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Freelancers Assemble!

What used to be the exclusive domain of cash-strapped startups is becoming increasingly common for micro-businesses and full-time freelancers. More than just cubicle farms for coding or mutual meeting spaces, the collective interaction of complementary industries reveals opportunities for collaboration. Formal and informal co-working has been around for more than a decade in Columbus. From [...]
J.R. McMillan

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What used to be the exclusive domain of cash-strapped startups is becoming increasingly common for micro-businesses and full-time freelancers. More than just cubicle farms for coding or mutual meeting spaces, the collective interaction of complementary industries reveals opportunities for collaboration.

Formal and informal co-working has been around for more than a decade in Columbus. From Sandbox in the Short North to The Mill in Grandview, many have come and gone, changed hands, or evolved into something less specific, or more refined.

Here’s a rundown of some of the city’s newest and long-standing co-work communities waiting for independents and innovators to set up shop.

400 West Rich

400 W Rich St. • 400westrich.com

If exposed brick and handmade furniture are your style, the renovated second story above East Franklinton’s eclectic artist colony is calling. Large and small rooms are available with vintage desks and built-in shelving, but even those who just rent a seat get five hours of conference time every month. Skylights add to the illumination of the shared space. But if you need something a little more upscale for entertaining, members also get meeting room discounts at Strongwater, the on-site restaurant. For less formal or after-meeting activities, the Franklinton Art District’s collection of galleries and exhibitions is sure to impress clients.

Bottoms Up Coffee Co-op

1069 W Broad St. • bottomsupcoffee.com

More than just a public coffee shop or co-work space, Bottoms Up leverages its location to serve the community it calls home. Monthly coffee memberships, co-work rentals for individuals and teams, and “Franklinton Legacy” memberships all support grassroots efforts to reduce infant mortality and provide workforce development in one of the city’s at-risk neighborhoods. If you’re a café consultant who just needs a third space to meet clients without all of the perks, consider the entry-level membership for drinks and discounts in the coffee shop. Or, step up to a “creation quad” or studio office membership for 24/7 access and amenities.

COhatch

659 High St. • cohatch.com

Downtown Worthington has become a credible creative enclave, and COhatch taps into that ambitious undercurrent often overlooked by those who rarely make it to the outerbelt. Located above what used to be the old Zettler Hardware, the blend of dedicated desks, lounge and common areas are ideal for drop-ins, while shared and private offices offer walls for those who prefer them. Most memberships include access to Snap Fitness, also on-site. COhatch offers after-hours event space for all members, encourages donations to selected charities, and extends membership to local nonprofits or social enterprises for a year—that includes branding and other assistance from members.

Club Level CoWorking

35 E Gay St. • clublevelcoworking.com

For a truly downtown feel and address, it’s hard to beat Gay Street’s retail renaissance and small business boom. No daily passes or drop-in access, but for those wanting to put down roots, there are generous discounts for 6-month and 12-month contracts. If your business extends to the near markets of Cleveland and Pittsburgh, Club Level CoWorking offers the flexibility and amenities you would expect, plus sites in additional cities for your out-of-town office needs. There’s also an online forum just for members to connect and collaborate, locally and with coworkers in their sisters cities.

Industrious

629 N High St. • industriousoffice.com

If a skyline view of downtown is a must-have, Industrious and their 10,000-square-foot space on the fourth floor of The Joseph in the Short North is it. Though community co-work space is available, the unique appeal of well-appointed offices with doors that close is part of the price point—as are the leather chairs, free coffee, and craft beer. With locations in several US cities and plans for further expansion, you’ll find the fit and finish of a funded tech start up. But with that cache comes a premium price tag. If you dress to impress at any cost, this too could be the office for you.

Qwirk

341 S Third St. • qwirkcolumbus.com

At the intersection of downtown and German Village, Qwirk also blurs the lines between a traditional office environment and nimble networking organization by offering individual rooms with multiple desks and virtual office services, all the way down to day passes and dedicated lockers. No enterprise is too large or too small. “QWIRKtail” hour introduces members who may not otherwise cross paths, and discounts on accounting to technology services are available depending upon your membership option. Their meeting space is also available for rent to non-members and accommodates up to 30 for gatherings from pitch meetings to private parties.

The Perch

45 E Lincoln St. • theperchshortnorth.com

The modern aesthetic, high ceilings, and short walk to High Street all add to the appeal of this more commitment-focused space. No daily or short-term memberships here. But for those seeking something more permanent—or a private office loft—The Perch offers options for agencies and individuals. The conference room with 65” display, as well as complimentary office supplies and kitchen provisions are tempting for those wanting to start or stay in the neighborhood. In fact, the impetus for The Perch was to help folks who used to call Workshop Co. home do just that.

The Salt Mines

2997 Indianola Ave. and 3820 N High St. • saltmines.us

This co-work community is even co-located, with offices at either end of Clintonville. Standard daily, weekly, and monthly rates apply, but the device lab and options of a dedicated desk and discounted membership for occasional interns and collaborators are appreciated. Both locations are bike and bus friendly, with rack and route details on their website. In their first year of operation, The Salt Mines kept score on more than just new members. They also went through 96 pounds of French-pressed coffee, 51 pizzas at their monthly member lunches, 272 gyros from Taste of Greece around the corner, and 480 rolls of toilet paper.

