From The Blog

Walk on the Wild Side – Short North Tavern Tour

Join us for our first-ever walking tavern tour – a walk on the wild side, Short North. Well, not really “wild”, but it used to be colorful...

we-want-beerJoin us for our first-ever walking tavern tour – a walk on the wild side, Short North. Well, not really “wild”, but it used to be colorful in a different sense. Tour will feature three “official” stops, and lots of history and architecture along the way. Lincoln’s funeral train, Greek bootblacks, an old graveyard, the Methodist church, early auto dealerships, a hospital, public art, a police blotter of colorful characters, Italianate cornices, overlooked cornerstones, and more figure into the rhythm of this thriving urban area. Even though it is a walking tour, reservations are limited and are necessary. Price includes bar nibbles along the way; drinks are on your own. Sparkling narration, historic gossip, and architectural knowledge of the taverns and their environs is cheerfully included. Tours is led by Doreen Uhas Sauer and  Tom Betti, co-authors of Historic Columbus Taverns.  Tickets are $25 for Columbus Landmarks members and $30 for non-members.

Thursday, April 30  6-9:30pm  SOLD OUT
Thursday, May 7  6-9:30 pm   >>BUY TICKETS




  1. Steve May 9, 2012 at 2:24 am #

    What a great idea! Sounds like a lot of fun, and an enjoyable way to learn about Columbus’ past. Any Speakeasys on any of the tours?

    • Becky West May 10, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

      Thanks, Steve! We routinely feature speakeasies on all our tavern tours–at least the ones that can be historically verified. But, like Underground Railroad houses, documentation is often speculative. Sometimes the stories of what happened to the saloon or the tavern in Prohibition; how neighorhoods and ethnic communities were divided before and during Prohibition; or how these years impacted the city are far more interesting. Our motto–taverns, saloons, drinking habits, and the war between the wets and the drys is so rich–we offer it all to you to drink up! ~ Doreen Uhas Sauer

  2. Saphire June 6, 2013 at 2:58 am #

    Any African-American Taverns (eg. Canabar, or Macon?) Oh, I forgot, there are no African-Americans
    with a liquor license in Columbus. Once upon a time Mt. Vernon and Long Street had long history of
    entertainment during the “Chitterling Curcuit”. What do you know about that?

    • Becky West June 6, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

      From Doreen Uhas Sauer, who leads our tavern tours and is co-author of Historic Columbus Taverns:
      I am familiar with the term Chittlin’ Circuit and the rich history of the nightspots on the Near East Side, especially the Cadillac Club and the Macon. Out tavern tours started in downtown and we seemed to have had more history there than we ever expected, so only recently we have started to venture out of the downtown, slightly to the Short North, a little bit down South High, and three spots in Old North Columbus. We have featured the CharBar in the past (and will continue to do so) on North High that was (before it was CharBar) a place called “Billy’s”–owned by late Billy Hill, former athletic director of OSU, and he had played off the theme of the establishment as a speakeasy. It was a popular venue. We would like to do a tour that could capture the places and people of the Near East Side; but you are so right that much has changed or is gone. Still as part of the historical research we are doing for the African American Landmark Preservation Initiative, all of these places are very important. As part of the research for the On This Day book, Tom and I started to compile a list of places (through ads) and events from the Call & Post from 1947-1972 which we would like to continue. Any suggestions or history that could be shared with us is greatly appreciated.

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