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Blue Jackets fans relish socially distanced watch parties

Originally published in The Columbus Dispatch by Allison Ward

The R Bar in the Arena District is hosting socially-distanced watch parties allowing Columbus Blue Jackets fans to gather together to cheer on their team, who is currently playing in a playoff-qualifying series against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto.

When announcers at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto introduced Leo Welsh as the national anthem singer at the start of the Columbus Blue Jackets game Thursday night, the R Bar back home in the Arena District erupted in unison.


That custom typically takes place before Welsh, the team’s anthem singer, performs “The Star-Spangled Banner” for home games at Nationwide Arena. Despite Thursday’s game happening 430 miles away in Toronto with no spectators in attendance — and Welsh performing the anthem via video conference from his home — fans at the bar wanted to feel like they were there.

Hearing the traditional “Leo” chant alone was worth the drive to the R Bar from Covington, Kentucky, said Jackets backers Justin and Sarah Farr. The couple traveled to Columbus from the Cincinnati suburb to participate in the R Bar’s watch parties for Game 3 on Thursday and Game 4 on Friday in the playoff-qualifying series against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Jackets play the Leafs a final time Sunday in the best-of-five series to see who advances to the next round.

“Just to be with fans with similar interests is so nice,” Justin Farr, 33, said on Thursday. “Hearing that again brought some semblance of normalcy.”

On Thursday night, bartenders poured Stinger shots (tequila, blue curacao, Smirnoff Ice) named after the Blue Jackets mascot; heavy jerseys were the attire of choice despite the summer weather; and one fan even donned a festive blue wig, adding to the home-game vibe.

The Farrs also got to collectively groan with the socially distanced crowd when an early chance for a goal hit the cross bar. They had fellow CBJ fans to commiserate with every time Toronto found the back of the net to jump out to a 3-0 lead.

But being on the bar patio, just yards from Nationwide Arena, had to make it all the sweeter when their beloved team clawed back to win 4-3 in overtime and take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series. (On Friday, the Jackets dropped Game 4 to the Leafs, forcing another game.)

“I live for sports,” Justin Farr said. “These watch parties sort of make you feel like you’re there live.”

“It’s good to have hockey back in some way shape or form,” Sarah Farr added.

Normal is relative, though, these days.

For its watch parties, which started with Game 1 a week ago, R Bar is requiring reservations for its limited inside tables. Outside tables are spread 6 feet apart and are first-come, first-served. Parties of more than 10 aren’t allowed, and everyone must wear masks — those with Blue Jackets themes are encouraged — when not seated.

Fans are asked to remain seated whenever possible — no high-fives with nearby tables — and they can’t consume food or drink while standing. And due to recent restrictions, last call for alcohol happened at 9:45 p.m., before the third period even began.

The scene Thursday night was almost unrecognizable compared with the playoffs last year, R Bar general manager Rebecca Handy said.

“For a normal game, it would be a sea of people, shoulder to shoulder, wall to wall,” she said. “At max (now), we’re at a quarter of capacity.”

Still, she is grateful that anyone is showing up to their watch parties these days.

“It was a massive relief,” Handy said, adding that reservations have mostly sold out and outdoor seating filled up before the start of the past three games. “We were nervous and didn’t know if people would show up with everything going on.

“It’s nice to see that the Blue Jackets fans are as dedicated as they say they are.”

Thursday night marked the third evening this past week that Robb Beard came to the R Bar to cheer on his team.

“This is our hockey bar, our ‘home ice,’” said Beard, 55, of Pickerington, who sat at a table with his wife Tammy, 52, and her cousin, Kate Hoferkamp, 27.

The couple – him in a navy home jersey and her in one with forward Oliver Bjorkstrand’s name on it – have been itching for the season to resume.

“She’s been waiting months for this,” Robb Beard said.

“It’s awesome,” Tammy said.

The night out with a few friends was a welcome relief for fan Brandon Edwards, especially after months of staying in.

“For me, hockey has been my first foray back into civilization,” the 30-year-old Italian Village resident said. “It’s great to have a shared experience sitting with friends rather than at home texting about it.”

Edwards said he felt safe coming to the R Bar with the tables spread out and the mask requirements. His featured the Blue Jackets logo.

His group anticipated the bar would do last call during the third period so they got their last drinks early. The bar itself was able to stay open until the end of the game, despite it being after 11 p.m.

“We all had our normal life so abruptly stopped in so many facets — work and all the things, like sports, that distract us from work and life,” Edwards said. “Now, we’re not just coming back to the regular season, but to playoff hockey.”

And that’s reason to celebrate, as safely as possible.

Still, Jordan Mitchell, 26, commented how weird it was to be wearing jerseys with shorts in August. She and three girlfriends relished the opportunity to have a bit of “atmosphere” for the big game.

“I spent months watching every replay on Fox Sports Ohio,” Mitchell said. “It sounds silly, but to have live hockey back, I feel whole again.”

Up Front In Cbus | 8.7 – 8.13


Up Front In Cbus | 8.7 – 8.13

**Contest** Share your Arena District Game Face: Throughout the playoffs, the Arena District wants you to share your favorite game day moments, including seasons past and present!

#ArenaDistrictGameFace Photos: Share your favorite Blue Jackets gear (home décor, lucky puck, autographed ticket, etc.), dig up an old photo from a past season’s Opening Night, take a selfie watching CBJ at home, or show them your very best game face on social media with hashtag #ArenaDistrictGameFace and tag @ArenaDistrict. They’ll be reposting some of their favorites, and a few lucky winners will be rewarded with an Arena District restaurant gift card! Get the full contest details HERE.

Back in the Bubble: It has been great to have hockey back no matter where we are watching! View the playoff game schedule HERE. Also, if you haven’t already, there is still time to grab your CBJ Postseason fan pack HERE.


