Tailgating: Five pro-tips from a campus insider

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From the August 28, 2014 edition

Just because Braxton Miller’s out this season doesn’t mean upcoming Buckeye gamedays are a waste. Half the fun is planning the gameday outside of the game itself. That’s where these five tips come in — whether you’re attending the game, like the rowdy din of Campus or prefer to watch a televised showing.

Pregame the pregame

Perhaps you don’t have the time or capacity to cook out for yourself? No worries — all over Columbus there are plenty of grill-style eats to be provided without any effort on your part. Don’t forget about downtown favorite, hot-dog eatery Dirty Frank’s. Or maybe a monster burger at German Village's Thurman Cafe is more your style. Regardless, every direction you go there’s solid grub to prepare your stomach for guzzling booze later in the day.

Tailgate locally, then commute to the game publicly

Coming from Clintonville? Do Patrick J’s and then nab a No. 2 COTA bus. Brewery District? Do World of Beer and grab a CBUS with a quick walk. It’s also a short trip down Third Avenue if you’re coming from the Grandview Cafe. You’ve got options, all of which ought to be more tolerable than cramming into any Campus spot.

Come to Campus early, like, really early

For those who want to be in the midst of the gameday revelry on Campus, come at the break of dawn. As in, roll out of bed and get moving. If it’s already light out you’re too late. Should you make it to Campus in time, Out-R-Inn and Dick’s Den are often open just after sunrise to be your go-to watering holes to reenact the college daze. Because, as Dick’s Den’s neon so aptly displays in its front window, “Why not?”

Do the patio circuit while it’s warm

You know there are plenty of patios in the Campus area, but which to choose? I recommend Hamptons on King, which boasts a vast outdoor space with wide-screen televisions for the game. There’s also 4th St. Bar & Grill, perhaps a better route for those in pursuit of a drink outside the commercial lager. Not to mention both are a hop, skip and jump to the ’Shoe if you splurged for tickets this year.

Watch the the Buckeyes cinema-style at a wide-screen pub

Little Bar is already famous for their raucous home game pseudo-festival, partially attributed to their parking lot space but largely due to their big ol’ projection of the game. They’re not alone, though. If you head a few blocks north up High Street to Hendoc’s you’ll see a similar set-up, with an atmosphere that isn’t as college-heavy.