C-Bus N Bar Crawl
Posted by cmh gourmand on January 3, 2010
On the Saturday evening after Christmas, I tagged along on a High Street Bar crawl. Normally something like this would not catch my interest (well, OK, it might) nor would it be “blog worthy” however, this event was about much more than drunken debauchery. This bar crawl was designed to fill up late night COTA buses and support High Street business.
So why was this important to me? The new Night Owl Bus (#21) runs until 2:30 AM on the weekends from the Arena District to Clintonville. This is good for many reasons. People complain about nothing to do downtown – this nips that in the bud. Citizens complain about having problems finding parking in the Short North – negated. Business owners along High Street are looking for more business and new customers – this helps that. The Night Owl bus provides an alternative to drunk driving for people that drink and live along High Street – that is a plus. Most importantly, this bus provides a means of transportation for employees that work at businesses along this route, such as restaurant, bar and hotel workers. As a supporter of all things public transportation anything that adds options to riders while promoting fun at the same time has my support. The best way for me to show my blessing for the new route was to plant my ass in bus and bar seats so I rode and I drank.
Oddly, I have been on only one other intentional bar crawl in my life. In 2004 I planned a bar crawl of every Clintonville bar from Villa Nova to Patrick J’s. I made maps, plotted distances, designated rest stops for food and hydration. While many people committed to join me only one person showed. He joined me for the first six bars. I was joined by various friends for the subsequent seven bars and finished the night by walking from Patrick J’s to my home in Beechwold at 4:00 AM. Along the way I found a dime and a softball making my evening complete and proving that my folly was no mistake.
Knowing the pain of planning an event that no one shows to, I wanted to support the planner of this event. The master of ceremonies of the C-Bus N Bar Crawl and I have a special connection; my dad threatened to shoot him. Fortunately for all involved that did not happen and my dad is now a full-time resident of Honduras where he is not allowed to have a firearm and I don’t have the worry as much about his cowboy style of justice. Jerrod Wagner did not need my assistance, he had thirty people show for the crawl.
The event had the support of the business community as well. Barrio which was the first stop of the evening offered discounted drink specials to the group. The Betty’s Family of Restaurants offered assistance as well. At Betty’s, we were offered $1 PBR’s and a food special. At Surly Girl Saloon we each received a free cupcake.
I was in my element among this group of crawlers since many of them were not native to Columbus or buses. I was able to share my knowledge of public transportation, bars, restaurants and Columbus culinary lore with these out of town wayfarers. In addition to detailing the fine points of Betty’s and Surly Girl I was able to explain Columbus style pizza to some east coasters culminating in my pointing at a Donatos pizza in mid consumption through the window at the Short North location. I also was able to convince some skeptics that Surly Girl Saloon is not a lesbian bar and that Columbus rocks the socks off the offerings of most major cities.
I ended my service to the tour at O’Reilly’s in Clintonville. This magic place is “my bar”. It was my honor to introduce two people that live within walking distance of this fine establishment to their first O’Reilly’s poured beer here. Everyone loves O’Reillys, except people that hate parades, a strange, but true fact.
It is my understanding the the crawl carried on to Blue Danube, Char Bar and points in between until the wee hours. If you are looking for a fun way to explore High Street consider making your own COTA crawl.