The South Campus Gateway has had its share of issues staying busy. But while the operators of the latest bar franchise to announce they’re moving in are aware of that, they also said they know how to bring the buzz back.
With more than 500 choices of local and global craft beers, live entertainment and one of the largest outdoor patios around campus, World of Beer seems to be arriving to a happily waiting Ohio State community.
Co-owners of the new franchise Mark Pottschmidt and Darren Greene have plans to ensure it stays afloat.
“We believe that the South Campus Gateway has some inherent design flaws,” Pottschmidt said, pointing out that the interior alley tenants suffer from a lack of visibility and foot traffic. “The idea is to create a high-energy environment at the High Street edge to entice pedestrians to turn into the alley rather than continue walking by.”
The tavern’s August announcement that it would be moving in came less than a year after a string of closings within the South Campus Gateway. The Gateway is a subtenant of Campus Partners, which is a private, nonprofit corporation that works on community planning in the campus area alongside OSU and the city of Columbus.
Kildare’s Irish Pub closed its location during the summer of 2013, Charlie Bear: Land of Dance announced its relocation to Olentangy River Road in late October, and Finish Line closed its Gateway location in January. Gooeyz owners Lanne and Dave Bennett — who closed their grilled cheese-concept restaurant at the Gateway in November and moved to Woodland’s Backyard on Grandview Ave. — told The Lantern in March that deficiencies with their space in the Gateway, discord with management and dissipating foot traffic in the area led to their decision to leave.
Since February, a few new tenants have moved in — The Oxley Tavern and Grillery and apparel store Devoted.
Since last winter, Pottschmidt and Greene have been working alongside Campus Partners, and the president of Campus Partners said World of Beer should draw people.
“We have no doubt that (World of Beer) will certainly appeal to students,” Amanda Hoffsis, president of Campus Partners, said in an email. “It also will appeal well to the other area residents as proven by the success of the two other Columbus locations.”
Other Columbus locations include the Brewery District and Easton.
Pottschmidt and Greene were interested in opening a World of Beer in the South Campus Gateway three to four years ago, but “decision makers” at the time didn’t agree with their ideas for the alley, Pottschmidt said.
The partners will be leasing more than 4,000 square-feet of space, located next to Pursuit and across the alley from the Gateway Film Center. Next to the storefront, they will create a 2,500-square-foot patio and two beer gardens, inspired by the wooded bars that originated in Germany. Pottschmidt said he’s enthusiastic about the beer gardens.
“They will transform the current alleyway into an outdoor living room for campus,” he said.
The beer garden closest to High Street will have a stage with live music scheduled Thursdays through Saturdays. The other garden will have a more relaxed feel, Pottschmidt said.
Although the Gateway location won’t open until March, Pottschmidt and Greene are working to create an exciting gameday environment for students and visitors by collaborating with Campus Partners and the Gateway Film Center. For the “budget-minded” college students, World of Beer will be introducing a “retro draft” lineup, Pottschmidt said.
Aurora Stromberg, a fourth-year in strategic communication, said she is excited that World of Beer is making its way to OSU.
“I think it will be a place where grad students, older undergraduates and young professionals will frequent,” Stromberg said. “It is almost like a happy medium between the Short North and campus life.”