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By Rick Pender · September 14th, 2005 · The Dish

If you like Italian food, I suspect you know BARRESI'S in Deer Park (4111 Webster Ave.), which has been around in one form or another since the early 1960s. Its longtime owners, Sal and Odessa Barresi, recently sold it, but that's good news: The new owner is SARAH WAGNER, who started out as a busser when she was still in high school. Over the years she's worked elsewhere, gone to culinary school and learned her way around a kitchen. She returned to Barresi's about a year ago. When the Barresis decided to sell, she stepped up. Wagner remembers a day years ago when she was still a young employee, studying to become a massage therapist. One of the chefs didn't show: "Odessa looked around and said, 'You don't have a station and you've been here for four years: Why don't you put together the salads?' " That was the beginning of a career.

"It's going to be the same place with the same recipes, served by the same staff," she says, "but we'll be revving up the marketing and doing charity benefits." Barresi's has been frequented by diners who knew Sal and Odessa for years, and Wagner's certain they'll still enjoy it -- but she plans to extend its appeal to her own generation. Sounds like a new star in the dining firmament. 513-793-2540. ...

PAULA'S GOURMET DELI, a popular lunch spot since 1990 on the Skywalk on Vine Street across from Fountain Square, was evicted by renovation. Paula Kirk has a new home in Over-the-Rhine, at 112 West Elder St., across from the north side of Findlay Market. The market's Sunday hours have been a big success, bringing more people to the historic shopping locale for produce, meats, fish, dairy products and more. Those crowds are forming a new client base for Paula's, which also caters. And if you want to try her goods on the spot, Findlay now provides tables for dining around the market building: Some of Paula's chicken salad, an array of soups or a deli sandwich will sustain you during a visit. 513-604-5050. ...

CAROL'S ON MAIN (825 Main St.) closed on Sept. 12. It's been reported that the popular downtown restaurant -- which was a pioneering gay-friendly establishment -- will be replaced by a Columbus-basaed restaurant, UNION STATION, which also appeals to a diverse clientele (www.usvc.com). The space will be closed for several weeks for renovation; it should re-open in October. Crush, the upstairs lounge, will continue to feature music and other entertainment.



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