What you missed in Columbus for June 1

Dick's Den is set to reopen, a second Vax-a-Million winner has been drawn and more from the long weekend

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
The sign outside of the Old North bar Dick's Den

Dick’s Den, which has been closed since the pandemic hit Ohio last March, is scheduled to reopen tomorrow (Wednesday, June 2), following a soft opening this past weekend. In advance, revisit our 2016 oral history of the beloved Old North dive bar, which includes nuggets such as this one:

John Sondej (Dick’s Den co-owner, 1976-2015): We had the old-time tavern guys, like Winchester Shorty, who was always saying, “Go piss up a rope!” Or George Wills, he ended up having throat cancer, so he had a tube going down his throat that he would pour the whiskey in. We were a shot and a beer bar. We always had the saying “If you shake it we don’t make it.” It’s sort of changed now. You have to deal with it, but back in those days it was: “If you shake it we don’t make it”; “Same-day service”; “Service with a sneer.” We had one can of mushroom soup [behind the bar], and we had it because the law said you had to have food. No one ever ordered it, but even if they had we wouldn’t have given it to them.

Continue reading here.


MadLab Theatre just announced that Will Macke will be the group’s new artistic director, taking over for Laura Spires, who will continue to appear onstage with the ensemble.

“With the struggles that 2020 and the COVID world have provided, I think I speak for all of us when I say we’re elated just to be on stage and in the audiences again,” said Macke, who first appeared onstage with the group in 2016, in a press release announcing his new role. “The good news: We have amazing shows, creative teams, and talent all waiting in the wings, ready to share with an equally performance-parched theatrical community. This season is a celebration, and I most look forward to sharing that with all of you.”


The health orders previously put in place by Gov. Mike DeWine are set to be lifted tomorrow (Wednesday, June 2), including the mask requirement that has been a part of public life since last spring. (As a heads up, individual businesses are still able to set their own policies regarding masks, so continue to pay attention to posted notices.)

More:Retailers and restaurants looking for road map after health orders expire

“The vaccine is here. It's stronger and better than medical experts ever imagined,” DeWine said during an early May speech announcing his decision to lift restrictions. “Everyone can now control their own health. Everyone can now control their own destiny."


The second of five Vax-a-Million drawings has been completed, with the winner set to be announced tomorrow (Wednesday, June 2). OSU graduate student Abbey Bugenske won the $1 million prize in the first drawing. (The lottery is open to anyone who has received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine; a second lottery, open to those aged 12-17, features a  prize of free in-state college tuition.)

If you have received your first shot, you can enter the lottery free here.