Up Front In Cbus | 8.7 – 8.13

Gift of Music: Music is not only good for the soul, it is good for the community. PromoWest Productions is teaming up with the Columbus Music Commission in the #GiftofMusic instrument drive. From August 29-30 and September 5-6, you can donate any previously owned instruments to help the mission of bringing music to Columbus City Schools’ students.

“It’s not only music. It’s not only art. It’s a community. It’s a sense of having a place to belong.” – Jared Leto

Learn more about this giving opportunity including over 10 no-contact, curbside drop-off locations HERE. There is one nearby at the Greater Columbus Convention Center!


Up Front In Cbus | 8.7 – 8.13

Take and bake (at home): Want that fresh from the oven, fill your apartment with the smell of delicious Italian food, wine in your pj’s kind of vibe? Check out Buca Di Beppo’s Take and Bake options including Lasagna, Baked Ziti and Baked Rigatoni. Order HERE. Or, view the dine-in menu HERE for the full Buca Di Beppo experience.  The outdoor patio is an inviting al fresco dining atmosphere.

Up Front In Cbus | 8.7 – 8.13

Zoup: Zoup has rolled out delicious summer menu items perfect for a weekday lunch break or picnic at a nearby park! The Arena District location offers easy curbside carryout and online ordering. Get your Zoup on, HERE.

Read HERE to get the scoop on where to eat, drink, and watch the Jackets safely over the weekend, including carry-out food and drink options if you prefer to watch from home.

Up Front In Cbus | 8.7 – 8.13

Club Pilates: If you are looking for a new way to exercise and feel good about your body, try Pilates – it’s for everyone. The Grandview Yard Club Pilates studio is offering a 20% off special, you can reserve a membership for 20% off your first 3 months. You’ll be proud of what you can do! Book a free intro class HERE.


Up Front In Cbus | 8.7 – 8.13

Fall in love with the Kipton: If you are like many renters, you like to plan. Contact the Apartments at the Yard leasing team if you would like to apply for a brand-new apartment in the city of Grandview Heights. Grandview Yard neighborhood offers the comforts of the suburbs with proximity to downtown conveniences. With dog walking stations throughout, walkable grocer, nearby fitness and restaurant options you’ll have everything you need. Learn more HERE.

Up Front In Cbus | 8.7 – 8.13

Stop looking and start living: The Arena District offers more than downtown conveniences included proximity to CoGo bike stations, I-670, McFerson Commons, The Scioto Mile and countless dining and carry out options. While delivering on urban conveniences, Arena District living properties also offer peace of mind with neighborhood patrolled security, 24-hour emergency maintenance, controlled building access and covered parking options. Learn more HERE.


Up Front In Cbus | 7.31-8.6


Up Front In Cbus | 7.31-8.6

Columbus Blue Jackets Playoff Games: Hockey is Back, #5thLine! The Columbus Blue Jackets have their game faces on and are taking the ice this Sunday, August 2. The Jackets face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs in a best-of-five qualifying round series. View the full 2020 game schedule HERE.

Up Front In Cbus | 7.31-8.6

Where to watch: R Bar is hosting watch parties for the playoff games with sound on. Game specials include $5 Labatt tall boys, Sam Adams draft, and Truly tall boys, and stinger bombs are $3 during the last two minutes of first and second period. They will also be raffling off swag bags and a gift card to R Bar!

The game will be played outside on the patio (must be seated at table) and reservations are recommended for inside seating. To make a reservation, email [email protected] The $20 per person deposit for reservations goes toward the bill.

Boston’s will also be showing the playoff games with the sound on.  Dine-in or grab a seat on the patio. Reservations are not required but are being taken, call (614) 229-4275. Drink specials include PBR $3 Pint, $5 32 oz. and $3 Pink Whitney shots!

Whistle & Keg has inside seating and outside patio space to watch the games. They are ready for puck drop with Labbatt Blue and Labbatt Blue Light 16 oz cans as well as on tap. To-go growlers are 50% off for those watching the games at home.

If you’re planning to watch the games and enjoy your meal at home, tune into Fox Sports Ohio and Fox Sports GO. Learn more ways to watch at

Grab your swag: Don’t forget to grab your CBJ Postseason Fan Pack! Each order includes the official t-shirt of the Blue Jackets’ 2020 postseason, a commemorative postseason poster, and a Stanley Cup playoff pin while supplies last. Proceeds benefit the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation. GO JACKETS!

New to the Crew: The Black & Gold have fans ready to stomp and cheer from the new Nordecke! View the recently released renderings HERE. This section of the new Arena District stadium will feature a tifo rigging system, capo stands, two patio decks, and the largest beer garden for an MLS stadium (the Nordecke Beer Garden). Fans can follow construction progress by watching the Downtown Stadium Construction Cam.



Up Front In Cbus | 7.31-8.6

Ted’s Butcher Shoppe: Experience the premium quality of Ted’s hand-cut steaks and fresh ground meat at home with Ted’s Butcher Shoppe. Select your favorite Ted’s premium cuts or specialty box and have America’s best bison and beef delivered fresh to your door the next day – order HERE.

Up Front In Cbus | 7.31-8.6

Pups on the Patio: The Hofbräuhaus Biergarten is a perfect spot to sip on a summer lager this weekend! Cheers to sunshine and great bier 🍻 🐶 Did you know you can bring your furry friends? You will enjoy the great menu appetizers while your pet enjoys homemade pretzel treat


Up Front In Cbus | 7.31-8.6

Ohio State Fair Anywhere: Being one of the most anticipated events of the summer, we were excited to see the Ohio State Fair Anywhere event hosted online! Not only can you shop the fair, check out the barn, enter contests and relieve past fair concerts, you can also enjoy your Ohio State Fair fried favorites at home! With fair food tutorials you can make your deep fried oreos, fair fries, walking tacos, lemon shake-ups and more HERE! Explore the Ohio State Fair Anywhere HERE.  



