5 O'Clock Somewhere: Outland

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

After lying dormant for nearly 18 months, the Columbus capital of goth chic, industrial sounds and fetish culture has reopened in its most lavish incarnation yet.

Unfurl your whips, friends, Outland is back.

Subtly bustling for several weeks now, the new Brewery District bar will host a welcome-back bash on Saturday, Oct. 31. Debauchery will include music from Lance Keeney and DJs Giovanny, Moxy, Detox and Patrick.

Holding fast to its roots as a countercultural dance hub, the new space is a multimedia sensory assault. It drips with character and color, standing as one of the most eye-catching bars in town.

Inside are essentially two parallel warehouses, each with a giant dance floor, bar, lounge space and tiered stage platform. Lights line nearly every angle, and walls are plastered with murals, rows of painted mannequins and vintage Christian iconography.

Local vampires will enjoy time there. So will dance fans and casual drinkers.

"We're still having the gothic, industrial and underground nights, but we're trying to get some other events that are a little bit more mainstream," co-owner Ted Lawson said. "I don't think anyone in Columbus has anything like it. It's unique - from the music, to the patrons, to the art we have on the walls."

After Halloween, Outland's infamous industrial-and-goth night will return on Friday. Thursday's set for ladies night and college night with dance tunes, and Saturday will mix industrial sets with special events.

Cover costs $5 for legal drinkers and a bit more for those ages 18 to 20.

But, you're asking, what about the really crazy stuff?

Outland 3.0 hasn't forsaken the source of its durable notoriety - namely, fetish, S&M and bondage activities. Owners simply moved it from the doorstep to a cluster of small, private rooms away from the public eye.

Unlike the rest of the bar, they're sparse, simple and, of course, painted black.

In & Outland

Owners Ted Lawson and Cathy Capuano hope the Brewery District will be the final stop in the club's rather peculiar history. Here's a look back.

Circa 1994: Capuano's brother Chuck buys Outland, a struggling gay nightclub located at 1034 Perry St. in Harrison West

Sept. 2004: The bar closes after the property is sold to the Wagenbrenner Company, which turns surrounding land into an upscale housing development

2005: The bar reopens in an old Big Bear on Harrisburg Pike on the South Side

April 2008: The bar closes after a charter school moves into the shopping center

Oct. 2009: Outland reopens in the former location of Metropolitan, a French bistro and lounge. An Eiffel Tower replica still welcomes bar-goers at the building's front entrance.


95 E. Liberty St., Brewery District

Web: myspace.com/outlandonliberty

Hours: 9 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Thursday-Saturday

In short: Not your kinky grandfather's Outland