CMH Gourmand

Culinary Discovery & Misadventures in the Ice Cream Capital of the World (Columbus)

  • Recent Comments

    The Mega Meat Challe… on The Challenge of Joseppi…
    Mike Bussard on Susie’s Sub Shop….…
    Lana Crabtree on Tropical Nut and Fruit Company…
    Beechwold Diner | Co… on Breakfast with Nick at Beechwo…
    cmh gourmand on Arepazo (Tres) Tapas Bar &…
    Patrick on Arepazo (Tres) Tapas Bar &…
    Carolina G. on Arepazo (Tres) Tapas Bar &…
  • CMH Gourmand – “a twitter”

  • Categories

  • Top Posts

  • Archives: August 2006 to Now

My Editorial about the Crest on WOSU’s Columbus Neighborhoods

Posted by cmh gourmand on February 9, 2014

I have been a huge fan of WOSU’s Columbus Neighborhoods since the series launched a few years ago. As a lover of Columbus and history, the series has been fun and informative. So when the Clintonville episode premiered I was glued to my seat absorbing every factoid and cherishing every minute of it.

As a writer and a person that creates content for a radio show, I understand the limits of time and space constraints to the daunting task of presenting every possible person, place and event in a community over the course of over two hundred years. So while a few segments ran a bit long on one subject or another, I say to each their own and kudos as well as a job well done on the episode.

With one exception.

The Crest Gastropub had a very long segment as part of the program. I’m no hater of the Crest but I was a bit irked that a business with barely a year in the community would warrant so much air time while our other long time food businesses were left out. Granted there was a 1/2 second frame with an image of Nancy’s but that was it. As for the Crest, it is a story about the future of Clintonville and I want the restaurant to thrive and succeed and continue to do better. However, I am more interested in the food businesses that have held the line for decades in our community which has been restaurant deprived since my earliest memories.

Again, there is no way all of what I will list could be presented in the few minutes that were devoted to the Crest, but I would have loved to have seen a montage or brief mention of each of these places instead as a tip of the hat to these small family businesses which have been the heart and soul of the Clintonville Community.

Villa Nova has been a gathering place for decades. The original owner came back to save the business from failure and since then it has never looked back. It has done so well that it could buy the parcel of land next door, knock down the original Just Pies location and pave it over with a parking lot to fill with customers to take their cars off the neighboring streets.

Just Pies original location is gone but what a great success story. The business has garnered national attention by just making pies.

Moving south down High Street the new Mozart’s in the old Beechwold Tavern space. The building has served as home to many businesses over the years. It was a hot spot in the 1930’s as a tavern and dance hall. It survived other less exciting purposes afterwards. It was vacant for a long time until Cord Camera picked it as a location but then they moved to the revitalized Graceland Shopping Center. The building was almost home to a national fast food chain but luckily Anand Saha from Mozart’s put all of his chips on the table to get the building first. He has restored the charm and character of the place and made it a true community treasure. The story of an immigrant who came to Columbus with little more than a dream and grew a business over twenty years that has done so much for the community is a more compelling story that the Crest.

Or how about the oldest vegetarian restaurant in Columbus, Whole World Bakery and Cafe? Nancy’s Home Cooking has been the unofficial Town Hall of Clintonville since the mid 1970’s, while it is not the same place in our hearts as when Cindy King was alive and Ed King was behind the grill, it still is a community icon with countless stories connected to it such as catering weddings, feeding the homeless, making special meals for firefighters and so on.

Weiland’s Market was just a meat market at the original location when I went there to pick up supplies while I worked for Knight’s Ice Cream in the 1980’s. It has since blossomed into one of the best gourmet markets in town and it revitalized a strip center which was on the downward spiral for years. Round all of this out with Dante’s Pizza and Gatto’s Pizza and you have over 200 years of food history in just a few businesses.

I’ll add a few more places in. Flippos, was a burger and shake restaurant named after long time TV personality Flippo the Clown. It was located on High Street, just a bit north of East North Broadway where Donatos is today. I used to go there after T-Ball games as a kid. The Marzetti’s plant on Indianola may be too industrial to be a sight for sore eyes, but the company has an incredible history in Columbus including a nationally known restaurant decades ago. And while Clintonville received a bad rap for being unwelcome to food trucks (not really true) the rise of mobile food owes some debt to a community which supported Ray Ray’s, Mya’s, The Coop, Boston Berts and others through the years.

It is not all about food, but there was a lot in Clintonville that was overlooked in favor of the new whippersnapper on the block. So for non food related memories I would have liked to see a mention of Clintonville Academy (since 1978 – guess who was in the first class of students there) and the original Columbus Zoo which has a few buildings and bridges still hidden away in Beechwold.

To repeat. Good Job WOSU Neighborhoods you did a fine job of compressing 200 years of history in less than 1 hour but I think you could have represented the history of our community better with a brief mention of a few of the businesses listed above and less time devoted to the Crest. Maybe there are some gems in an extended edition DVD that will come out in the future. If not, I hope you will have an opportunity to come back to Clintonville to profile more of the history that was missed out on. The would mean the world to the hearts of those of us who have lived our lives here and made it a true community.

About these ads

6 Responses to “My Editorial about the Crest on WOSU’s Columbus Neighborhoods”

  1. roger said

    Nice article Jim but you left out one of my old favorites. Do you remember the Olentangy Village Tavern?
    Roger

  2. Deb said

    The OVT was the best. How many restaurants have an annual picnic for the regulars? The Wildflower Cafe is a wonderful asset to the neighborhood. Good food and they support the annual 4th of July breakfast at Whetstone.

  3. Allen said

    Great point Jim… couldn’t agree more…I also think Smith’s Deli deserved a mention… Jack Smith and his family have been there quite awhile and are a personal favorite of ours…

  4. Allen said

    And not that it’s a restaurant… but I was surprised that Longview Barber Shop wasn’t mentioned… I believe it was opened in 1919….wouldn’t go anywhere else in Clintonville to get my haircut…

  5. DouginCMH said

    I have yet to watch the C-ville episode, so thanks in advance for the warning about the amount of time devoted to the Crest. It seems as though our opinions of the place are similar; I, too, want it to succeed and, honestly, to continue to work out the many kinks that still plague the place. Let me know when they can produce a burger that rivals O’Reilly’s. Dare I ask, did the segment talk about the amazing growth of the farmer’s market? Did Studio 35 get a shout out? If not, I just might delete the episode without watching.

    CMH G. addition:
    It is absolutely worth watching in it’s present form. Minimal Farmers Market reference (I may be wrong) and no real Studio 35 info (which has an amazing history and is really a community success story as the only (viable) single screen theatre in the city). Do watch it – it is worth your time.

  6. Gourmand Guest said

    To be fair, Weiland’s was mentioned. Otherwise, I totally agree with you. Studio 35 would have been a better showcase than the Crest, even if we are talking about the future. The whole business and building were recently renovated. That’s no diss on The Crest, I just agree that a truly comprehensive view of Clintonville would have included different businesses. I think the factor that made it so attractive was the micro farming that they do on site, which could be said to represent the spirit of the neighborhood.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 207 other followers