Up Front In Cbus | 7.31-8.6

Flats II Kitchens: Looking for a Columbus Downtown Apartment? Stop looking and start living at Flats II Apartments! Flats II has incredible kitchen features including contemporary lighting, wood style plank flooring, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and subway tile backsplash. Give your new cooking skills the proper kitchen with an apartment set to entertain. Learn more about Flats II HERE.

Up Front In Cbus | 7.31-8.6

Kipton North building accepting fall applications: Whether you are ready to move now or thinking ahead, it’s never too early to talk to our leasing team. The Apartments at the Yard Kipton North building is the newest apartment building to Grandview Yard and is now accepting applications for the fall. Need to find a home now? Contact the leasing team to set up a virtual or in-person appointment or get the scoop on move-in ready apartment homes – 614.222.2460. Learn more about Kipton North HERE.



At Home Warriors 7.23 – 7.30

Food & Drink

At Home Warriors 7.23 – 7.30

National Tequila Day is Friday, July 24: Who needs icing on the cake when you can get salt on the glass! Nada is featuring a new cocktail for National Tequila Day! The ‘Los Cosmos’ pairs Blanco tequila + raspberry + citrus, available this weekend only. Or get a to-go Nadarita to enjoy at home anytime! If you’re looking for more ways to cool off on hot summer days, try these additional tequila-based beverages from neighboring Arena District restaurants: Boston’s: Cucumber & Cilantro Margarita, R Bar Arena: $5 Palomas, or choose from five hand-crafted margaritas at Ted’s Montana Grill.

At Home Warriors 7.23 – 7.30

Whistle while you don’t work over the weekend or grab a drink for happy hour through the week! Whistle & Keg not only offer endless taps of craft beer, they also have a great little corner bar to enjoy your favorite cocktails.

At Home Warriors 7.23 – 7.30

Try Sunny Street Café’s seasonal Watermelon Lemonade which includes watermelon ice cubes, or a Watermelon Splash Smoothie for an alcohol-free option. Yum!

At Home Warriors 7.23 – 7.30

To keep with the theme, we also wanted to highlight one of our favorite brunch dishes, boozy pancakes. This stack of ADULT chocolate chip pancakes is topped with candied pecans, two strips of thick-cut smoked bacon, and a side of bourbon maple syrup. View the full brunch menu from Hofbräuhaus Columbus.

CBUS Connect

At Home Warriors 7.23 – 7.30

Hockey in our hearts: John Haferman, the Columbus Ice Hockey Club co-founder has been nominated by the Columbus Blue Jackets for a national award. Hired in 1989 to introduce sports opportunities to all kids, despite their backgrounds, he worked hard to promote a “Hockey is for Everyone” program in Columbus encouraging anyone who wanted to get on the ice. He is one of three finalists for the Willie O’ Ree Community Hero Award and NGFL honor that goes to one individual each year for going above and beyond to spread the joy of sports. Vote for John HERE. Read the full article HERE. View all three finalists HERE.


At Home Warriors 7.23 – 7.30

Hockey is Back, Cbus! The Columbus Blue Jackets are gearing up now for the postseason. They face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs in a best-of-five qualifying round series beginning on Sunday, August 2. Games will be played in Toronto but that doesn’t mean the 5th Line won’t be ready for puck drop in a few short weeks!

The CBJ Postseason Fan Pack is available now for fans to get in on the action and do some good for the community. Each order includes the official t-shirt of the Blue Jackets’ 2020 postseason, a commemorative postseason poster, and a Stanley Cup playoff pin while supplies last. Proceeds benefit the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation.

Support your favorite Arena District restaurants and bars during the postseason! Now is the time to keep CBJ game day traditions alive, whether it’s a pregame drink on a patio or ordering a carryout meal to enjoy while cheering on the team from home.

At Home Warriors 7.23 – 7.30

Virtual sports events training with the Columbus Sports Commission: From a Virtual Fore! Miler to the 2020 Komen Columbus Virtual Race for the Cure and The Community Cup Virtual 5k Race, there are plenty of ways to stay distanced while being active this summer. The Community Cup, presented by Columbus Foundation, is in its third year of rallying Central Ohio organizations to compete in skills events, build camaraderie and promote the importance of physical fitness. Instead of serving as the official kick-off of the Community Cup, this year’s 5K Race, presented by Village of Obetz, will be held virtually and is open to anyone who wishes to run, regardless of if their team is signed up for the corporate challenge. Get more details at HERE and get to running!


At Home Warriors 7.23 – 7.30

Fall move-ins: Whether you are ready to move now or thinking ahead, it’s never too early to talk to the leasing teams in the Arena District and Grandview Yard leasing. This week, Flats II apartments are highlighting the Syrah floor plan, available this September and Apartments at the Yard is pre-leasing for the second of two new Kipton buildings with move-ins available in the fall (pictured above).

Need to find a home now? Contact the leasing team to set up a virtual or in-person appointment or get the scoop on move-in ready apartment homes HERE.


At Home Warriors 7.10 – 7.16

CBUS Connect

At Home Warriors 7.10 - 7.16

The Scioto Mile: Parks are a great way to find entertainment while maintaining social distance. When you reside in Columbus, you have easy access to many parks, one of our favorites being the Scioto Mile. The Scioto Mile stretches along the downtown riverfront from the Arena District to the Whittier Peninsula, featuring beautiful parkland, fountains, city views and riverfront. Residents of Parks Edge Condominiums wake up to great views of the riverfront every day. To venture to more Ohio parks, checkout the official Ohio State Park Passport HERE.

