After a year in business, the Loose Goose Tavern has new ownership and will soon be getting a new name as well. Jimmy Woodland, owner of the popular Woodlands Tavern, is giving the business a complete overhaul as it reopens and rebrands as Woodland’s Backyard.
“Better service, better beer, better music,” said Woodland when describing how the venue will be changing.
The outdoor bar space is being rebuilt, the interior is getting a makeover, the volleyball courts will get new restrooms and bocce leagues will also debut this year.
We recently spoke with Jimmy Woodland to find out more about his background in the bar business and why Woodland’s Backyard will be worthy of a re-visit this summer.
Q: First, can you tell us a bit about your background?
A: The bar and entertainment business has been apart of my life for as long as I can remember. My family has owned WK music & vending since 1939, which is an amusement company that supplies jukeboxes, pool tables, video games and ATMs to bars and restaurants. I became vice president of the company in 2004 when I joined full time.
Being in and out of bars through out college and working with the family business in the summer time, I felt that owning a bar would be a fun opportunity for my younger brother and I to take on. So in the summer of 2003 we opened Hendoc’s Pub on North High Street. Things went well enough that in six years time we purchased The Thirsty Ear at 1200 West Third Avenue. We operated it as is for the first year, to get an idea of the music side of the bar business.
That first year did not go well, so we cleaned house, added a patio, a new music space and quality draught beer and changed the name to Woodlands Tavern. A year ago we came across a great opportunity and purchased a small west side bar called Rosie’s Tavern at 421 North Eureka Avenue. We made some moderate changes to the inside and out and continued on as a neighborhood bar. Two months ago, The Loose Goose was made available and my partner and I signed and took over on Dec 20th. My partner on The Goose, which we have renamed Woodland’s Backyard, is Edward Hastie, who is an Attorney here in Grandview and we have been friends since we were five years old.
Q: You certainly turned Woodland’s around after that first year as The Thirsty Ear to become something quite popular. What factors would you attribute to that success?
A: I’m asked this question all the time and there are multiple factors. To mention a few, I think one would be location. Being in the Fifth by Northwest area in Columbus close to Grandview is key. They area is young and thriving with businesses, and it is safe and easy to walk anywhere. I grew up in Grandview, so I enjoy supporting community festivals, events, galas, and just helping families in need. I know that when I see familiar faces in the bar it shows me that the neighborhood supports us back.
The biggest factor in our success is the people that work for Woodlands. Everyone is passionate and competent in their role, from Paul Painter who books quality music to our bar manager and staff… they all truly care about the brand that they have created.
Another factor is our happy hour that can’t be beat. The $2 draught selection speaks for itself. And lastly our advertising and social media play a significant role in getting people in the door. We spend a fair amount on letting people know whats going on at Woodlands and its not even a question when you are doing live music.
Q: What interested you in the former Loose Goose venue as your latest venture?
A: The size of the place for sure. It’s f*#king huge! 8,200 square feet gives you a lot of room to do what you want. The volleyball, bocce and parking are all things we are unable to do at Woodlands Tavern and I’m very interested in fine tuning those aspects of the former Goose.
Q: What sort of similarities and differences will customers notice between the two venues?
A: What we offer at Woodlands Tavern in terms of service and the quality of draught beer I want to carry over to Woodlands Backyard. Service, consistency and quality was a major problem at the Loose Goose, we will change that. The quality of music is another item which will transfer over nicely to the Backyard, they had a great space, but they just never booked anything consistently.
At first, you will see a younger, later crowd and we plan to add to that with an solid happy hour. We will be doing more parties and event-based business as well, as the space allows us to do so. Musically, we are able to bring in slightly bigger acts, so you may see some unique bands that Woodlands can’t handle.
Q: Anything other plans for the future?
A: We are not stopping here. We have other irons in the fire on a few great projects. Good things to come, I promise you.
More information can be found online at www.facebook.com/grandviewgoose.