2014 Year in Review: Month by Month
2014 was a big year in Columbus. Lots of ups and downs… but mostly ups. Big announcements were made, new businesses and nonprofits were launched, and many existing establishments saw expansion this year. We’ve broken down a lot of the biggest news articles month-by-month below for your recapping and reviewing pleasure. Of course, if you want some topic-based recaps you can check out the Year in Food, Year in Development, Year in Civics, and the general Top 20 list as well.
Happy New Year, and here’s to a great 2015!
2014 kicked off with some big news in the very first month. Betty’s Fine Food and Spirits would be closing this year, originally with a relocation plan in mind, but that never panned out. It was announced that Kingmakers would be joining The Short North as a unique new entertainment option. Gay Street was hit with a frozen flood when a water main ruptured during subzero temperatures. Local CrossFit coach Mitch Potterf penned an opinion piece that went viral through national CrossFit social media channels. The Torpedo Room officially opened at the Gateway Film Center. The Idea Foundry broke ground on their new Franklinton HQ. Bodega announced big renovation plans. And OSU announced that Michael Drake would follow E. Gordon Gee as the university’s next president.
The shortest month of the year was a little slower than January in terms of big news, but a wide variety of articles kept our collective attentions all month long. The Ohio Art League announced that they’d be exiting the South Campus Gateway without a new permanent home in mind. A localized social media explosion occurred around the Privilege614 group, which we got to the bottom of. Columbus became serious about being a political convention contender in 2016. Ride-sharing app Lyft launched locally to compete with Uber. Dublin’s large-scale Bridge Street Corridor development took another step toward reality with a new private development commitment. During the State of the City address, Mayor Coleman announced that a new group would study the feasibility of a Downtown-Airport rail line, which also led to a new round of density discussion about the city of Columbus. And last but not least, we got a sneak peek at the new CBUS Circulator that would go on to launch in May.
Columbus Underground kicked off March in a big way with a major site redesign that brought mobile/tablet-friendly responsiveness to our readers. OSU Sports made history in a big way when the Men’s Tennis Team broke the previous NCAA record with a 185-game winning streak. Hot Chicken Takeover made its official debut, which became one of the most beloved new dining additions in 2014. Columbus institution COSI turned 50 years old in March and celebrated in a big way. ODOT announced that highway caps are planned to reconnect Downtown to German Village when that stretch of the highway is rebuilt. The Ethical Arts Collective announced plans to open in Franklinton, joining the existing art studio facilities in the neighborhood. And one of the loftiest development proposals of the year was made to build two new 15-story towers at the Convention Center, but the plan was later cancelled.
As always, we kicked off April with some Fool’s Day content, this year about walk-sharing apps, White Castle apartments and more. After that, it was back to serious-mode with the announcement of the return of the COSI Planetarium. Columbus fell out of the running for the 2016 RNC in April. George Takei was announced as this year’s Pride Parade Grand Marshall. The Blue Jackets landed a spot in the playoffs. The Columbus Zoo made a big (and later cancelled) announcement. A fire took out multiple businesses on Gay Street mid-month. Ohio made another step forward with marriage equality. Demolition officially began at the old Cooper stadium, but didn’t continue for long. The long-vacant Franklin Park Trolley Barn finally sold to a new owner. And we kicked off a four-part series on going Car-Free in Columbus.
In May of 2014, Columbus saw the launch of the popular CBUS Circulator bus route. Bodega reopened their doors after several months of renovations. The City of Dublin continued to make progress on the Bridge Street Corridor project. Columbus was hit with Hasa Diga Eebowai fever when the Book of Mormon landed at the Ohio Theatre. We launched a new indepth interview series with local developers managing multiple projects in urban neighborhoods. Nationwide Realty Investors make their first move in Franklinton. The Heart of Africa exhibit opened at the Columbus Zoo. And last but not least, the Columbus Idea Foundry opened their new doors.
