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TRISM, the Malleable Gathering Space Transforming Campus Night Life

Mackenzie Gignac Mackenzie Gignac TRISM, the Malleable Gathering Space Transforming Campus Night LifePhoto by Walker Evans.
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During the day, alternative R&B and hip-hop plays through the speakers in TRISM while students vigorously type on their laptops doing homework. Two of the four walls are completely made of glass, maximizing natural lighting. Fresh, living succulents surround the tables and seats. The foundation of its color scheme is grayscale with accents of pastel colors: teals, periwinkle, baby blue.

But, what is TRISM? Is it a restaurant or a bar? Why do they have concerts? Free Yoga? Art shows?

TRISM can’t be confined to one concept.

It’s a restaurant during the day, a bar at night, and it functions as an all-encompassing event space in between.

TRISM’s Director of Business Development and Brand Integrity, Alexis Joseph, said those events define its core influences — an eatery, bar and event space.

“We knew it was going to be all three of those aspects. That’s what makes TRISM, TRISM,” Joseph said. “We wanted something that was really unique to the city.”

The eatery features healthy foods, building off of their sister company, Alchemy Juice. It offers all-natural smoothies, smoothie bowls, Chipotle-style rice bowls, flatbreads, pop tarts and soups that are all made in-house.

Joseph is a registered dietician and played a big role in creating the menu.

“TRISM is wholesome. It’s nurturing. It’s fun,” she said. “We work to make healthy food more fun again.”

That fun takes on a different meaning when the moon hovers above Trism, transforming it into a trendy, upscale bar. The DJs change every week, and they’re surrounded by two LCD monitors with a full assembly of speakers. This is a typical setup for a downtown club, but stands out as unorthodox on Ohio State’s High Street scene.

TRISM features craft beers from around Ohio and has specialty cocktails with top-shelf alcohol and house-made syrups and sweeteners.

Completing the TRISM triad is its use as an event space.

“We want to have something for everybody. Campus is a big melting pot,” said Kyle Bennett, TRISM associate. “There’s different things we can transform into. That’s why it’s a transformative event space. We don’t want to be that category that does just one thing.”

On the weekends, yoga classes might be offered, and flea markets will travel through. Fraternity and sorority date parties, concerts and art shows are just a few events that have taken place. There is no limit to what might come stumbling through in the future.

Staring right across the street onto Ohio State’s campus, TRISM’s drawing attention from the students. Madison Kelly, a first-year student at Ohio State, said while she would typically travel to the Short North to find a healthy juice eatery, she is able to walk right across the street from her dorm in Smith-Steeb.

Kelly is attracted to the unique vibe TRISM offers.

“It’s got a really good dynamic,” Kelly said. “It’s a juice bar by day, club by night. There aren’t a lot of places like it. You don’t really have anything that’s the kind of space that can change into different concepts.”

While TRISM externally focuses on its three concepts, Joseph mentions it focuses on an internal core value: a holistic view of health.

“The whole idea of TRISM is looking at health in a different way. It is in our missions,” Joseph said. “Health is more than eating healthy food. It is having this vibrant social environment. It’s having good relationships. It’s having a supportive atmosphere.”

As a registered dietician, Joseph recognizes that there is more to health than just food. She emphasized the importance of relationships, which is another reason why TRISM is more than just a restaurant.

Students still approach TRISM with caution. There isn’t a complete understanding of what it’s supposed to be.

It doesn’t fit into any particular identity, but that is one of its defining factors. TRISM is made to be experienced.

For more information, visit trismcbus.com.

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