At Home Warriors 7.10 - 7.16

Franklin Park Conservatory: The Amorphophallus titanium, aka corpse flower, is a giant bloom that requires a lot of energy to do so. Not only is it quite large, it is also quite smelly once its red petals emerge. This bloom takes the better part of a decade and the fully opened bloom only lasts about one day. Plan a visit to the Franklin Park Conservatory, and hope you catch a glimpse of this (literally) breathtaking, gigantic ‘pewty’. This will be the first time in the garden’s recorded history that one has flowered at Franklin Park Conservatory. Stay up to date on the plant they have named ‘Bob Smellanor’ HERE.

Destination Grandview Staycation: Although faraway trips might not be possible for a while, that doesn’t mean that your vacation isn’t right around the corner. The Hyatt Place Columbus/OSU and Courtyard by Marriott Columbus OSU are ready to assist you in creating the perfect “staycation”! Both hotels are situated in Grandview Yard, offer indoor pools, and are surrounded by everything you need to spend the day reconnecting with friends and family by enjoying everything that Grandview Heights has to offer. Plan your staycation with Destination Grandview HERE.


Hockey: CBJ/PEPSI SUMMER CUP 6v6 EA SPORTS NHL 20 TOURNAMENT COMING JULY 15-AUGUST 23. Grab your Xbox controller and hit the ice, digitally! CBJ Gaming, the e-sports arm of the Columbus Blue Jackets, is hosting the CBJ/Pepsi Summer Cup, a 6v6 tournament in which participants from the United States and Canada can compete in EA Sports NHL20 on Xbox One.  The online tournament, which already has 80 teams registered, including a pair of NHL club representatives in the Anaheim Ducks and Florida Panthers, kicks off on July 15 and will be run through Players from the U.S. and Canada can register for free now through July 14. Click HERE for more information about the tournament, including how to win up to $1,400!


Baseball: Although this past year has been a bit short of a home run, we loved this article highlighting the legacy of Harry M. Stevens who attended his first baseball game in Columbus in late 1880’s. Harry was an ironworker at a mill and then a travelling book salesman. The sales job brought him to Columbus where he attended his first baseball game and changed not only the course of his career, but also the history of how baseball is enjoyed to this day. Read the article HERE.

At Home Warriors 7.10 - 7.16

Missing the Clippers this year? We are too! You can still be in a baseball state of mind, while sporting your favorite Clippers gear. Shop the Columbus Clippers online store HERE. Facemasks also available.

At Home Warriors 7.10 - 7.16

Food & Drink: The Arena District is excited to add another restaurant reopening to the mix! Nada plans to open Monday, July 13 for dinner! Operating hours include 4pm to 9pm Sunday- Thursday, and 4pm-9:30pm Friday and Saturday. We are ready for some TACOS! Enjoy dining in the restaurant or out on the patio.

Additional Arena District dining options: Boston’sBuca Di BeppoJimmy JohnsR BarRodizio GrillSunny Street CaféTed’s Montana Grill, Veranico, and Zoup

At Home Warriors 7.10 - 7.16

Hofbräuhaus Columbus has us drooling over their delicious brunch options. Every Sunday Funday from 11am – 2pm. Check out the brunch menu HERE.

Additional Grandview Yard dining options: Brekkie Shack, HofbräuhausJason’s DeliPanera Bread and Winans.

At Home Warriors 7.10 - 7.16


Living: Over the quarantine, we discovered we not only missed our neighboring restaurants, but we also found the joy in utilizing our own kitchens. The kitchens at Flats II Apartments include beautiful granite countertops with plenty of prep space, tons of cabinet storage, stainless steel appliances and a trendy, tile backsplash. Need some more kitchen inspiration? Check out these Experience Columbus recipes from Columbus Chefs HERE.


At Home Warriors 6.26

Summer doesn’t have to be a drag! Just because you are spending more time at home, doesn’t mean there aren’t still places to explore, things to do, sports to enjoy, and good food to eat. Here is your At Home Warriors guide for 6.26 – 7.2. Get in on the action or take action in and around Columbus through digital events and activities, open dining options, community support initiatives and more.


CBUS Connect

The Best of Boom

 At Home Warriors 6.26

Red, White & BOOM!: This summer, Red, White & BOOM! will become a multi-day television and digital event looking back over the years of the tradition of parades honoring veterans and the largest fireworks show in the Midwest! Re-live your favorite memories Fourth of July Weekend by watching “The Best of BOOM!” from your living room on July 1-4 on NBC4, click HERE for more details.


Virtual Races

At Home Warriors 6.26

Komen Columbus Race for the Cure: The Komen Columbus Race for the cure is an event to help reach the vision of a world without breast cancer. Komen Columbus takes the Race for the Cure virtual this year. Learn more HERE. Plus, raise or donate at least $100 to receive a special edition throwback Homage t-shirt, check it out HERE.


Columbus Food Truck Festival 2020 Virtual 5k August 10-16: The Creators of the Columbus Food Truck Festival are hosting a Food Truck Festival Virtual 5K Run/Walk benefitting the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Participants can run or walk to their finish line anywhere (as long as they are 6-feet apart), and any time between August 10 and August 16. Have an appetite for running? Learn more HERE.


Community Days at Franklin Park Conservatory: Community Days are a chance for Franklin County and City of Columbus residents to enjoy free admissions to experience art, culture and nature on the first Sunday of the month in July and August. Reservations are available for Sunday, July 5 and August 2. Spots are filling up, claim your spot HERE.


Support Local

At Home Warriors 6.26

Patio of the week: Whistle & Keg! Whether you are back to work or live in the Arena District, Whistle and Keg is a walkable, prime spot to soak up the sun and enjoy a sampling of your favorite or newly discovered craft beers.


Dining: Now open for dine-in in the Arena District: Boston’sBuca Di BeppoJimmy JohnsR BarRodizio GrillSunny Street CaféTed’s Montana Grill and Zoup. Grandview Yard Dine-In updates: Hofbräuhaus, Jason’s DeliPanera Bread and Winans.

