Columbus, Ohio USA
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Dis 'n' Data
By Margaret Marten, Editor
November/December 2014


The Short North Cup O’ Joe and MoJoe Lounge closed in October at 600 N. High St. on the Cap. Ten years ago, an official ribbon-cutting grand celebration for the Cap’s completion was held on October 12, 2004, and Cup O’ Joe was among the first doors to open there. The Cap at Union Station is a stretch of High Street over I-670 bridging the gap between downtown and the Short North that includes retail properties with architecture modeled after the old Union Station. Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse at the northwest corner of High and Goodale is the only remaining business among the first tenants, which included an Asian imports store, Tropical Trends, Jeffrey Thomas men’s apparel, Schakolad Chocolate Factory, Cold Stone Creamery, and Liu Pon-Xi (owned by Haiku’s Paul Liu) opening February 2005. Business at Cup O’ Joe in the Short North has not been robust since the 2008 recession, according to Cup O’ Joe President Mark Swanson, quoted in a Columbus Underground article. Parking was a problem. Furthermore, the lengthy 10-year lease was up for renewal this year, so the company was faced with a hard decision while juggling other branch closures and rebranding work. Cup O’ Joe, MoJoe Lounge, and Stauf’s Coffee Roasters are all operated by one company currently doing business in half a dozen Columbus locations. The new Stauf’s in the North Market, which opened in September, is popular and profitable and provides an alternate location for their coffee in this neighborhood.

Anthropologie, a high-end retailer founded in Wayne, Pennsylvania, in 1992, has nearly 200 stores in the United States, Canada and England. The chain, owned by Urban Outfitters, selling chic women’s clothing, accessories, gifts and home decor is a suitable tenant for the Pizzuti Cos’ Joseph complex (the development on the west side of High Street) where the store opened on October 10, occupying two floors at 9500 sq. ft. The Pizzuti Cos is scheduled to move their offices into the same building along with the remaining tenants by early 2015. The parking garage with over 300 spaces is operating now. The swanky boutique hotel across the street, Le Méridien Columbus, the Joseph, which is also part of the Pizzuti complex, will open in January with Cameron Mitchell’s Guild House restaurant on the ground floor. Anthropologie, at 625 N. High St., is open seven days a week, Monday through Saturday 10-8, and Sunday 12-6. They can be reached at 614-224-3512 or online at

Northstar Cafe owners, Kevin and Katy and Darren Malhame, will take over the space at 680 N. High St., left vacant after Betty’s Fine Food and Spirits closed in July. The Malhames will continue to operate their other restaurant at 951 N. High, which features American cuisine with organic ingredients, but create a fresh menu for the new eatery to open sometime in 2015.

Star Jewelers of Bexley is now Star Jewelers on High. After 22 years, Dennis and Elaine Howard closed their Bexley store – located a few doors down from the Drexel Theater at 2260 E. Main St. – and moved into the space at 607 N. High in the Yukon Building where Brigade was last located. The Howards had their sights set on this neighborhood for a couple years before finding the right location. According to Elaine, the interior of the new location needed extensive work and required a lot of input from contractors, builders and designers, but that gave them the opportunity to create a custom-fit environment to make the shop their own. “We are not a stuffy traditional type store,” she said. “We pride ourselves for finding cutting-edge design and style.” That pertains to both the place and the product. Even their journey into the jewelry trade was unusual. Dennis developed an interest in gems after his uncle, who was living in Bolivia, won a Brazilian emerald mine in a card game! Later, he gave Dennis a bag of “rocks” and asked him to ascertain their value in the states. The experience inspired Dennis to take up studies at the Gemological Institute of America in New York City – quite a sea change from his early career as a social worker in San Francisco, where he lived before returning to Columbus in 1980 to spend time with his aging mother. It was after his return here (prior to his trip to Bolivia), while employed as a bartender at the new Hyatt Regency, that Dennis met his future wife at a tea dance. Elaine, who worked for The Limited in those “incredibly exciting early years,” would eventually bring her wealth of merchandising experience into the new jewelry store after their marriage, alongside Dennis’s business acumen acquired while working as a Lazarus manager for three years after graduating from GIA. Their 24-year-old daughter Rachel is helping to launch the new Short North store, having recently joined in the business after living in New York City and traveling the world. Their son Max, 27, is a geologist living in Pennsylvania. The Howards, who live in Bexley, love to travel, but mostly you will find them in the store helping customers. “It’s so bittersweet to be leaving [the Main St. location],” said Elaine. Yet her sheer delight with the new store and business in the Short North is obvious: “We are excited because we are moving to such an exciting part of our wonderful city.”


