Question: Where in Columbus (the world?) can you browse racks of used sci-fi paperbacks or crate-dig for old soul records while sipping a coffee or nursing a beer? Purchase local underground comics before belting out tunes at karaoke? Or simply smoke a hookah on a sidewalk patio? Fortunately for Columbus, such a delightful blend of niches exists in Kafe Kerouac, which just celebrated 10 years of business last weekend. Also fortunate for Columbus: The one-of-a-kind artist hangout doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. We spoke with co-owner Mike Heslop about a few of his favorite things. For the full list, head to columbusalive.com.
My motorcycle: Triumph Bonneville T-100
As a little kid I remember sitting on the motorcycle with [my dad] and getting rides. I used to fall asleep on the front between his arms on the gas tank. I’ve loved riding since. I got my motorcycle license years ago and bought a junker and fixed it up and rode that for a while, and then got another bike and eventually worked toward what I have now, the Triumph. It’s a great city bike. I go for joy rides, but I also like to do my normal errands on it.
Barley’s Scottish Ale
My favorite beer right now is Barley’s Scottish Ale. Anytime I’m at Barley’s Smokehouse I get the Scottish Ale and bring the growler over and top it off. Very delicious beer. I’m a mood person when it comes to most things: right weather, right time. But the Scottish Ale is a really great well-rounded beer you can drink all the time. Scottish Ales differ greatly, but this one hits the spot.
Prince’s Purple Rain
When you were a kid in the ’80s there was always this debate between Prince and Michael Jackson. I was always a Prince guy. I was probably eight or nine when I first heard the album. Prince kind of bridges the gap between rock ’n’ roll and the old Motown and the synthesizing style of the ’80s. That album really was a collage of those multitudes of styles, which I think is why it lives on so strongly today and is why as a musician you still love it. Beginning to end, it’s a classic.
For the last 20 years I’ve been at the Columbus Parks and Rec sailing program teaching children sailing. I love sailing, and I hope to retire on a sailboat. I’ve sailed all over now as I’ve gotten older. I’ve sailed in Hawaii — a big catamaran — the Virgin Islands, Lake Erie’s fun. Anytime you can get on the water, out in the ocean, it’s pretty fantastic.