At Home Warriors 6.26

Beauty: Need some post-quarantine love? MY SALON Suite in Grandview Yard offers multiple service options for hair, nails, airbrush tanning, facial treatments and even bridal services by local Columbus beauty professionals. Support local while getting your latest makeover. Plus, as a resident of Grandview Yard or the Arena District, you get access to special VIP perks! Learn more HERE.



At Home Warriors 6.26

Columbus Blue Jackets prepare for playoffs – The Columbus Blue Jackets are working toward return to play, with Nationwide Arena and OhioHealth Ice Haus open as a facility for on and off the ice workouts for CBJ players. So far, 10 players – forwards Oliver Bjorkstrand, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Riley Nash, Gustav Nyquist, and Liam Foudy; defensemen Seth Jones, Scott Harrington and Andrew Peeke; and goaltenders Matiss Kivlenieks and Elvis Merzlikins – have joined the on-ice workouts, as of last Thursday. We are glad to hear the boys are back in town. Read the full article posted on the Columbus Blue Jackets website HERE.

At Home Warriors 6.26

Columbus Crew’s new digs: While we were already excited to have closer access to Columbus’ soccer team, The Columbus Crew, we really got excited to see some of their newly released renderings. View all HERE.


At Home Warriors 6.26

Summer in the city: Residents are ready to make a splash this summer and through extra precautionary measures, apartments in the Arena District and Grandview Yard have been able to open despite some of the community pools in downtown Columbus and surrounding areas, remaining closed. View virtual tours of  amenities by property: Arena Crossing, Flats on Vine/Flats II, Apartments at the Yard.

At Home Warriors 6.19 – 6.25

At Home Warriors 6.19 – 6.25

Just because you are spending more time at home, doesn’t mean there aren’t still places to explore, things to do, sports to enjoy, and good food to eat. Here is your At Home Warriors guide for 6.19 – 6.25. Get in on the action or take action in and around Columbus through digital events and activities, open dining options, community support initiatives and more.

Columbus Connect

    At Home Warriors 6.19 - 6.25 

Community Days at Franklin Park Conservatory: Community Days are a chance for Franklin County and City of Columbus residents to enjoy free admissions to experience art, culture and nature on the first Sunday of the month in July and August. Reservations are available for Sunday, July 5 and August 2. Spots are filling up, claim your spot HERE.

COSI Connects: The Franklin County Commissioners and COSI have formed a partnership in an attempt to strengthen child learning while camps and summer programming have been affected by the pandemic. COSI Connects is COSI’s digital doorway for at-home science discovery and learning. They provide exciting and engaging science through COSI videos and hands-on learning you can experience at home. Learn more HERE.

Mid-Ohio Foodbank – volunteer opportunities: Sorting and packaging, shopping for groceries and community gardening are just a few ways you can get involved in volunteering your time at the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. During times of hardship, especially, your time and dedication are so important in serving Ohio families that need nourishment. Feel good and give back. Learn more about volunteer opportunities HERE.

Celebrate Juneteenth in Columbus: Juneteenth is an annual celebration to commemorate the official end of slavery in the United States. From free festivals to park barbeque, marches and pop-up markets, Experience Columbus has put a great list together of ways to show support and get involved this weekend HERE.


During this time of change, you may have realized you are ready for a new home – a bigger workspace, closer proximity to parks and recreation, a swimming pool, whatever you are searching for, there are options available. The sales and leasing teams in the Arena District and Grandview Yard want you to feel comfortable, whatever your preference – an online virtual tour, a video walk-through or an in-person tour, they are ready to help you find your new home and preferred lifestyle.

At Home Warriors 6.19 - 6.25
  • Parks Edge Condominiums: Your lifestyle has an address, make Parks Edge condominiums in the Arena District, your new home. With some of the best views Columbus Downtown has to offer, you’ll enjoy picture-postcard views of the Columbus skyline and riverfront through your floor-to-ceiling windows and from your private balcony. With modern appliances, designer finishes and access to surrounding amenities and rooftop pool, you’ll appreciate the elevated lifestyle experienced as a Parks Edge homeowner. Tour Virtually HERE, or contact the sales team to learn more: 614.221.9900.
  • Flats II Apartments: As a Flats II resident, proximity is everything, within a minute walk to the pool and fitness facility located at the Flats on Vine clubhouse, nearby parks including McFerson Commons and the Scioto Mile, access to the resident only VIP program; providing discounts and promotions to neighboring businesses and events, plus beautiful interiors including granite countertops, wood-like plank flooring, and modern lighting.  Discover the perfect home in the heart of downtown Columbus. View Flats II virtually HERE, or contact the leasing team to schedule an in-person tour 614.225.1500.

Support Local

Carry-out, patio, dine-in

Father’s Day is this Sunday – treat the dad in your life to a special meal this weekend in downtown Columbus!

We also found some unique gift ideas from Grandview Yard businesses:

At Home Warriors 6.19 - 6.25
  • Winans Grandview Yard: Treat dad to a Winans chocolate-dipped Bourbon or Old-Fashioned bottle and a classic Bourbon Cherry, in partnership with Watershed Distillery. Order HERE.
  • Hofbräuhaus Columbus: Give dad a membership in the 1589 Growler Club for something unique! Includes a 64 oz. ‘drink tank’ growler with lifetime warranty, monthly growler fills and additional discounted fills. Get More Information

More food news:

At Home Warriors 6.19 - 6.25
  • Boston’s Pizza is now offering resident nights to Arena District and Grandview Yard residents when you show your VIP card! Enjoy 25% Monday – Thursday. View full offer and additional resident VIP details HERE.
  • Zoup! is now offering coffee and breakfast services! Breakfast menu items available 7:30am – 10:30am Monday-Friday. Coffee is served all day and food selections include breakfast sandwiches, berry bread, and a sandwich + drink combo.

Sports and Fitness

Fox Sports Replays: Re-live the excitement, more game replay dates announced!

