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Spacebar to open Mid-September in Former KOBO Space

Cassandra Zahran Cassandra Zahran Spacebar to open Mid-September in Former KOBO SpacePhoto via Spacebar.
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When the announcement of Kobo’s “last show” made it through the grapevine of Columbus, the city-folk were sad to see a beloved bar rest in peace. Another one bites the dust, huh? Once a local bar that housed insane rock shows and affordable booze, Kobo’s grunge, unique bathrooms, vinyl-covered countertops and comprehensive energy will be missed. The final Kobo show took place on June 1st, and the space has been closed ever since.

Columbus eagerly awaited for the news of the new bar, the new owner and the new renovations expected within the location. Well, the name of the bar is Spacebar (located on 2590 N High Street), the new owner’s name is Ben DeRolph, and expected grand-opening is mid September. Columbus Underground had the opportunity to gather a few answers from DeRolph, accumulating news relevant to the bar, himself and the Columbus music scene:

Q: First, can you tell me a bit about yourself and any other partners involved in this new project as it relates to the entertainment/music business?

A: Well, I started playing guitar at 15, pretty much when I found grunge. Started playing in bands in college, even had one that spent five weeks touring the east coast. Learned to play drums because of what a bitch it was (and is…) to find a drummer. Did live sound at a small venue for a few years. Then on top of being a pedal junkie, I became a synth junkie when I decided to just make music on my own for a while. So, obviously I love music, and am so lucky to get into this pipe-dream of running a venue. My family is tight and my mom and dad are a huge help with this. They have incredible business skills and knowledge having run my family’s other business in Lancaster (Kumler Collision and Automotive) since I was a little kid.

 Q: What got you interested in opening the new bar in this specific location?

A: Well, its previous owner is a good friend of mine. Jacob invited me to join his Queen cover band, Mr. Fahrenheit and The Loverboys. We met up at the bar to talk about the band and I started off telling him how jealous I was that he ran a music venue. It turned out that he was ready to let it go and had met with a business broker the day before. So, I didn’t have choice in its location, but aside from not having a parking lot I think it’s a great spot. Street parking is way easier than it is down in the Short North. I became friends with a bunch of other great people on the strip right off the bat, including the folks at Bossy Grrrl, Ace of Cups, Cafe Bella, and even the guys at Ace Hardware are cool. It was simply an opportunity not to be passed up.

Q: The name Spacebar is a great one. What’s the concept going to be for the new bar/venue?

A: Well, I’ve been explaining it to people, starting off with the group of friends I brought in for thoughts and ideas for the place, that there are three reasons behind the name: I’ve been into outer space since I was a little kid (even won Outstanding Camper at Space Camp in 5th grade), am a computer junkie and it’s the most used key, plus the first thing I hoped (and have) done with the place was to free up more space. And beyond just the logo (yes it’s going to have a space theme to it), I’m keeping it classy…

Q: So what types of live music and entrainment do you plan to feature at Spacebar?

A: My answer to the music question is always this: any type of music as long as the performers are respectful to the venue and its staff. Personally, I’m all over the map when it comes to music; I’m just very picky about metal, hip hop and country. And I’m not exactly into classical aside from background music in films. As long as we have good people who bring other good people to the venue, the genre doesn’t matter. We’re also having karaoke (which will be weekly, though occasionally we’ll also have live-band karaoke thanks to Zombie Recess), trivia, open stage that can be any form of performance art hosted by Tommy Young of Low Men, movie nights, possibly even comedy and magic shows.

Q: What’s the timeline for the grand opening?

A: Construction has of course backed things up, but the planned opening night is set for Friday, September 12th. Fingers crossed!

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/spacebarcolumbus.

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