PhotoİGus Brunsman III

There is a new sign at 940 N. High St. The CO+OP Shop owned by Larry Robertson has housed three operations since they opened there a year and a half ago, so when the Italian Village Commission told him the signage on the street wasn’t up to code, Robertson changed the name from Brigade to CO+OP to more accurately reflect the nature of the business at that location, which includes other boutiques besides Brigade. “It’s three little mini shops under one roof,” said Robertson, “and I think some people didn’t realize that.” The three shops offer everything from clothing to shoes, vintage items and artwork. The new name also allows some flexibility in the event that a new mini shop might join or another leave. In October, a newcomer, MADE, selling shirts, hats and hoodies created by Ngockhahn Ngo joined, and the Cleveland-based Brigade will probably phase out by the end of the year, said Robertson. Repertoire, another mini shop, sells shoes, and Flat Foot Vintage, Robertson’s project, offers antiques and vintage items. Each boutique has a separate room to display its inventory. They can be reached at 614-228-0700.

With all the new development and housing in this neighborhood, hair stylists are undoubtedly in demand. Think of the countless hair-conscious, fashion-minded folks settling into the Short North structures, old and new, needing artful attention. Fabrique recently came to the rescue with a September opening at 136 W. Fifth Ave. – following Naama Salon’s exit from that location (in front of Alternative Auto Care across from Thompson Recreation Center). Fabrique’s owner Thomas (TJ) Reed, 28, is no stranger to the neighborhood, having spent the past year working at Cut N Blow just north of Fifth Avenue at 1244 N. High. His hair career began over a decade ago in high school when his stylist mother persuaded him to put aside his drafting tools to pursue the glamorous life of cosmetology. “My mother talked me into doing this,” said Reed. “I wanted to go into engineering, architecture. She began trying to convince me in 8th grade.” The pivotal moment came during his freshman year when she brought home an instructional DVD and asked him to cut her hair. Apparently he was hooked after that, signed up for the cosmetology program, passed the state boards following graduation and began the life of cutting, curling, coloring and creating good looks. Four years at Kenneth’s Hair Salons was an exciting start. Not only did he work behind the chair but eventually taught at their academy and did photo shoots for magazines before moving on to other salons including Hair in Grandview and Michael Garcia’s in Bexley. The name of his shop, Fabrique, carries the concept of factory and fabric, or “hair factory,” as Reed puts it. Those in the business refer to hair as fabric. “It’s like a textile,” he explained, “and it’s how we manipulate this textile to give people what they want.” Services include hand-painted highlights, extensions, blowouts, updos. “We’re very much into the fashion end of things.” The shop’s product line, Davines, is Italian and eco-friendly. “It’s phenomenal,” Reed said. “I have never really worked with anything like it before.” Fabrique is currently open for business five days a week. Hours are Tuesday through Thursday 11-8, Friday 11-6, and Saturday 9-6. Call 614-867-5502 for more information or visit Facebook and

Donkey Tees, a T-shirt business owned by Elliott and Dustin Fisher, remained in the Short North for about a year at 1253 N. High St. next to Turner’s Barber Shop before moving on to Grandview. According to David Ostrander, who leased the space to the brothers, the Elliotts moved because they needed more room for their growing business. Donkey Tees can be reached by calling 513-300-0721, or visit their shop at 1156 Chambers Rd. and their website at Meanwhile, the building owner David Ostrander opened a beer and wine store, Cork and Brew, at 1247 N. High St. in September, something he always wanted to do. “The craft brew sensation is something that I wanted to be a part of,” he said. And he’s passionate about wine, having built a small vineyard in The Ohio River Valley AVA a couple years ago. He said one of his main objectives is to expand the wine interest of his generation, the millennials. The 28-year-old holds a culinary arts degree from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, as well as an undergraduate degree from Johnson and Wales with related training from The German Wine School. He works as general manager of DeepWood restaurant and previously worked as an executive chef at Mozaik. Ostrander claims that he was already cooking when he was five years old and that French influences in his family allowed him to develop a taste for oysters, escargot, rabbit and venison at an early age. When he is not working, he prefers to spend time at his vineyard “away from cell phones,” as well as hiking, hunting, fishing, and being a lumberjack. “I love the outdoors and I will find any excuse I can to get outside,” he said. The team at Cork and Brew includes manager Evan Moore and resident wine expert Stephen Hewitt. Cork and Brew carries a unique selection of craft beer and wine. In fact, that’s the whole point of it. “My vision regarding the store is to provide a unique wine and beer shop for the neighborhood by selling labels not typically found in grocery stores,” said Ostrander. His favorite wine label is the Historic Rare Wine Co. with varieties representing a Madeira style popular to a particular city during colonial America. “Our motto is if we don’t have it, we will get it and always sell it cheap.” They carry over 100 different craft brews and 250 boutique wines from around the world. The staff wants to be helpful. “We have at least two people in the store, and we’re just waiting to talk to someone,” said manager Evan Moore. The store number is 614-867-5325. Hours are Tuesday through Wednesday Noon to 10 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday Noon to Midnight and Sunday Noon to 10 p.m. Visit Facebook for updates on products and other news.