  • Tuesday, June 23 at 8pm • CBJ vs. Capitals, aired 12.16.2019
  • Wednesday, June 24 at 8pm • CBJ vs. Red Wings, aired 12.17.2019
  • Thursday, June 25 at 8pm and Friday June 26 at 12pm • CBJ vs. Kings, aired 12.19.2019
At Home Warriors 6.19 - 6.25

TBT – The Basketball Tournament

Carmen’s Crew, The Ohio State alumni team and TBT defending champion, have been given the top overall seed in this year’s 24-team field. All TBT games this summer will be played under quarantine at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, from July 4-14. Carmen’s Crew is organized by former Ohio State Buckeyes star Jared Sullinger (2010-12). Sullinger will coach Carmen’s Crew for the second straight year alongside Evan Turner (2007-10) and Leon Rodgers (Northern Illinois).

TBT’s opening round will take place from July 4-5. The quarterfinals will be held on July 10 and July 11 with the semifinals on July 12. The 2020 TBT Championship Game will be played on July 14, when one player will hit a shot to win his team $1 million.

For more information on Carmen’s Crew and this year’s TBT, visit

At Home Warriors 6.19 - 6.25


Club Pilates: Club Pilates is open and taking extra precautions to make the studio safe and clean by sanitizing every piece of equipment between classes. View the class schedule online:

Until next week warriors – please stay safe and continue to show support and love to each other.



At Home Weekend Warriors, Weekend of 5.1

At Home Weekend Warriors Weekend of 5.1

Just because you are at home, doesn’t mean there aren’t still places to explore, things to do, sports to enjoy, and good food to eat. Here is your Weekend Warriors guide for the weekend of 5.1 in and around Columbus including carry-out and delivery options from your favorite Arena District and Grandview Yard restaurants.


Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 10. Plan to gift something special for the mom in your life! (Or treat yourself to something sweet!)

Winan’s Grandview Yard: View Mother’s Day gifts available online for shipping or curbside pickup HERE. Pre-order Raspberry Cordials by Monday, May 4!

Sunny Street Café: Pre-order a Brunch with Mom Pack including egg strata, build-your-own parfait kit, cinnamon rolls with sweet cream frosting and a flower. Available for curbside pickup HERE.

Food Carryout & Delivery: Everyday restaurant carryout, delivery and curbside pickup are still available: Order food and drinks in the Arena District HERE and Grandview Yard HERE.

Where to Buy Cloth Face Masks & Support Small Businesses: As we start to slowly emerge from our homes, many of us are looking to purchase a face mask. Columbus Underground has put together a great list of local businesses that have added masks to their retail offerings. Not only will these masks help you to stay safe, we have to admit, they are pretty stylish too. View all locally sourced masks HERE.


We are staying strong and taking care of ourselves. Through positivity and exercise we can do our best to feel our best.

Arena District Athletic Club: View a variety of workouts you can do at your own pace right in your living room. Click HERE to view 3-minute workouts with the Arena District Athletic Club.

6FT 5K: Take part in the 1st (and hopefully the last) Quarantine 6 Feet of separation 5K benefitting Feeding America! Run or walk (virtually) alongside your personal pacer and SweatNET ambassador Jen Dufresne. Via a downloadable MP3 file, Jen will audibly guide you through the race at your selected pace time. Sign up HERE.

Columbus Crew: Physical and mental stress can show up in your body in various forms. Check out 4 at home work outs from the Columbus Crew to promote body and mind recovery allowing your mind and body to relax as you unwind at home. Get started HERE.

Club Pilates: Club Pilates is offering virtual workouts. View weekly class offerings HERE. Call (614.776.0282) or e-mail the studio to get signed up!


CBJ Gaming + Exciting News: The Columbus Blue Jackets have introduced CBJ Gaming, a new initiative that will allow the club to interact with fans through live streams, tournaments, giveaways and more through a variety of e-sports and gaming activities. Click HERE and get your game on! All live streams will be available via the CBJ Gaming Twitch account. Fans can also follow on Twitter and the CBJ Gaming YouTube page.

We are ‘all shook up’ and thrilled to hear that Elvis Merzlikins has signed a two-year contract extension as of last Thursday! Read more about our sensational goalie HERE.

CBJ Game Replays, Fox Sports Ohio:

Sunday, May 3 at 7pm & Monday May 4 at 3pm • MONSTERS vs. HERSHEY BEARS, aired 6.11.2016

Monday, May 4 at 8pm • CBJ vs. PREDATORS, aired 2.10.2001

Tuesday, May 5 at 8pm • CBJ vs. WILD, aired 12.31.2016

Wednesday, May 6 at 8pm • CBJ vs. CAPITALS, aired 4.15.2018

Thursday, May 7 at 8pm • CBJ vs. PENGUINS, aired 4.19.2014

Friday May 8 at 8pm & Saturday May 9 at 12pm • CBJ vs. PENGUINS, aired 12.22.2016


The leasing staff at Arena Crossing, Flats on Vine and Flats II are letting prospects know that they are here for them – prospects can view apartment interiors and request information on apartment availability through virtual tours, email, phone and video chat.

  • Tour the Napa II at Flats II with leasing consultant, Julie HERE.
  • Tour the Sydney at Arena Crossing with leasing consultant, Julie HERE.
  • Or, view all Arena District apartment tours Here.


Ohio Shorts with the Wex: One thing we know, there are many Ohioans that have a lot of creative talent. Enjoy Ohio Shorts virtually with a celebration of Ohio-based filmmakers. Available to stream until May 2. Click HERE for free admission.

Bread Sculptures with OSU Urban Art Space: more fun than an afternoon craft, is an afternoon craft you can eat afterwards. Urban Arts Space intern, Lizzie Howald is making functional bread sculptures this week and sharing work by artists in the BFA Senior Projects exhibition. HERE.

