches, such as the Thanksgiving Day (sage and citrus turkey breast, house stuffing and cranberry aioli on a cranberry brioche bun) and High Street Roast Beef (rosemary and garlic house-roasted beef top round, mascarpone, horseradish cream and vine ripe tomatoes on a brioche bun.)
• CBUS Tap Room: Offering a full bar, the CBUS Tap Room includes a rotating selection of local craft brews. A private label Greater Columbus Convention Center wine is in the planning stages.

Levy, in partnership with Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, is the exclusive caterer for the GCCC. Levy has more than 200 locations in North America and around the world, with more than 35,000 team members delivering hospitality to guests.

“Discovery Café is designed to be a destination where event attendees or neighborhood residents stop by for a visit and find the experience so enjoyable that they choose to come back the next day with friends,” said GCCC General Manager John R. Page. “The expansion and renovation project includes new collaboration spaces for our guests to gather, and Discovery Café is a great new place to do so.”

The Greater Columbus Convention Center, located in downtown Columbus, hosted an estimated 2.5 million visitors in 2016. The facility is owned by the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority and is managed by SMG.

Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to more than 240 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theaters, performing arts centers, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 15 million square feet of exhibition space and more than 1.5 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s NRG Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions and catering company SAVOR, currently serving more than 140 accounts worldwide.

  • The GCCC venue itself is a cashless facility. This includes all GCCC operated concessions and all in-lane GCCC parking transactions. However, within the GCCC, there are individual contracted vendors and outlets who, at their discretion, may accept cash.