Craig Barnum is the President and Managing Partner of CLB Restaurants, which owns and operates Matt the Miller’s Tavern in Dublin, Grandview and Gemini Place in Columbus, and Carmel, Indiana, as well as Tucci’s in Historic Dublin.
Beginning his career in the restaurant industry as a busser, Craig is now a well-respected restaurateur in Central Ohio and envisions growth of his Matt the Miller’s Tavern brand and other concepts throughout the region and beyond.
After growing up overseas as the son of a Navy Pilot, Barnum returned to the US and attended Otterbein College, graduating in 1987 with a B.S. in Business Management. It was during this time that he began working for his uncle, Todd Barnum, who was the President and CEO of Max and Erma’s Restaurants, and fell in love with the restaurant industry and its energy, atmosphere and great food.
Upon graduating from Otterbein, Barnum working for the 55 Restaurant Group under Cameron Mitchell before purchasing Oscar’s in Dublin in 1995, and fulfilling his dream of becoming a restaurant owner. He owned Oscar’s until 2009, and during this time also worked to develop Brazenhead Irish Pub in Dublin and Grandview, as well as Tucci’s in Historic Dublin.
Around this time he also independently began creating and developing the Matt the Miller’s Tavern brand. It was then that he decided to take his professional career one step further and develop his own restaurant company, CLB Restaurants, in 2010. At the time CLB Restaurants was established, the company consisted of Matt the Miller’s Tavern in Dublin and Tucci’s in Historic Dublin.
CLB Restaurants quickly grew to include the second location of Matt the Miller’s Tavern on the vibrant Grandview Avenue. The restaurant is part of a mixed-used development rebuilt by the Wagenbrenner Company after the original location was badly damaged by a fire in 2009. In addition to retail space, the Windsor building is home to 37 apartments and sits among various other shops and restaurants in the Grandview neighborhood.
With the Matt the Miller’s Tavern brand thriving in Central Ohio, Barnum believed it was time to test the concept outside of the Central Ohio market. Carmel, Indiana, known for its affluent population and aggressive growth plans seemed to be a perfect fit and the next Matt the Miller’s Tavern made its home in the City’s new Carmel City Center in September 2013.
Carmel City Center is a one million square foot, $300 million, mixed-use project in the heart of Carmel, Indiana, and offers luxury residences, exceptional retail shops and dining, an elegant cultural village and an oasis of activity, recreation and renewal.
Barnum returned to the Central Ohio market for the next Matt the Miller’s Tavern, opening the newest restaurant in Gemini Place at Polaris in July 2015. Near the thriving Polaris Fashion Place, this location became the first Matt the Miller’s to be situated near a mall, which offers exciting opportunities as well as challenges of a diverse demographic.