Neighborhood Bingo: Arena District Living board HERE Apartments at the Yard board HERE.

Virtual Puzzle:

Arena District, 20 years Puzzle HERE.

At Home Weekend Warriors weekend of 4.3

Just because you are at home, doesn’t mean there aren’t still places to explore, things to do and good food to eat. Here is your Weekend Warriors guide for the weekend of 4.3 in and around Columbus including food selections from your favorite Arena District and Grandview Yard restaurants.


Arena District Living and Apartments at the Yard have quaran-teamed up to bring you a new way to stay entertained. Download these activity-based bingo boards and start crossing activities off your list – from streaming a concert to sharing a meme, or getting takeout from one of your favorite neighborhood restaurants – this game will not only inspire you to do more during the downtime, but it might even earn you a gift card to one of your favorite neighborhood restaurants currently offering carryout.

  • Download Arena District Living BINGO card HERE, ENTER CONTEST.
  • Download Apartments at the Yard BINGO card HERE. ENTER CONTEST.


Columbus is a mecca of art which includes a talented community of Arena District residents and visitors. We are requesting you create an interpretation of the ‘Union Station Arch’ sharing your project socially and tagging your image with #ArenaDistrictArtProject. Connect socially HERE.

If you are a resident of Grandview Yard, create an interpretation of ‘trains’ tagging your image with #GrandviewYardArtProject. Connect socially HERE.

We will be creating photo albums on the Arena District Living and Apartments at the Yard Facebook pages to include all submissions for viewing, we hope you will take this creative opportunity and join us.


Things might be a little different at the moment, but one thing we can still appreciate, our families, roommates and a good meal. There are still Arena District restaurants open and serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Carryout beer and wine is also available. Refer to this list to plan your meals while supporting neighborhood restaurants! Place your order HERE.

There are also restaurants offering carryout, delivery and curbside pickup nearby in Grandview Yard HERE.


Another great workout this week from The Arena District Athletic Club, keeping you active and healthy while you’re at home!  View a variety of high intensity workouts you can do right in your living room. Stay active and relieve stress. Click HERE for a squats-based workout!


Although the 5th line is staying 6 feet apart, we still have our hockey heart! To allow fans to re-live the action, Fox Sports Ohio is broadcasting game replays. Next week, tune-in and re-live last season’s 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series:

  • Wednesday, April 8 – 8 p.m. ET (replay on April 9, 12 p.m. ET) Game 1, Apr. 10, 2019 – Columbus 4, at Tampa Bay 3. The Blue Jackets, who trailed 3-0 after the first 20 minutes, score three 3rd period goals and win it on a Seth Jones goal with 5:55 remaining. 
  • Thursday, April 9 – 8 p.m. ET (replay on April 10, 12 p.m. ET) Game 2, Apr. 12, 2019 – Columbus 5, at Tampa Bay 1. Five different Jackets score goals and Sergei Bobrovsky makes 23 saves as Columbus wins both games at Amalie Arena.
  • Friday, April 10 – 8 p.m. ET (replay on April 11, 12 p.m. ET) Game 3, Apr. 14, 2019 – at Columbus 3, Tampa Bay 1. Sergei Bobrovsky outduels Andrei Vasilevskiy and Cam Atkinson’s empty net goal seals it as Jackets take 3-0 series lead.
  • Saturday, April 11 – 8 p.m. ET Game 4, Apr. 16, 2019 – at Columbus 7, Tampa Bay 3. Lightning erase a 3-1 deficit before Oliver Bjorkstrand scores the eventual game-winner late in the 2nd period and the Blue Jackets add three empty net goals late to earn their first-ever playoff series win.


You are practicing social distancing but are in need of finding a new home. Arena District Living and Apartments at the Yard are now offering virtual tours on YOUTUBE. This week, we are highlighting apartment amenities including fitness areas, swimming pools and neighborhood perks. Click the links below to view apartment amenities and start planning for a cool Summer!

  • Tour Yard Club (Grandview Yard) Amenities Building Virtually HERE.
  • Tour Flats on Vine (Arena District) Amenities Building Virtually HERE.
  • Tour Arena Crossing (Arena District) Amenities Building Virtually HERE.


Stream your favorite concerts online with Promowest TV! Check out some of our personal artist picks below:

For more music you can’t find anywhere else, visit the Promowest YouTube channel!


Residents of Grandview Heights and Marble Cliff are writing inspirations/sharing spring chalk art drawings along their sidewalks and driveways! As you are outside enjoying the weather, take a walk and enjoy the pictures your neighbors have created.


Final pieces falling into place for Arena District, 20 years later

Article originally published in Columbus CEO By Laura Newpoff

The transformation of downtown’s industrial western edge has been remarkable, to be sure.

In 1997, Alex Fischer was the deputy governor and chief of staff to Tennessee Gov. Don Sundquist. As part of his work to forge a new partnership between research giant Battelle and the University of Tennessee, he hopped aboard a small King Air plane to get to a meeting in Columbus. Afterward, his hosts took him to dinner at the old Rigsby’s Kitchen on North High Street in the Short North.

On that crisp fall evening as he left the restaurant, Fischer told the folks from Battelle he’d walk a few blocks south to get to the Hyatt Regency hotel. His host, however, had some rather blunt advice. “You can’t do that—it’s a war zone,” Fischer recalls him saying. Fischer also was struck by what was going on a few blocks west of his hotel. The old Ohio Penitentiary site was a walled-off demolition zone surrounded by a bleak mix of decaying industrial buildings and surface parking lots. A poorly lit downtown. A war zone. A prison in ruins. All within a few blocks of one another. It painted quite a dreary picture of Columbus.

