So much to talk about from this three day trip to Columbus… I do not even know where to start.
First, let me tell you I knew almost nothing about Columbus or Ohio before our trip there a few weeks ago for pride. Okay, yeah we knew it was a big deciding state in the past elections and primaries and knew that Hillary won Ohio this year. And of course we knew about OSU (Ohio State University) and the Buckeye’s. We had to look up the meaning of a buckeye because we were thinking they were one-eyed sworded Indians or something (hehe). Turns out a buckeye is a tree that produces a funky smell and a fruit that could possibly be poisonous.
Honestly I did not know what a buckeye tree was until after my trip to Ohio so now I will have to go back just to see one of these things. We did see some places such as OSU campus, the Cuyahoga river, and the Easton town center which had lots of great shopping. Just do not eat that the Abuelo’s it had horrible food but do eat at Brio Tuscan Grille if you want some good Italian. The Easton town center had everything from Abercrombie to PacSun to Hollister to everything you see in most malls but rolled up into a mega-shopping center.
We stayed at the Renaissance Hotel just down a little over a mile from the Short North area. Short North is where the gay fabulous world of Columbus resides. I advise you to stay at the Hamption Inn because it is the closest hotel to the Short North but across from the convention center so im sure it’s booked most of the time. I do not recommend the Columbus Renaissance it was disappointing hotel that had very thin walls and was quite a walk to the bars.
This is the arts district of Columbus which is a big gay destination. It amazed us. The walk there was so clean and safe and nothing of what I expected of a downtown area. This had to have been one of the cleanest un-ghetto cities I have ever been to and may actually be cleaner than anywhere I have seen. The boystown in Chicago was similar but overall Columbus was really clean.
My favorite place to eat was LemonGrass . Their soup was amazing with lemongrass broth and spicy chili paste. We actually ate their twice it was so good and a cute waiter who worked the Friday evening shift.
Union Café is a lot more than a café it is a gay video bar with a big patio. The newly remodeled location is only a year old and is enjoyable all day and night long with good food, deserts, and music. They play show tunes on Sunday nights for you who like to sing along to old movies. Lots of eye candy with the wait staff too. You may see Union referred to as U or U bar.
Then there is Q bar & nightclub at 205 N. Fifth St. which had Pepper Mashay in town while we were there. She is one of the biggest hearted women you will ever meet! They have an expanded bar and club during the pride that extends over their parking lot. The dance floor seemed small but not too small.
Wall Street is big on Wednesdays for the gay crowd located over on 144 N. High Street (wallstreetnightclub.com). Wall Street also features drag entertainment and is a lesbian bar on most nights from what I understand. Club Diversity is geared for the older crowd but it provides some laid back entertainment for those who do not want club pumping beats.
Lets get to the big daddy of them all and what I loved the most. Well OK there were quite a few things. One was the amazingly large parade which was over 100k people from all over bringing diversity with a parade that could give MardiGras a run for its money. There were lots and lots of bra-less, shirtless girls. Even on the s&m type floats you would see the leather mommas rocking out with their tits out.
The parade was awesome then when it ended everyone followed the parade over a mile or so to another area with tents and entertainment. They were selling beer tickets but nothing else had alcohol. I found out the hard way when I ordered a smoothie that I thought was a Strawberry Daiquiri and wondered where the Rum was. The great part of the parade is that the entire community was over there just fresh from the parade and enjoying the sunshine and even getting in the water fountains with their dogs having a joyous time. A storm did come in and bring that to an end but it was great while it lasted.
The Community Fest was not harmed by any rain though it made it more Woodstock and funner for that crowd. Just parallel to the short north area there were shirtless hippie rocking out at CommFest. CommFest was another added bonus to the entire weekend. Lots of good musicians performing, beads and shirts for sale, and many things to do at CommFest. Thousands of college aged students were enjoying the commfest then they would go over to the U and have a drink or hang out over in the Short North area. I saw lots of GBLT, lesbians, hippies, drag queens, gothic, leather, skaters, and of course the pot heads were everywhere haha… You cant get the gays and str8’s that close together without some pot.
My favorite club that I had an incredible time dancing was called Axis which is rather bitchy towards the line outside but once you get inside there is at least one bartender that is hella hot and the dj must be ME. The dj played the best music I have heard in a long time in a club. I couldn’t sit down because all the songs were good gay dance anthems.
I could just tell that the name Axis sounded like it would be the place to be and it was! It is 18 to enter and they even feature college shower shows up on stage once a month which would be wild to see. I loved Axis and give them 5 stars out of 5 and may even put them in the top 10 clubs of 2008 list when it comes out later this year. You have boxes to dance on, the music was fierce, OSU boys, upstairs drag room that is fun, and a upstairs to look over the dancefloor.
Columbus Nightlife for us was Axis mostly on Friday and Saturday nights and maybe over to Union for a pre-club drink.
Sunday Nights are show tunes at Union and Havana has a fabulous drag show with talented thong or underwear dancers. They do quite a show at Havana on Sundays considering they are dancing on a pool table with only a board for support. The bar is packed around 1230a or so and is a fun place to be if you like some good drag and frat type boys showing their stuff.
If you are considering moving to Columbus think about how nice it would be to live in the Short North area and just walk out to the dining and entertainment experiences that are just out there waiting for you. You must consider the horrible winters but there is an escape out of town to Cincinnati or somewhere as close as Chicago.
With over 25 bars and clubs listed in Columbus they have a nightlife that beats other cities hands down. The fine dining, artsy and college atmosphere, and urban touch all make this city a wonderful place to visit and live.