Club Diversity, a brewery district bar, is open to people from all walks of life. Now, it’s also open Monday through Sunday.
The establishment, housed in an historic 1880 brewmaster’s house, is expanding their operation to seven days a week. Upon reopening, bartender Craig Wheeler said the establishment was closed Mondays and Tuesdays due to concern that it wouldn’t get the business it needed to stay afloat. Since Gov. Mike DeWine signed a mandate July 31 that bars must stop serving alcohol by 10 p.m. and close by 11 p.m., Wheeler said they decided to reopen full time to make up for lost hours, a decision that has since paid off.
“We’ve been getting a lot of [customers] acting like prohibition’s going into effect tomorrow,” Wheeler said.
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Wheeler also cited the closing of other bars as a factor in Club Diversity’s recent surge in customers. Although it has not escaped the financial squeeze of COVID-19, he said the bar is fortunate to find a new customer base among the refugees of North High Street nightlife.
“It seemed like every bar in the Short North wasn’t open, and I think people just started investigating the South Side,” said Wheeler.
Despite a rough exterior that he attributes to regulations on historic buildings in the Brewery District, Wheeler said new customers are shocked by the friendly atmosphere once they enter the bar. The shady gazebo seating in the house’s yard has been its ace-in-the-hole.
With an expanding customer base on a newly flexible pandemic schedule, ownership is even considering opening the bar at noon each day; a fitting adaptation for an establishment that stresses community and acceptance. Wheeler wouldn’t call it an “official” gay bar, but said that they cultivate an environment where anyone can feel welcome.
“We are our name: Club Diversity,” he said. “You never know what the hell you’re gonna see in here.”
Club Diversity, located at 863 S. High St., is currently operating from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. every day. Updates to their hours and offerings can be found on their Facebook page here.