Sangeeta Stewart - Off the Beaten Path

Growing up in India, Sangeeta “Sang” Stewart’s career options were limited to traditional paths. She was expected to be a lawyer or an engineer or something equally respectful in her country. Stewart decided to avoid all of that and come to the United States to pursue a career in art, which was her true interest. After short stops in Dayton, Ohio and London, England, low and behold she made Columbus her final home.

Her path to success, just like her restaurant Bodega, is anything but traditional. “I had never really been into cooking until a couple of years ago,” Stewart says. “I guess I needed a creative outlet, and I found a perfect one.”

Stewart, who also owns Hound Dog’s Pizza and Ravari Room with her ex, attended CCAD for photography when she first came to Columbus. After marriage and two children, she enrolled in culinary school at Columbus State and decided a little over a year ago that she would open Bodega in the Short North with her business partner Collin Castore.

“One of the bartenders at Ravari Room kept nagging me and saying that he had this great space in the Short North,” says Stewart. “So I finally broke down and we got it together.” An ever-expanding menu was put together with a semi-traditional neighborhood restaurant feel. Stewart’s training is evident in a menu featuring traditional dishes with a slight twist on them. She did what she could with the small kitchen she inherited and hopes to expand her culinary wings with future endeavors.

“I really want to open an Indian restaurant in the Short North. I think the neighborhood needs more ethnic foods,” says Stewart. “This (Bodega) is just the ground floor; we’re just getting started.”

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