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Too’s saved: Bar finds new High Street home

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Too’s Spirits Under High will be in a new location and under a new name coming this summer, said Too’s owner, Scott Ellsworth.  

Ellsworth said it will reopen as Three’s Above High in late July or early August at the now closed Scarlet & Grey cafe concert venue and bar, which is located at the corner of West Norwich Avenue and High Street.

“We’re going to end up closing down (the Scarlet & Grey cafe location) for a couple of months for renovation of sorts, ” Ellsworth said. “Obviously I own Too’s so the dive bar idea is what appealed most to me about Scarlet & Grey. So, you know, that already had a good bones to what we’re looking to do.”

Ellsworth said he credits the “Save Too’s” movement that started when he announced its closing, which has been going strong for a year and a half, for Three’s opening.

“The thing about the Save Too’s movement is it worked,” Ellsworth said. “What I mean by that is when I found out Too’s was closing I was like, when Too’s is done, Too’s is done, but then in a year, year and a half, there was just a push to save Too’s.”

He said the conversations he has had with Too’s patrons and the efforts they’ve put forth into saving the bar helped him see how much people appreciated the bar and the staff.

“Three’s is going to be equally as amazing. I think people are going to love it just as much,” Ellsworth said.

Ellsworth officially bought the Scarlet & Grey cafe on Saturday, he said, which led to the venue’s abrupt closing and announcement that night.

Too’s tweeted that day that there was a closed deal for Three’s, but did not say where.

Too’s Spitirs Under High hinted earlier this week of a new location. Credit: Too’s Spirits Under High Twitter.

The closing was a shock to many frequenters of the bar, and left some uneasy on the future of the music scene that grew around the venue.

Too’s has had live music since its opening, and will continue to at its new location, Ellsworth said, but the type of music to be performed is pending.

“We’re going to keep doing live music like we did at Too’s,” he said. “We’re not sure on what type of music we’re going to do. We’re not sure on if we’re going to stick with what we did at Too’s with just doing local bands to campus and Columbus or if we’re going to try to get national acts or not.”

There is also potential for Too’s and Three’s to be open at the same time, said Ellsworth. Because of the fluid nature of the 15th and High redevelopment plan, it’s hard to predict when construction will force Too’s closure, but Ellsworth said he “heard whispers” it might be able to stay open through football season.

“We’re going to take as much time at Toos as we possibly can so we might have Too’s and Three’s going this football season which will be extremely busy but an extremely good thing for campus,” Ellsworth said.

Though Three’s is going to have the same staff and same live music as before, Ellsworth said the closing of Too’s is hard to bear.

“It’s heartbreaking to think about. It’s my first bar—  that’s like your first kid. So it’s something that we’ve been dealing with for a couple of years so it’s not a surprise that it’s happening,” Ellsworth said. “We’re not being sucker punched by any means, but it’s hard. It sucks.”

He, along with his co-owners of Three’s: John White, Too’s musician, and Cory Harmon, general manager, will continue to give college kids what they loved in Too’s — “no bullshit,” Ellsworth said

“They do need something like our bar offers and that has to do with our staff and music and us being real,” Ellsworth said. “College kids especially can see that and they can see when people try to bullshit them and we’re not a bullshit type of company.”

He said the partnership with White and Harmon grew over the years they worked at Too’s.

White has been with Too’s since the week after Ellsworth bought it and Harmon has the longest tenure at the bar.

Though Ellsworth said Three’s will be “equally as amazing” as Too’s, the exact same experience and atmosphere will be impossible to replicate.

“It can’t be Too’s,” Ellsworth said. “The name will be buried in the rubble there but the spirit does live on through Three’s.”

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