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Arts & Culture

Loop Daddy invades Columbus with first-ever drive-in tour

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The return of live music is going to be one of the trickiest industries to transition back into business as usual, if that will ever be the case. We’ve seen people getting creative, building concert stages within their own homes via live streaming. Some have participated in virtual festivals, probably the sector of live music to take the biggest hit.

But when an industry made up of innovative creatives always trying to come up with the next big idea is faced with incredible hardships, they respond with quick-witted imaginative solutions.

One of the first trends that popped up in the revolution of bringing back live music was the implementation of drive-in lots. Luckily for Columbus, the darling of the internet DJ scene Marc Rebillet aka Loop Daddy will be taking his first-ever drive-in tour through the Buckeye state in mid-June.

Captivating audiences with his participatory DJ scratching and immature antics, extremely goofy sex appeal, and sleazy porno stache, Rebillet was an act poised for a breakout summer before the pandemic shut music concert venues down. If you have access to a car, though, you’ll still have a chance to catch the wild virtual sensation.

On June 14, Rebillet will be pulling up to the South Drive-In for the third stop of his Drive-In Concert Tour. Rebillet will also be showcasing short films as part of his drive-in experience.

As far as sound is going for these events, a lot of drive-ins are opting to go the radio transmission route to encourage people to stay inside of their vehicles.

A very few grouping of tickets remain, which include three-person and four-person car passes. Tickets are running $40 per head (plus additional fees), which seems to be the average across the new wave of drive-in concerts. Two-people/one-car tickets have already sold out.

If you don’t want to miss out on this unique opportunity, act right now. Tickets can be purchased at:

https://nightout.com/events/marc-rebillet-drive-in-tour-columbus-ohio-south-drive-in-presented-by-hotbox/tickets.

Social distancing guidelines are outlined at the point of purchase.

The South Drive-In is located at 3050 S. High St. Doors open at 8 p.m. with the show beginning at 9 p.m. Attendees need to arrive before 8:45 p.m. A portion of ticket sales will be donated to the Coronavirus Relief Fund.

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Arts & Culture

Live music allowed again in restaurants and bars: how will these establishments respond?

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A major step forward in the return of live music in Ohio took place over the weekend. The Ohio coronavirus guidelines were updated to reflect the new COVID-19 Dine Safe Ohio Order.

The order outlining the guidelines on live music in restaurant and bars is as follows:

Musicians and bands may perform in restaurants and bars as long as the individuals who are performing maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from all other people including, but not limited to, fellow performers and restaurant and bar patrons and staff.

DJ's are included along with musicians and bands in the order.

Something that was on the mind of a lot of musicians with the reopening of restaurants and the indefinite closing of large venues was how restaurants and bars were going to respond to the immediate venue demand. Places like Woodlands Tavern that already have an infrastructure for live music will have no problem complying with the updated order, but will restaurants and bars that depended on jukeboxes before pivot to a live music model?

With a lot more space available in restaurants due to capacity cuts, does this leave more room for a live music set up? Or will restaurants have to get rid of even more tables if they want to make room for a performer?

The thought of live music in a venue setting is alone enough to get excited about. How these places that now have the ability to host live music execute freeing up space for a band to set up or a DJ to bring his rig in while practicing social distancing is what makes this situation a tricky one.

Not being able to get down in a MojoFlo Soul Train line will be pretty tough, but it’s a tradeoff we’ll have to accept for the return of live music.

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Arts & Culture

(614) Music Club: Sarob

Julian Foglietti

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Every week (614) Music Club teams up with your favorite local artists to build a playlist of what they’re listening to, and what’s inspiring them. This week’s playlist is brought to you by the R&B artist Sarob.


Photo by: Wyze

Tell me about some of the songs you’ve selected.

"The first one is Sobeautiful by Musiq Soulchild. So every week with my vocal coach, I have to learn a song. And I've been trying to figure out how to do vocal gliding. Which is not a strong point for me, and I remember hearing that song and being like, OK, this is it. The song is just beautifully written and composed, so when you add the technique to it, it’s just great. The other song was Workin On It by Dwele, who is one of my favorite artists of all time. Workin On It uses this J Dilla beat that just feels really timeless."

Have the past few months changed the direction or mood of the music you're creating. 

"So I have been making stuff here and there, and then I'll go into something creative for like two days. I'll just be making like a bunch of songs and then I'll stop for two weeks, not even want to look at a microphone or anything. I mean, it's a lot more inward, so I’m learning how to better communicate the things I'm experiencing, and set the scenes for people and talk about what is going on. Also not having my band has been a challenge. I’m more of a thinker, I play the keyboard, and I can build a song, but I’m not the most gifted musician so having to build a lot of it on my own is tricky."

Do you have any plans or releases coming up? 

"Yeah, so I had a song Pleasures U Like that was made for my last album, but it didn’t quite fit the story of the album. So I just forgot about it until recently and I finished the vocals just before the lockdown, and now I’m releasing it on Bandcamp as part of a fundraiser for The Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio. All of the proceeds from the song are going to go to support their Pandemic Emergency Fund, and it just felt like a good way to do something that would impact everything going on."

Sarob's Playlist

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