“You think about first impressions and what my first impression would be like today if I found myself in those exact same spots,” says Fischer, now CEO of the Columbus Partnership, the city’s influential civic organization of business leaders. “You look at the Arena District today and you see the vision Nationwide, the city and other leaders had. At first, the district was just going to be a single area around the arena. Now you see what Brian Ellis has accomplished in its expansion over 20 years and the economic impact that’s come from companies, the jobs and the residents who have moved there.

“You pinch yourself and say, ‘All this happened in my lifetime,’ ” Fischer says. “An entire part of the city was transformed. There’s no greater transformation that’s analogous to where our city has gone in the same period of time than the Arena District.”

Over those 20 years, more than $1.2 billion of development has occurred to make that old prison site and the surrounding area a premier office, sports, dining and entertainment destination. While the district is running out of land for new projects, Ellis— president and COO of Nationwide Realty Investors—and his team and other developers aren’t done yet. Three large projects are underway, and redevelopment of the old Municipal Light Plant at the western end of West Nationwide Boulevard is expected to be complete this year.

Expanding boundaries

It was 20 years ago that Nationwide Arena opened at the corner of Nationwide Boulevard and Front Street as the home of the National Hockey League expansion team the Columbus Blue Jackets. Architect Dan Hanes describes the area pre-arena as “basically parking lots, with a few small buildings here and there.”

Hanes’ firm at the time, Heinlein Schrock out of Kansas City, partnered with NBBJ on the arena’s design, and Hanes set up shop in Columbus to help Nationwide Realty with offices, condominiums and apartments.

At the time, the master plan as conceived by Ellis and urban planning firm MKSK was 75 acres. But the district would expand because the projects were well-received from the beginning, Ellis says, not only from private users who would rent office space or people who would buy condos or rent apartments, but by government leaders. That affirmation came in the form of a $42.5 commitment by Franklin County in the mid-2000s for a new home for the Columbus Clippers, Huntington Park, on the west side of Neil Avenue, a site not in the original master plan.

In 2007, Nationwide Realty, as part of the original plan, opened the Condominiums at North Bank Park. Moving west would continue as a new frontier for the developer when, years later, it would buy part of the old Buggyworks complex and transform it into offices. Hanes, who worked on those projects, continues to be involved in three that represent hundreds of millions of dollars: As the architect of record for third phase of Nationwide Realty’s Parks Edge condominiums; as designer of the parking structure that will be part of NRI’s new Chipotle headquarters building and apartment project; and as part of a team of designers working on the new Columbus Crew stadium on West Nationwide Boulevard.

The 200-acre district now stretches to I-670 on the north, the Olentangy River on the west, North High Street on the east and West Spring Street to the south. Parks Edge and the Chipotle building will continue a design tradition that emphasizes brick facades with a striking incorporation of glass.

“The designers gravitated toward a continuation of the brick that was in the area,” Hanes says. “It allows you to take advantage of the industrial feel that was already there.”

Healthy competition

Ellis says the goal for the Arena District was to take a long-term view that was market-driven and focused on a high standard of quality. The new projects and the projects developed by others in the area are no exception.

“Competition is healthy when you establish a high bar and people are playing in that space,” Ellis says.

Architect Bob Loversidge has seen the Arena District projects up close as a longtime member of the Downtown Commission, the city’s review body. And his firm, Schooley Caldwell, calls the district home, with a passion for historic preservation – Loversidge was instrumental in moving the old Union Station arch to McFerson Commons.

“I don’t think any other city in North America had the opportunity to essentially re-envision a quarter of their downtown,” Loversidge says. “We have rebuilt the five-story, red-brick city.”


New Arena District developments

Parks Edge Phase 3

What: 10-story condo tower

Details: 50 two- and three-bedroom units with the majority of residences fronting McFerson Commons Park. There will be private, secured parking, 24-hour concierge service and a rooftop pool, hot tub, sun deck and outdoor kitchen.

Developer: Nationwide Realty Investors

When: 2021

Cost: Not disclosed

Where: 225 John H.
McConnell Blvd.


Chipotle HQ/parking/residential

What: 4-story office building with 132,000 square feet, a five-story, 596-space parking garage and approximately 150 apartments.

Details: The office building portion of the project will be built along Neil Avenue. The parking garage and apartments are planned behind the building to the east.

Developer: Nationwide Realty Investors in partnership with the Lewin family

When: 2021

Cost: $200 million

Where: 200 Vine St. is the Chipotle office building’s address. The entire project will be built on land that has boundaries of Neil Avenue to the west, Spruce Street to the north, Kilbourne Street to the east and Vine Street to the south.


Crew Stadium/Confluence Village

What: 20,000-seat soccer stadium

Details: The stadium will be built on 13 acres as the centerpiece of the mixed-use Confluence Village project. The stadium project includes a 40,000-square-foot outdoor plaza that will be open to the public. Amenities include a soccer pub, Nordecke beer garden, field suites and concourse club seats and lounge. There will be 100,000 square feet of playing field grass area that can be used for professional, collegiate and high school sporting events, concerts, fashion shows and other community events. The surrounding Confluence Village is expected to include retail, office and residential space.

Developer: Columbus Crew SC

When: 2021 (stadium)

Cost: $300 million (stadium)

Where: 650 W. Nationwide Blvd.


Municipal Light Plant

What: Redevelopment in two phases of the city’s first power plant that dates to 1903.

Details: Renovation of the 1903 portion of the structure was complete in 2019 with Garth’s Auctioneers & Appraisers opening a 16,000-square-foot showroom and Red Architecture + Planning opening a 9,000-square-foot office. Work is ongoing to renovate an adjacent seven-story structure that will have 36,000 square feet of office space and a parking structure.

Developer: Connect Realty

Ownership: Connect Realty, Schiff Capital Group, GBX Group

When: Second phase, December 2020

Cost: $23 million

Where: 589 W. Nationwide Blvd. and 577 W. Nationwide Blvd.

Laura Newpoff is a freelance writer for Columbus CEO.