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First Look: Graduate Columbus

Brent Warren Brent Warren First Look: Graduate ColumbusA room on the first floor of the Graduate Columbus, decorated with instruments inspired by the Ohio State marching band. All photos by Brent Warren.
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The first guests are scheduled to arrive this weekend at the new Graduate Columbus Hotel in the Short North.

Located at 750 N. High St., the hotel’s opening marks the final step in the transformation of the former Bollinger Tower – an 11-story building that held affordable senior housing until it was sold by the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority in 2016.

The renovation of the building included a new two-story addition in the front that now holds the hotel’s lobby, a Shake Shack, and a business that is new to Columbus called Poindexter Coffee.

Poindexter is a brand developed by Graduate that occupies first-floor space in many of the company’s hotels. Scheduled to open to the public tomorrow, the concept will offer to-go fare like pastries and sandwiches, but will also feature a full bar. It will be open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

Shake Shack, meanwhile, is already serving customers after opening earlier this week. Both of the businesses can be accessed from the street or directly from the hotel lobby.

The hotel’s 171 rooms are decked out in a nostalgic and sports-oriented theme that was developed specifically for the Columbus location. The Graduate brand, which was launched in 2014 with a focus on college towns, is on track to have hotels in over 30 different markets by 2020.

Some of the highlights of the Graduate Columbus include a George Bellows painting, artwork inspired by a Wendy’s hamburger, and meeting rooms named after Jack Hanna and Jerrie Mock.

The second floor of the building features two large rooms – each with an adjoining patio – that can be rented out for events.

Miranda Fairrow, Catering and Sales Manager, said that she has already fielded some calls for the event space but is excited for more people around Columbus to find out about the project, and for visitors to discover the quirks of the hotel.

“We’re letting people know that we’re here,” she said. “I think that the product’s great, and everyone’s enthusiastic because it’s so new (and) so different…you’ll never find anything like this anywhere, because all Graduates are different.”

The hotel’s website shows rooms priced from $144 to $214 a night.

Scroll down for photos and more information from a recent tour of the building.

The lobby features lots of plaid and a scarlet and gray theme.
A Columbus Mt. Rushmore mural, behind the front desk, featuring Jesse Owens, Jack Nicklaus, Archie Griffin and Katie Smith.
Poindexter Coffee is accessible from the lobby.
A close-up of the Poindexter pencil wall.
The Poindexter space, looking out onto High Street.
James Thurber and Jerrie Mock are among the Columbus natives celebrated in the rooms.
A custom-made John Glenn chair.
All rooms feature a similar mix of OSU and Columbus-inspired memorabilia.
Each floor of the hotel contains one suite.
Historic maps and photos line the hallways.
A view of High Street looking south, from a second floor patio.
Another view of the patio – one of two that are accessible from the second floor event spaces.
The building as seen from across High Street.
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