New bar: Charlie Bear Land of Dance

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The original Charlie Bear Land of Dance in Whitehall launched the disco era in Columbus just before the release of "Saturday Night Fever."

Last week, the bar and its boogie-oogie spirit returned in the South Campus Gateway at the hands of Ted Lawson and Cathy Capuano, daughter of the man who launched the club's first version.

"We wanted someplace that was classy but fun," said Lawson, who with Capuano also runs Outland on Liberty and Hampton's on King. "It's not your normal college dive bar."

Far from it.

Located in the revamped former home of Skye Bar, Charlie Bear 2.0 evokes the heyday of disco in a distinctly modern package.

Backlit pillars with bold silhouettes stand guard over an airy, colorful warehouse complete with mirrored DJ booth and elevated dance platform. A posh party room sits in the back, and a second-story patio awaits Ohio State's spring crowds.

Everything bears a polish and an attention to detail. The club will be open to those 21 and older, though Lawson insisted prices will remain "college-affordable."

Lawson believes Charlie Bear will fill a void for students looking to bust a move. Before last Wednesday, the closest dance clubs to Campus were Skully's Music Diner in the Short North or The Tipsy Bar and Grill, just north of Lane Avenue.

"I would sit here and watch these kids get on a bus to go all the way Downtown," he explained, referencing the weekend shuttle service between Campus and Park Street. "It doesn't take a marketing genius to figure out that the customer isn't being offered what they want."

Charlie Bear also stakes a Columbus claim in a development that has struggled to maintain a significant local-business presence.

"I always kept getting drawn back to this location," Lawson said. "There is potential for what we're trying to do here. I think it's going in a good direction."

Weekly Entertainment:

Tuesday: Country Night

Wednesday: Ladies Night

Thursday: College Night, with South Campus Gateway mug special

Friday: Various dance DJs

Saturday: Video DJ

Charlie Bear Land of Dance

1562 N. High St., Campus


Hours: 9 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Tuesday-Saturday (extended hours and days pending)

Drink specials: $1 bombs and draft beer specials daily