FURNITURE FINDS American Furnishings is a showcase for vintage-industrial furniture, most of it created from found items recovered from factories, barns and foundries. According to co-owner Denise Blankemeyer, the company has been in business for 15 years, the last five at its Polaris location.
The industrial pieces are unique and sometimes priced lower than new imitations. I saw a vintage industrial cart that cost $499, which Blankemeyer says is less than you would pay for a reproduction. You'll also find accessories, such as one-of-a-kind lamps, bins and dishware.
Another big part of the business is custom tables. You get a top of solid white oak, then select a base from four choices, opt for one of two finishes and choose the size you want. The company assembles and delivers the finished product, or you can put it together yourself if you prefer. The store also sells Stickley items, including beds and tables.
American Furnishings, 2017 Polaris Pkwy. (just east of I-71), 885-8585; americanfurnishings.com.
Open Mon-Sat 10 am-6 pm; closed Sun.
DOING DINGS Dings and Dents is an overstock and liquidation store for groceries and sundries that can save you 50 percent. There are some dings on the merchandise-a food can with a dent on the side, a box mix with a banged corner. The store checks to make sure the products are still safe to use. You'll also find some liquidated wares in perfect packages.
When I was there, I saw a variety of cereals and a large selection of coffee, including some of the most popular brands. The stock could change completely from one visit to the next; options might include anything from cake mixes and dog treats to motor oil and soap. As a convenience, milk and fresh eggs also are sold here.
Dings and Dents, 228 Gay St., Plain City (from Rt. 161, take the Plain City Post Road exit
south to Plain City, turn left on South Chillicothe Street, then immediately turn right onto Gay Street; the entrance is across from the post office), 634-6626. Open Mon-Wed and Fri 9 am-5 pm, Thu 10 am-
6 pm, Sat 9 am-3 pm; closed Sun.
OLLIE OLLIE ALMOST FREE Ollie's Bargain Outlet arrived in Columbus at the end of June. The store's motto is "Good Stuff Cheap," and savings can be up to 70 percent. The company buys bankruptcy stock, railroad salvage, fire stock, closeouts and irregular items. You'll find famous brand names among the merchandise. Ollie's, a Pennsylvania company, opened in 1982 and has grown to more than 80 stores.
Ollie's isn't fancy-the main aim is getting goods to the consumer as quickly as possible. You'll find a wide variety of closeout items, including books, luggage, electronics, sporting goods, bath towels, health and beauty aids, air conditioners and patio furniture.
Bargain enthusiasts might want to join Ollie's Army, a program for frequent shoppers. Members can earn special savings and receive additional discounts not offered to the general public. You receive one point for every dollar you spend; when you accrue 250 points in your account, the company will mail you a discount certificate.
Ollie's Bargain Outlet, 5737 Emporium Square, 568-0675; 3811 S. High St. (phone number not available at press time); ollies.us. Open Mon-Sat 9 am-9 pm, Sun 10 am-7 pm.
UP TO PAR Walnut Hill Golf Course, part of the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, offers nine holes for $9 Monday through Friday. This does not include a cart. You also can walk and play all day during the week and pay only $18.
Walnut Hill Golf Course, 6001 E. Livingston Ave., 645-3100.
Send sale and bargain suggestions two months before sale to: Bargain Bits, Columbus Monthly, P.O. Box 29913, Columbus, Ohio 43229-7513, or email@example.com. No phone calls, please.
This story appeared in the August 2010 issue of Columbus Monthly.