The List: Predicting the seven cars that will park where Main Bar once stood

The Columbus Landmarks Foundation reported the historic watering hole will be demolished in order to create an additional seven parking spaces for an adjacent surface lot

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
Main Bar, 16 W. Main St., on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. The bar is closing its doors.

The Columbus Landmarks Foundation reported on Tuesday that the Columbus Downtown Commission voted 5-1 in favor of demolishing Main Bar, located Downtown at 16 W. Main St. 

Rather than a new build, however, the historic hangout, which operated as a watering hole as early as 1890 (when it was listed as the “Hare and Corbin” saloon), is reportedly going to be replaced by the expansion an existing surface lot next door, creating an additional seven parking spaces. Seven.

In last week’s Other Columbus column, following a visit to the historic Ohio Theatre, a building that almost found itself on the other end of the wrecking ball, Scott Woods explored the city’s seeming obsession with tearing down its own history. 

“Every brick in this city has a story, but Columbus is not good at keeping stories. We tear things down all the time to make way for the new, and worry about the potential loss of culture and history later,” he wrote. “Columbus doesn’t have many places like that anymore. There is much to be said for being able to sit in a place that has seen it all, an institution that can still show you the power of your cultural story.”

To be fair, expanding a Downtown surface lot actually does capture some element of the city’s cultural story, along with its overwhelmingly auto-friendly priorities, which are further highlighted by our anemic public transportation system and an overabundance of parking options. (The Columbus Landmarks Foundation noted that the city already has 150 acres of surface lots Downtown.)

Still, it’s depressing to swap out a classic building for another patch of sun-blistered asphalt, particularly one that barely increases the parking capacity of an already existent lot.

Anyway, here are the seven cars/drivers we can imagine parking in these glorious new spots.

A 2011 Mercury Milan driven by a newly divorced dad who’s late for a child custody hearing at the Franklin County Courthouse

A 2017 Toyota Sienna driven by a confused out-of-stater trying to visit the Short North for a solo dinner at “one of those new Mitchell Cameron” places recommended by a friend

A 2018 Honda Civic driven by a recent Ohio State grad who is meeting a blind date at Sidebar but who wanted to walk a bit to allow time for their nerves to settle

A 2018 Chrysler 300 driven by an undercover police officer who hasn’t responded to repeated neighborhood calls about an unauthorized nighttime concert taking place roughly a quarter of a mile away at Bicentennial Park

A 2019 Audi A3 driven by an attorney representing a newly divorced wife in a child custody hearing for which the father is currently running late

A 2003 Toyota Camry that ran out of fuel less than two blocks from the Marathon station on Mound, where its driver, a part-time Amazon courier, is currently walking to fill a gas can in the hopes the minimal refill will enable him to deliver his final package containing a twin-pack of deodorant and a box of canine dental chews to a townhome on a Dublin cul-de-sac

A 2016 Ford Fiesta driven by a parking attendant working a shift at another surface lot a couple of blocks away on Front Street, where parking is slightly more expensive, even for employees