We kicked off the summer with some exploration ideas that ranged from skydiving to spelunking to zombies. The Urbanophile checked in on Columbus for an urbanism update. Stauf’s announced expansions to German Village and the North Market. Columbus got a dose of world cup fever. It was announced that Clintonville will be getting a new brewery in 2015. Tiny doors captured the imaginations of kids of all ages in local parks. We broke the news that the endangered Gunning House was being restored. And Nationwide Insurance unveiled a big move to Grandview.
July kicked off with the annual Doo Dah Parade, and a police cruiser ride-along. We dissected the perfect summer beer. The largest indoor go kart track opened their doors here in Columbus. The Long Street Cultural Wall was unveiled. We checked in with the future of the culinary arts at CSCC. Wholly Craft opened their relocated store in Clintonville. Columbus Underground hosted the very first Urban Living Tour, which had over 450 attendees. Axis hosted the largest drag queen show in the world. R. Kelly was dropped from the FMMF lineup after much controversy. And a big proposal was made in an attempt to lure Stone Brewing to Columbus.
In August, the Columbus Fashion Mob team announced plans to relocate to the Columbus Idea Foundry. New progress was made on high-speed rail to Chicago. We hosted a huge multi-round survey to find out which food truck is the best in Columbus. North High Brewing expanded into a new production facility. CU hosted its first ever Best Bites event with a focus on gourmet burgers (Gallerie’s burger was the fan favorite). World of Beer announced big renovation plans for the pedestrian alley at the South Campus Gateway. And Councilmember A. Troy Miller resigned, kicking off a series of council replacements and upcoming elections for 2015.
In September, HOMAGE announced a new home for their Short North store. The Columbus Clippers kicked off a playoff run. The popular new Giant Eagle Market District opened at Grandview Yard. The Columbus Brewing Company announced big expansion plans. The Land Grant Brewing Company got up and running in Franklinton. Sadly, Rife’s Market closed their doors after nearly 80 years in business. Independents’ Day relocated successfully, also in Franklinton. And Columbus got a new eSports venue from Major League Gamaing.
In October, Columbus Underground hosted an art showcase of personal collections, which coincidentally opened at the same time as the Wexner family’s personal collection show at the Wexner Center. Gallery Hop celebrated 30 years this month. The Columbus Metro Library announced big renovation plans for their main Downtown location. Stone Brewing officially revealed that they would not be expanding to Columbus. The Columbus Crew unveiled a new name and new branding. Angry Clintonville residents put a new apartment development on hiatus. The much-anticipated Chintz Room soft opened in October. Shannon Hardin was selected as the replacement councilmember to take the seat vacated by A. Troy Miller. Highball Halloween returned Downtown for another festive celebration. And a new candy and soda shop called RocketFizz was announced for the Short North.
The Short North gained a new parking garage in November. The North Market announced Little Eater as its final tenant to fill the building back to 100% occupancy. An impressive new park was announced for the West Side of Columbus. The first retail tenant at Highpoint was officially announced. The long-vacant Madison Buildings received new owners with plans to renovate. Another new arts venue was opened in Franklinton. The Commissary officially opened their doors to the public. COSI’s new planetarium also officially opened to the public. And Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman announced that 2015 would be his final year in office.
The year closed out with a lot of new announcements, but also a sad string of closures. Laughlin’s Bakery opened in the Short North while Milk Bar announced that they would be closing. A big makeover for Parsons Avenue in Olde Towne East was announced while CS Gallery announced their closure. Mikey’s Late Night Slice announced the possibility of becoming the city’s first Shipping Container Business. Hot Chicken Takeover opened their popular new pop-up restaurant inside the North Market. A new redevelopment on Oak Street was announced. The Ohio Deli fell victim to a tragic fire. And last but not least, updated renderings were released for the new Ohio Veterans Memorial.
What were your favorite and/or most definitive moments of 2014? Let us know in the comments below!