Three dishes at Chapman’s Eat Market in Columbus (photo by Brock DuPont)
Food + Drink

Chapman’s Eat Market, Columbus

Chef BJ Lieberman’s restaurant brings comfort food inspired by international cuisines to Columbus’ German Village neighborhood.

Within months of fully opening, Chapman’s Eat Market in Columbus quickly became one of the city’s hottest tickets. When reservations are released each month, they are snatched up online.

Chef and owner BJ Lieberman carries expert experience from cooking with Sean Brock at Husk in Charleston and for Aaron Silverman’s Rose’s Restaurant Group in Washington, D.C. He and his wife, Bronwyn Haines, moved to Columbus to be closer to family and to start the restaurant. “Chapman’s” comes from Haines’ grandmother’s maiden name; her family once ran Chapman’s Poultry Market on Indianola Avenue in Columbus.

Just as Lieberman, Haines and the team use their shared histories as the building blocks for the restaurant, the eatery itself brings to life a bit of Columbus history. It’s located in the original Max & Erma’s restaurant in German Village. The space has been given a loving makeover, with muted pastels, vintage wallpaper and an eclectic mix of photos and knick-knacks on the shelves. Haines had a hand in the decor, including bits of family history.

“All the plants are mine,” she jokes.

The restaurant’s menu, which is executed day to day by head chef Wes Grubbs, is just as kitschy and inviting as the decor. Beverage director Seth Laufman designs the cocktails with the same sense of fun and thoughtfulness. Diners are also well advised not to miss the house-made ice creams from sous chef Justin Singer. The creamy and decadent concoctions rotate seasonally and are available as a trio for dessert or packaged in pints to go.

Columbus’ Chapman’s Eat Market interior tables by windows (photo by Brock DuPont)

“We do international eclectic comfort food in an elevated way,” Lieberman says. “What inspires us is our staff, their travel, their background, their culture, what excites them. I thought it’d be cool if we turned the menu over to them, something personal to them, something their grandmother made.”

The menu changes regularly, but it consistently marries a Midwestern sense of comfort with international inspiration. It draws on the culinary team’s travels, from former sous chef Matt Larkin’s time in Vietnam to Lieberman’s and Haines’ honeymoon in Chiang Mai, Thailand. A quick look at past offerings reveals everything from classic wings to General Tso’s cauliflower and Vietnamese cơm tấm to lamb Bolognese.

One of the staples on the restaurant’s menu is khao soi, an Asian dish built around chicken and shrimp in a yellow curry with crispy noodles, fava leaves, herbs, banana, chiles and peanuts.

“It’s a love letter to Chiang Mai,” Lieberman says. “That dish is just such a visceral experience to have in Thailand. We do our best to translate that.” 

739 S. Third St., Columbus 43206, 614/444-0917,