With hours of free live music and over a dozen vendors of amazing smoked foods at your disposal, the Jazz & Rib fest is one of the signature events of summer in Columbus.
A festival of this scale offers so much to enjoy, which means it’s also easy to get overwhelmed. Unpredictable weather. Crowds. The ever-present threat of itis. What’s a Jazz & Rib-lover to do?
Never fear, 614NOW is here with another summer festival survival guide. Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to jazzy, pork-nap bliss.
Weather the storm (or heat)
July weather in Columbus can be unpredictable, so you’ll want to be prepared for whatever mother nature throws at you. With near-record heat in the forecast this weekend, be sure to pack an extra bottle or two of water or your favorite sports drink. High temps bring the potential for popup thunderstorms, so a cheap rain poncho in the back pocket is a clutch move.
The official Jazz and Rib fest website has all the info you’ll need to get where you’re going, and even offers some tips on where to park. While parking at meters, in downtown garages, and at COSI will be in play, it’s good to remember that public transit might be the cheapest way to get in and out. For those with the means, an Uber or Lyft could be preferable to navigating crowded and expensive event parking—plus you’ll probably leave the fest too full of rib meat to drive anyway.
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Line ’em up
You’ve made it to the fest, and now you’re faced with the hardest choice you’ll make this weekend: which ribs should you get? Two main factors to keep in mind: long lines may indicate a top-notch vendor, but obviously you’ll be waiting longer. Tents with short lines offer a quick fix, but could be a dice-roll when it comes to flavor.
Our advice: let your hunger guide you. If you see a favorite BBQ joint or a place offering your go-to regional style, a wait in line could be well worth it. If you’ve spent an hour circling the block for an open meter and arrive to the fest with ravenous hunger for smoked meats, hop in the shortest line you see. General consensus is that all participating vendors are pretty good, so wherever you end up you’ll probably be satisfied.
Yeah, cat! Dig those smooth grooves
If you only come for the ribs, you’re missing half the fun. The 2019 Jazz & Rib fest has secured a stellar lineup of artists ranging from smooth jazz favorites Norman Brown and Brian Culbertson, to local standouts Kinfolk and The Huntertones.
But The can’t-miss musical event of the weekend comes care of the Soul Rebels, who will be accompanied by founding member and spiritual leader of the legendary Wu-Tang clan, the one and only GZA.
Check out the fest’s full lineup of artists and schedule, and plan your time in rib lines accordingly.
The 2019 Jazz & Rib Fest takes place Friday, July 19, 2019 through Sunday, July 21 at Bicentennial Park. The event is free to attend.
Soon, you’ll be able to get some sweet comedy and even sweeter desserts in Old North. High on Sugar will be open in the space formerly occupied by Buffalo Exchange at 2643 N. High St. sometime in September.
The menu will feature inventive indulgences like shakes piles high with different cakes, ice creams, and toppings—all built your way.
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Entertainment will be offered daily, along with free WiFi and comfortable seating options. More details on the comedy component to surface closer to the open date.
The city’s beloved (peace, love and) pancake balls now
have a second place to call home. Expanding from their
inaugural Harrison West domain, Katalina’s, welcomes
diehard breakfast lovers to their new turquoise-coated digs
in Clintonville. Much larger in space and seating capacity,
patrons of Katalina’s, Too! may be reminded of another
previous whimsical Columbus staple.
“We kept the integrity of [Vintage Fountain Pen Sales and Repair], so I think you’ll see both elements,” says Kathleen Day, brunch connoisseur and owner of Katalina’s. “It looks a little mid-century modern, but then I also wanted to keep the Katalina’s aesthetic. You’ll definitely see those architectural elements of the original gas station and when I first opened Katalina’s. I did not have a budget at all, hardly.”
Instead of breaking the bank, Day relied on flea market finds and decorative, chalk-based decor inspired by the original Katalina’s location. Guests of the original Katalina’s may recall the wooden, brightly-colored umbrella-covered porch, along with the heavily trafficked six-hundred square foot interior. While Katalina’s, Too! is six times as large as its predecessor, Day insists that the brand hasn’t strayed far from its roots. Though various Columbus neighborhoods tossed their hat into the ring to house Katalina’s, Too!, it was Clintonville that eventually took the gold.
“Since I opened, people in Clintonville have been the most vociferous about wanting this second Katalina’s. I’ve been very lucky everyone wants a second Katalina’s, but people in Clintonville have probably been the loudest about wanting a second Katalina’s,” says Day. “I looked in German Village as well, but I don’t want to make other people in Columbus feel as if I don’t like other areas of Columbus. I have a soft spot for Clintonville because their values are very like Katalina’s in that they’re independent, peace-loving, local, organic and their
values are spirited, quirky and anti-corporate.”
One glance at the Katalina’s, Too! menu, and guests may develop a voracious appetite for the Prego Steak Sandwich, a Portuguese-inspired sirloin tucked between a brioche roll from Majita Breads and smothered by a housemade piri-piri sauce. With the belief that outsourcing may exploit the Katalina’s brand, Day purposely intersects her recipes with local resources, remembering that the first Katalina’s began from just a “pot and a spoon.”
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“I think once they understand my brand values of ‘live, love, local’ organic and ethics, they kind of come on board. People really love working for Katalina’s because of the brand values and the team is wonderful. I couldn’t do it without them,” says Day. “I think the customers and the community here are just so passionate about food, local products and local farms, they just want more and more.”
As High Street steadily grows into a bar and nightlife sanctuary, Clintonville proved to be the leading choice for Katalina’s, Too!, even wiping out the cobblestone o -beaten path of German Village. With Harrison West being up-and- coming in 2009, Day admits that Clintonville’s familial aura is what generated personal interest. “I just happen to know from my friends living in Clintonville that it is a very family- oriented community and especially because I have a much bigger space I know there will be more kids there,” says Day, who expanded the menu to include a new kids menu. “I think my pancake balls are kid-friendly, but I definitely wanted to be a family-friendly destination.”
For vegans and those interested in transitioning into veganism, there’s an abundance of new plant-based specialties to choose from, but for dedicated brunch enthusiasts, Day’s next project is to expand the Original Pancake Balls TM into having a vegan alternative. “I’m a cook at heart and people will tell you you’re either a cook or a baker. I am not a baker and so I finally have a baker in-house and maybe she can help me on that. But it is very difficult to make a pancake that is as good without eggs,” Day admits. “I now have local Fowlers Mill Flour and they have created something that makes it easier for us. Now we just add a few items instead of making it basically from scratch even though it’s stone-ground flour which is much better for you than just regular white bleached flour.”
Joking that she’ll need a brief sabbatical away from the
frenzy of opening Katalina’s, Too! and the demand for extended
hours, Day is in no rush to create Katalina’s, Three, though
she knows Columbus will be her eternal breakfast landmark.
“This was pretty daunting and then my employees are all very
excited to keep expanding, of course, but I think I need to just
decide if it’s best for me and my employees,” she says. “They
all love the family atmosphere of Katalina’s, and I just know
from past experiences if you keep growing you can’t always
keep the integrity of your original location. I would never want
to become this corporate-type company because people love
Katalina’s because it’s so unique and home-spun. I want to