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Opening Volley

We sure do like to talk “best” a lot around here. If we’re not passing around the latest “Columbus Named Best City to Waste Its Collective Time by Clicking This Article” lists on social media, we’re spending the rest of the time offering our own personal beliefs as to what businesses, bars, and burgers should [...]



We sure do like to talk “best” a lot around here.

If we’re not passing around the latest “Columbus Named Best City to Waste Its Collective Time by Clicking This Article” lists on social media, we’re spending the rest of the time offering our own personal beliefs as to what businesses, bars, and burgers should be exalted on high.

Especially this time of year. There’s no shortage of passion during ColumBest month, and in the 2015 version, our readers flooded the online gates to the staggering tune of 729,710 votes.

Inside, you’ll see old veterans keeping pace with the constant influx of new restaurant and bar concepts, as well the upstarts savvy enough to demand award-winning praise in their first year. (Uh, Hot Chicken tookover pretty much immediately).

And while the results of our annual poll are a fantastic illustration of the interest we have in our city’s commerce, there’s so much more emotion and pride about Columbus’s intangible features that a true “best of” must include those little details, the stuff that’s in the Columbus sauce that really makes us special.

So, since this is the month we let the readers do the talking, I’ll step aside and let you get a few of those special little ingredients from them:

“I moved here from a bigger, hipper(?), more affluent city five years ago, and insofar as I’ve experienced it, the barrier to entry to new projects in Columbus is relatively low. Training, smart and enthusiastic people, cheap resources, and I think above all, an overall commitment to trying and failing are part and parcel with this town. It’s kind of a self-selected group of people who might read this, but seriously—how many people do you personally know who have started a business or an arts venture or political discourse that has blossomed into a Thing with a following. A following of both friends and haters because the city is small enough that we hear about everything and know enough to have an opinion about a lot of it? That’s really rare, right?” — Julia Kays

“I’ve lived a few places, and the sense of community here is unreal. In the macro sense of the people here as a whole, but more than anything in the micro. Once you get into the little sections—musicians, comedians, artists, burlesque—there’s overwhelming support in almost every aspect of life here. It’s a city of the perfect size, where you can prosper, but everyone still knows everyone.” — Dave Burkey

“The people. Columbus is growing quite quickly, but there’s still a sense of community and ‘togetherness’ that other cities don’t have. People are REAL. From someone who moved to San Diego and misses Columbus almost daily, that’s the thing I miss most. And that it’s got an awesome community of people wanting to push things forward and keep it on the leading edge of things that are fantastic: local artists, local music, local business, local fabulousness.” — Brianna Elsasser

“It’s true that we seem to have the best public library system in the country (and I have looked at a LOT of libraries). But the thing that gets me is the weird fact that whatever weird thing you need, Columbus will definitely have ONE of. Fountain pen shop? Naturally. Expert leather repair? Yes. Store that sells every possible kind of hat? Mais Oui. Some particular type of food, for cooking or for eating out? ALWAYS. I have yet to have some very specific urgent requirement that I haven’t been able to find someone or someplace in Columbus to go for it. And while NYC has multiple such ones or places, every other city I’ve lived in or spent time in will fail in multiple areas.” — Michelle Herman

Or as Joy Macke put it:

“Where else can you see a butter cow, see great live music every night of the week, get a Ph.D., make films, and get a top-shelf mixed cocktail for $3?”

Nowhere, dammit. ’Cause we’re the Best.


Travis Hoewischer, Editor-in-Chief

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The clock is ticking on your chance to win big with ColumBest!

Mike Thomas



March is slowly but surely winding down, which means the clock is ticking on your chance to vote in our our yearly “best of” Columbus readers poll.

Not only does voting in ColumBest 2019 give you the opportunity to show your favorite local brands and businesses some love, it also offers a chance to win big. This year, one lucky ColumBest voter will win a $1,999 Easton shopping spree, a $2,000 home makeover from Value City Furniture, and a $250 Moo Moo’s car wash gift card.

You read that right – that’s all ONE prize! To make the reality of this amazing offer a little more tangible, let’s break down what could be in store for the lucky winner.

  • The “low fat” wash at Moo Moo is more than enough to knock a winter’s worth of salt off your ride in time for spring. At $8 a go, a $250 gift card will net a whopping 31 trips through the suds.
  • Among many great restaurants and retailers, Easton is home to a Cinnabon Bakery location. While we’re not suggesting you spend the entire $1,999 shopping spree on their delicious, gooey, cinnamon-frosted treats, the almost $2,000 prize would be good for around 531 of Cinnabon’s classic rolls. Please dine responsibly.
  • You know the old futon in your living room leftover from college that faces the TV stacked on top of milk crates? It’s time to upgrade. Thanks to the deals at Value City Furniture, the $2,000 prize will go a long way toward improving any room in your house.

Once you’re done voting for your faves, make sure to save your spot at our ColumBest Party at Express LIVE! on May 13th. You won’t want to miss this celebration of the best of the best in Columbus!

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(614) Magazine

March 2019




At (614) we like to think we’re always giving you new ideas about where to go, what to try, or what’s coming up next. But this month, perhaps we can do a bit more for you. Maybe we can offer some inspiration to find ‘the better you’.

  • The Calendar to end all calendars
  • Tips and resources to find the ‘better you’
  • Experience Otherworld
  • Makers Space: botanical skin care
  • Columbus author: Hanif Abdurraqib
  • German Village: two restaurants, one roof
  • Columbus igloo adventures
  • Cheesesteak Empire with Charley Shin
  • Old-timey ‘shrub’ bevs making a comeback
  • Aloha! Inside the Huli Huli Tiki Lounge
  • Megan Kilgore: the Columbus Crew-sader
  • Offroad bike adventures
  • Family: squats for tots

The reading experience is optimized for tablet devices. Turn your phone or tablet horizontally for the 2-page spread view or vertically for the single-page view.

Looking for a physical copy? Check out our snazzy map

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The Six Happy Hour: The District Pourhouse




 #6  The District Pourhouse (Formerly World of Beer)

Beer, Bavarian pretzels, and barbacoa street tacos. Need I say more? The first thing that comes to mind with District Pourhouse is their vast selection of beers. Now imagine pairing a nice cold glass of your favorite draught with your favorite comfort food, like pizza, hot dogs, or fries. Sounds good, right?

Did I mention that District Pourhouse also hosts trivia nights whilst your favorite sport team plays on the many screens around the venue?

HH: M-F open-7pm; $5 draughts, $5 spirits, $5 shareables

The District Pourhouse

1568 N High St, Columbus

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