Chef Gethin Thomas Puts on a Show at Henry Social Club

The former Cummins chef brings contemporary-American dining to downtown Columbus.
Henry Social Club proprietor Gethin Thomas filled his new bar and restaurant in downtown Columbus with deep-walnut furniture and brass banker’s lights, working with designer Nikki Sutton of Blackline Studio to create a “dark, warm, and sexy” ambience. Thomas, who named the place after his favorite poet, Henry Charles Bukowski, thinks of the cooking process as a bit of a performance. So when the restaurant premiered in November, he put his team of chefs to work in an open kitchen, creating contemporary American dishes ranging from ricotta gnocchi with butternut squash and Granny Smith apples to roasted chicken with bread-and-butter stuffing. The 75-seat restaurant is the most recent venture from Thomas, whose resume includes stints at the White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine, as well as the Michelin-starred Le Gavroche in London and Duquenoise in Paris. He moved to Indiana in 1996 to serve as executive chef at Columbus-based Cummins, eventually parlaying the corporate-kitchen experience into his own catering business. It was no surprise he chose this location for his own restaurant. Says the chef who made his way to Central Indiana by way of New York, Maine, London, and Paris: “Columbus is my home now.” 423 Washington St., Columbus; 812-799-1371;

(1) Tacos at Sabor de la Vida in Columbus: “The best thing under $2.”
(2) Any cocktail by bartender Scott Lowe at Bluebeard.
(3) The Semolina bread from Amelia’s Bakery.
(4) Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso: “Intelligentsia is the best in the U.S.A.”