Back to School guide: Soak up these last days of summer

From the August 14, 2014 edition

There are few times in the calendar year sadder than the weeks leading up to September. Rivaled only by the end of the holidays, the end of summer is a dreaded fact of the American education. Even as a member of the professional sector, there is still something disappointing about watching the days get shorter. The answer to our inevitable disappointment is simple: Summer is awesome. Furthermore, summer in Columbus, is awesome. So instead of dragging your feet, soak up your last bit of freedom and follow us into the sun (and our favorite bars, events and activities).

After hours:


At the Scioto Mile


Take advantage of the last of our beautiful weather by grabbing a friend and skating the Scioto. You can even take a dip in the fountain to cool off.

Get gorgeous

At the Blowout Bar

1378 Grandview Ave., Grandview

You’ve been at work all day and you look tired and your hair is flat (in a bad way). Sound familiar? Perk up with a $35 styling and complimentary champagne from Grandview’s Blowout Bar.


At Yoga on High

1081 N. High St., Short North

An aerial yoga class is a great way to lift your feet up while still getting a work out.

Brace yourself

At Melt

840 N. High St., Short North

Sometimes, the only remedy for a hard day is to eat absurd amounts of carbs. Melt is the perfect place to drown your realization that summer is ending. You’ll also ensure a great night’s sleep by inducing yourself into a cheese, carb and craft beer coma.

Tiki Time

At Grass Skirt Tiki Room

105 N. Grant Ave., Downtown

Because this Hawaiian-themed restaurant and bar is the most summery restaurant in the city, and because you have not lived until you’ve had pulled pork in a wonton cup. Wash it down with the rum happiness cocktail.

Put your pinky’s up

At Cooper’s Hawk

4230 The Strand, Easton

Wine tastings at this Easton restaurant start as low as $14, with no reservation required. It’s the best way to get fancy any night of the week while also drinking on a patio.

Eat Original

At Harvest Pizza

495 S. Fourth St., German Village

2885 N. High St., Clintonville

In both the German Village and Clintonville spots, Harvest offers some of the city’s most unique and delicious pizza, and their bright décor will make you feel sunny inside.

Shop authentic

At Tensuke Market

1167 Old Henderson Rd., Worthington

This tiny Japanese market on Henderson Road is easy to miss, but once you find it, you’ll discover that it’s home to some of the Buckeye State’s freshest sushi.

Shake up your workout

At Scioto Audubon Metro Park’s Rotary Obstacle Course

400 W. Whittier St., Downtown

Whether you’re training for a Tough Mudder or are tired of your kickboxing class, this obstacle course is a fitness junkie’s dream.

Drink and Dine

At Seventh Son Brewery

1101 N. Fourth St., Short North

With various food trucks posted up at different times of the week, you’re guaranteed something delicious and cheap to go with your drink order.

Get your fix

At Dirty Frank’s

248 S. Fourth St., Downtown

Can you even have summertime without hotdogs? Dirty Frank’s also offers gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian dogs, so you can indulge your inner child while sticking to your adult diet.

Feel thrifty

At Columbus Flea

59 Spruce St., Downtown

Every Sunday morning until Oct. 28, North Market reminds us that it’s the city’s hippest destination by hosting the Columbus Flea. Turn it into a North Market weekend by visiting the farmer’s market on Saturdays.

Run laps

At Antrim Lake

5800 Olentangy River Rd., Worthington

Antrim Lake is actually not a lake at all (it’s a quarry), but it is one of the most scenic trails in town. The water and forest on either side of the path are so picturesque, you won’t realize you’re already on your third lap of the 1.17 mile loop.

Bop around

At Grandview Hop

2015 W. Fifth Ave., Grandview

The Short North is famous for its Gallery Hops, but Grandview’s twist on the Columbus tradition is a great way to explore the neighborhood’s shopping, food, bars and live music.

Weekend Warriors:

Wait three hours for a table

At the Crest

2855 Indianola Ave., Clintonville

Waiting for a table is the bane of every gastro pub-goer’s existence. However, if that wait is at the Crest, where the drinks are strong and the honey-glazed cheeseballs are plenty, it can be great.

Spend hours in Whole Foods

At Whole Foods Dublin

3670 W. Dublin Granville Rd., Dublin

At one point, this was the biggest Whole Foods in the world. Today, it’s still a mecca for free samples, and its restaurant stations make it a fun dinner alternative.

Late night eats

At Philco Diner

747 N. High St., Short North

This is modern, high-quality diner food you can get in the middle of the night. Conveniently located in the center of the Short North, it’s a cool alternative to other late-night options. And if they weren’t great enough — they have cheese curds that will change your life.

Get green

At Native Cold Pressed

771-A N. High St., Short North

Long night? Detox by stocking up on Native’s $10 cold-press creations, like the green grapefruit.

Snap yo fingers

At Kafé Kerouac

2250 N. High St., Campus

This slam poetry bar is one of the town’s best-kept secrets. Colorful personalities show their talents at the mic, while fellow creative minds drink $3 wine and spend time reading used books, writing on their laptops or hanging out with friends.

Drag Shows

At Union Café

782 N. High St., Short North

Talent, beauty and cocktails. What more do you need on a Saturday night?

Eat Nutella in a pancake ball

At Katalina’s Café Corner

1105 Pennsylvania Ave., Victorian Village

Katalina’s is one of Columbus’ shining beacons of brunch, and its charming outdoor patio makes it perfect for summer. Don’t forget the sweet and spicy bacon.


At Arch City Tavern

862 N. High St., Short North

Some of the best truffle fries this side of the Scioto, Arch City is a bar you’ll never feel too crowded or out of place.

Keep Rocking

At A&R Bar

391 Neil Ave., Arena District

A cool bar in its own right, it’s the place to go after a show. Artists performing at the LC often hang around for a drink at A&R after their set, but even if your band is a no-show, the specialty drinks named for various artists will keep you entertained.

Be amazed

At the Big Bang

401 N. Front St., Arena District

Two guys, each on a piano, battle each other for glory and tips at this Arena District bar — and it is awesome. It doesn’t matter if it’s Ke$ha or Metallica; if you request it, they can play it.

Eat the brisket

At Ray Ray’s Hog Pit

2619 N. High St., North Campus

This food truck graces the Ace of Cups parking lot with its presence on weekends, and its brisket sandwich is the stuff of dreams. Pair it with the fried okra balls to achieve a state of absolute nirvana.

Play “Ms. PacMan”

At Ethyl & Tank

19 E. 13th St., Campus

Just imagine the drinking-game possibilities. Make your friends chug from the time you make the ghosts blue to the time they turn back to normal, for example.

Dig in

At the Food Truck Festival

Columbus Commons

160 S. High St., Downtown

If you’re a food-truck fanatic, this two-day festival, held Aug. 15-16, is your gilded age. Push your body’s limits by stuffing face at as many of the city’s four-wheel restaurants as possible.