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Dis 'n' Data
By Margaret Marten, Editor
January 2007


Directions for Youth and Families Short Stop Youth program, housed in the old Methodist Church at 1066 N. High St, will receive $20,000 from Barbra Streisand, in partnership with Sony, as part of her efforts to support needy organizations and schools providing arts education. The Streisand Foundation, created 20 years ago, will be giving something back to each of the 14 U.S. cities Barbra visited during her fall concert tour. The Columbus Short Stop Youth Center, under the direction of Iben “Chip” Smith, offers opportunities for kids from elementary age up through high school to develop their talents in the arts and to have a safe place to study and socialize and receive encouragement and instruction from the center’s dedicated staff.

The Michael’s Goody Boy sign, standing at 1144 N. High St. and E. Fourth Avenue, was restored to its original luster and glory last August by owner John Troka who spent 11 days scraping, shining and repainting it. “It’s the same sign,” he said, “but it looks much more shiny.” Estimates from painters ranged from $15,000 to $20,000 to restore it, but Troka managed to pull it off like a professional with $3000 in supplies. The last day of the project, on August 17, a Dispatch photographer stopped by and took his photograph. It hangs on the wall of the restaurant. And now that he’s recovered from all that painting and scraping and shining, Troka has come up with ideas about future projects, including pushing the kitchen back to make it larger, a cover for the patio out front, and a liquor license. But for these future projects, he expects to receive help from his long-time friend Jimmy Valio, owner of Jimmy V’s Grill & Pub on S. High. “He is a very artistic designer and very hard-working. I think he will be my partner, and he will do the projects,” said Troka. “Jimmy V will come to this corner to make changes once and for all.”

University Travel Service moved its office last October from 1244 N. High St. – where they had been located for 7 1/2 years – into the Greystone Building after learning of construction plans at their former location that would have affected parking and a relatively free-standing position on that stretch of High Street just north of the old Shell Station. Owner Tim Logan wanted to remain close to the area, but said he wasn’t finding anything suitable until he learned of the unit opening at the Greystone by chance. “It’s so ironic,” he said. “I actually stopped by the Goody Boy to praise the owner for redoing his sign, and when we were doing that, he mentioned to somebody that I was looking.” A couple who were dining at the Goody Boy happened to be associated with the business moving out of the Greystone unit that Logan eventually rented. “I just thought it was meant to be because it was a plumbing and heating company called Logan Service, and Logan is my last name.” The parking lot at the Greystone and the board room and community room accessibility more than make up for the smaller square footage of office space, said Logan. University Travel Service has been in business since 1984, and first opened above the old Long’s Bookstore at 15th and High while under the direction of its orginal owner Jerry Dye. “At that time, we were 100% corporate,” said Logan, “with Battelle and the Ohio State University as clients, and then I started to make a transition into the leisure world.”

Meanwhile, the previous location of University Travel Service has a new tenant. Second Glance, a clothing thrift shop, will open February 14 at 1244 N. High St. Second Glance is an affiliate of the New York-based non-profit program Dress For Success. This is a new start for the international program in Columbus, and their office at 1260 N. High St. will open the same day as the thrift store next door. Founded 10 years ago, the organization offers support to enable low-income women to successfully transition into the workforce. The client receives a business suit and instruction on presenting herself during a interview, and after finding a job, may receive additional clothing as a foundation for building a professional wardrobe. They serve clients by referral only, and women must have an interview scheduled, but the thrift store will be open to the general public. Call 614-487-9700 for more information, or visit to learn about their services.

Women’s clothes: never wear anything that panics the cat. – P.J. O’Rourke, Modern Manners

There have been a number of apparel stores cropping up in the Short North this past year, a trend that can only enhance the experience of shoppers strolling up and down North High Street looking for bargains. Factor in all the variants of clothes shopping – the right size, color, style, fabric, cost – and it’s obvious that the odds of getting what you want in a single trip are greatly increased by the growing number of these stores. (See the A to Z Directory on page 24 for a complete list.)

Joining the family of newcomers is fibres, now open at 791 N. High St. next to Vino 100. Fibres has been in the business of selling better contemporary women’s clothing, accessories, and shoes for over 15 years. Owner Kim Hames said they decided to move the business to the Short North from their Worthington Mall location because it’s more of a destination spot. “More people will come,” she said. “All the boutiques are down there. It’s a fun spot to be in, and it will be a better fit for our store.” There has been positive response from her customers for the most part, and many of the faithful plan to shop at the new Short North location, particularly when they were told that parking would be available in a lot behind the store. Hames holds a degree in fashion merchandising from Ohio State University and was managing fibres for over year before purchasing the store from the original owner Susan Smith. Fibres is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Their number is 614-299-9760.

The Moorish Art Gallery opened in October at 1108 N.High St. Owner Fares Khalid Selmane, a Canadian of Arabic descent born in Morocco, is a painter, sculptor, and jewelry designer who studied at George Brown College in Toronto. He has family members here in Columbus, which brought him to the area, and he is looking forward to a productive new year exhibiting in his gallery and abroad. The number there is 614-299-2099.

Abbracci restaurant at 511 N. High St. has changed its name and menu after struggling with “a concept problem” since it opened in 2004. Owner Richard Stopper discovered that people had a hard time pronouncing the name and couldn’t spell it. In fact, the name was misspelled in our A to Z Directory since 2004, so there you have it. The new name is Alta on High. Alta translates from Italian to mean high, so “High on High” speaks to their location in an emphatic, unforgettable way. Also, they will be giving more emphasis to regional Italian cuisine and have added three specialty pizzas, which grants them placement in our Pizza Directory.

Another name change took place recently at the North Market. “The Fish Guy” has morphed into “The Fish Guys,” with the purchase of the fish stand by former general manager Doug Denny, along with the help of Shawn Rynd, Angelo Edwards, and Robert Davis. After 10 years working the stand, Bob “The Fish Guy” Reany decided late last year to return to his home state of New York.

The lucky winner of the highly publicized $2,500 Short North Shopping Spree draw was Italian Village resident Heidi Ruckel. Meanwhile, Surly Girl Saloon and GrandView Mercantile received top honors in the Short North Holiday Window Contest. Collier West and Cookware Sorcerer shared the runner-up positions, and Torso and Loot claimed third. The top prize in the contest, sponsored by Zen Genius, was $500. The windows were judged by Joe Baer, Melissa Starker, Joe Spinelli, and John Angelo.

The Columbus Police are to be commended for their work infiltrating and rounding up members of the Short North Posse last month, a new generation of the drug-dealing street gang they dismantled a decade ago. The average citizen can only imagine the harrowing experience of interacting with gun-toting crack cocaine dealers who place little or no value on human life. The courage of these officers is something we need to recognize and respond to with gratitude. Their actions work to protect our lives, property and children. If convicted of the drug and gun charges against them, most of the 10 indicted could face up to life in prison.

This is happening.

We hope the new year brings blessings of light to the Short North community.

News about upcoming events in the neighborhood can be found in this issue on pages 16-17 as well as among the classified listings on pages 32-33.

© 2007 Short North Gazette, Columbus, Ohio. All rights reserved.