Bryan Roberts left the Brandt-Roberts Galleries in August to move to Sarasota, Florida, and work as Southeast regional director for Garth’s Auctions, sourcing material for their sales. He said that means working with estate attorneys and wealth managers as well as seeking out individual consignors. Founded 60 years ago and based in Delaware, Ohio, Garth’s is Ohio’s oldest premiere auction house. He and Michelle Brandt opened the gallery at 642 N. High four years ago. Roberts owned and operated Bryan H. Roberts Gallery in Bexley for 14 years prior to that. There was an understanding from the get-go that Roberts would eventually move to the warmer climate and leave Brandt with full ownership of the Short North gallery. He and his wife Linda, a senior manager with the global consulting firm Accenture, lived in Gahanna for almost 20 years with their four cats before the move. He has some advice to share on the subject of moving: “It got done, but I would urge anyone planning to move out of state – especially people who have collections of things like we do – to start packing three months before they think they really need to.”


İ Courtesy Photo

Michael Bryant and Nancy Kephart moved out of their Short North home after 20 years earlier this year and bought a house in rural Mount Vernon, Ohio, where they can see the brilliance of the star-spattered sky at night and hear the sound of the great horned owl. Bryant worked as a massage therapist and shared an office with Irina Boubeleva at Professional Therapeutic Massage in the Greystone building, 815 N. High St., for the past nine years. (Boubeleva continues her practice there.) In 1995, Kephart, Professor Emeritus of Communication (theater) at Columbus State Community College, purchased the house at 846 N. Park St. in the Short North to be closer to her work. The red brick structure built in 1925 (eventually on the Victorian Village Tour) was everything she ever wanted. “It’s one of those houses that people live in for a long time,” she said. “We did a lot of work on it, fixed it up, and now somebody else is doing the same thing.” Bryant and Kephart lived together in the house for almost 20 years after they met at Larry’s Bar on a poetry night in 1996. Bryant, however, had already been living in the neighborhood, beginning on Third Avenue across from Zeno’s in 1977, and over the years moving from place to place around the neighborhood. He says he was first introduced to the Short North in 1964 when he and his high school chums visited the Club 7-11 (illegally) to hear a saxophonist on a few occasions. “Everybody in the bar was either a criminal or just released from prison or a prostitute or a pimp,” said Bryant. “It was as alive as it is today with a whole different clientele of people.” He began visiting the Short North Tavern in 1982; it quickly became a favorite. The couple’s new Mt. Vernon home is charming and maintenance-free (built in 1994), and the surrounding woods are certainly inviting, but they miss their old neighborhood. “We’d walk out the door and around the block and we could have our choice of really really good restaurants,” said Kephart. They walked the neighborhood regularly because they loved to walk – and they still do. “We walked that neighborhood through and through and through,” said Bryant. “We would walk in the wintertime to the movies and back and go down and play in the snow.” For the past dozen years or more they held an annual bluegrass party, building a fire in the firepit in their backyard, inviting 75 to 100 people, with their friend John Georgiton playing the fiddle for entertainment. “We embraced that neighborhood,” said Bryant. “We had lots of friends. We loved the idea of it. We loved what occurred there.” They were delighted to watch the city grow, become more cosmopolitan, become a destination for people – people like themselves. They recently enjoyed a stay at 50 Lincoln Inn and plan to return regularly to visit friends and enjoy restaurants like Rigsby’s, Lemongrass, Piece of Cake, and Basi. “I have just the fondest memories of the whole thing,” said Kephart, about her teaching career and life in the Short North. “The best times of my life.”

Other developments in the Short North include openings: Gotcha Gachapon at 997 N. High inside of Maotef Gifts, Couture on High at 844 N. High, Glam356 at 988 N. High, Fox in the Snow Cafe at 1031 N. Fourth St., Crawford and Master vapor bar at 1177 N. High, Ohio Strength CrossFit Gym at 115 E. Fifth Ave. and Summit, and Artisan De Luxe at 761 N. High. Tim Friar will be moving his furniture store Grid Furnishings out of the area after four years at 944 N. High. Jinny, the high-end women’s apparel shop at 844 N. High and later a pop-up at 1177 N. High, closed. The owner Jin Fillinger moved to California.



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