Whitt’s End Saloon Opens on Parsons Avenue
The revitalization of Parsons Avenue on the South Side has long been in focus for the City of Columbus, but aside from major projects at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, private investment has been slow-going. A group of entrepreneurial folks have taken one project into their own hands with the conversion of the old Avenue Bar at 970 Parsons into the new Whitt’s End Saloon.
“We do realize that for whatever reason, there is some kind of stigma about crossing Parsons Avenue and we want to definitely change that,” says Whitt’s End co-owner Joe Picklesimer. “Our initial plan was to just re-open quietly as the Avenue Bar, but we all quickly decided that in order to break the controversial history of this place we had to change the name.”
Picklesimer, along with partners Angela Lenhard and Addison Joseph, are doing more than just changing the name. The trio is giving the old dive bar a makeover, adding live music, dj nights, local art shows, and have plans to use the adjoining parking lot for everything from food truck events to outdoor pool parties.
“We’re definitely trying to make this place a destination so entertainment will be varying throughout the week and we plan on having entertainment every night of the week if possible,” said Picklesimer. “It’s not a super huge establishment so bands can set up and have a very intimate experience with their fans and bar patrons.”
Mondays at Whitt’s End will be Ladies’ night, Thursdays will feature Trivia with Lana Oriani, Fridays will be Karaoke night and Saturdays will be saved for local DJs. The bar will carry a selection of craft beer and imported beer with an emphasis on low prices. Picklesimer says that they want to break the trend of high price points for craft beers and become known as a place to go where high quality drinks can be found without breaking the bank.
“We definitely want to be a haven for people who enjoy good drinks and crafts that don’t necessarily have six or seven dollars to spend on one drink,” he added. “We’re all focused on making sure that the service here at Whitt’s End Saloon is top notch. There are only three of us running the place, so we want our regulars to recognize us so that the atmosphere is light and friendly.”
A friendly atmosphere should be a welcome change for the venue, as complaints of a decline in clientele have been echoed to the new business owners through patrons to the old Avenue Bar. The goal of Whitt’s End is to function as a destination for customers from all over Columbus, while still serving as a neighborhood bar welcoming to everyone.
“Angela, being a proud resident of the LGBT community, will give us the flare we need,” said Picklesimer. “We’ll have a zero tolerance policy for judgment or harassment and we want everyone to feel welcomed when they step foot into Whitt’s End Saloon.”
Whitt’s End is already open following a recent soft launch, but according to Joseph, a bigger grand opening party is in the works for mid-May.
“Since we’re all young, we will always be open to feedback about our service and the drinks we serve,” said Picklesimer. “If we don’t carry a specific beer or liquor, we’ll have it in our bar within a week. We want to keep the visitors who walk through our door happy and impressed by what we’ve put together here in an otherwise unknown part of town for most Columbus.”
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/whittsendsaloon.