Making it family style


A group of judges gathers daily at 6 am in a cheerful, light-filled room on the corner of Parsons and Livingston Avenues. They order strong coffee and doctor their breakfast plates from the lazy Susan they bought personally to park at their morning post.

This is the kind of gathering place Jeff and Marie May imagined when they opened Scrambler Marie’s across from the expanded Nationwide Children’s Hospital in 2012. They were attracted to the Scrambler franchise concept because it felt family-friendly—with comfy booth seats, sunny décor, and dishes named after the founder’s relatives.

“The entire neighborhood has embraced the restaurant,” says Jeff. “We’re serving professionals from downtown, patient families who want a break from the hospital, and residents of German Village and the immediate area. There was clearly a need for this restaurant.”

Continuing a community tradition:

Jeff isn’t surprised by the community’s warm reception. Before there was Scrambler Marie’s and its neighboring tenant CVS, there was the Bobb Automotive dealership, which Jeff owned for nearly two decades. Bobb was an 80-year-old family business that consistently led the market in sales.

“People would come to the dealership from all over,” says Marie, who met her husband while working at Bobb. “It’s similar at the restaurant. We draw a diverse crowd, largely because we’re centrally located and convenient to get to from the highway.”

Besides carrying forward a family tradition of business success, the Mays are also committed to keeping up the positive momentum Nationwide Children’s Hospital has started.

“The investment the hospital has made in this area is incredible, and it doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon,” Jeff says. “They have a real passion for ensuring this neighborhood thrives. We want to be part of that.”

Pursuing big potential

So what do the Mays think is in store for the neighborhood next? Jeff talks about the area’s potential to become a “business and life center”—where professionals, patient families, and residents have all the important resources at hand, from hair salons and coffee shops to a grocery store and gas station.

But something simple has to happen first.

“Developers and investors just need to come here,” says Jeff. “They need to walk the sidewalks to experience how this area is evolving—the energy that’s building here and the promise this neighborhood holds.”

With Scrambler Marie’s open for breakfast and lunch daily and additional nearby land under their ownership, the Mays are ready for the interest.

“We’re excited to bring more business to this community that complements the high-quality development that’s already taken hold,” Jeff says. “It’s not a matter of if it will happen. It’s a matter of how fast.”

Brian Higgins