The List: Predicting what’s next for the Dube

The building that housed the beloved campus dive, which has remained empty since the diner closed in 2018, recently posted for sale

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
The Blue Danube

Over the weekend, photos appeared on social media of someone painting over the mural on the side of the Old North building that long housed beloved dive the Blue Danube (aka the Dube). 

Days later, an online sales listing for the building posted an update, which many took as a final nail in the coffin for the business. The Dube has sat empty since it closed in 2018, but the inaction around the space allowed fans to harbor at least a shred of hope it could return in some form.

With an advertised sale price of $1 million, there’s little chance whatever lands in the space now will be able to maintain the Dube’s comforting, mom-and-pop feel. But here are a few directions we could see the space taking. (Update: The Dispatch reported that the building is not for sale and that, in spite of the recently posted update, the real estate listing is old and no longer active. Feel free to continue holding on to hope, Dube fans.)

The Blue Danube Towers

This 12-story, mixed-use building will preserve all of the charm of the original diner (or at least its name), which will be packed into a charmless brick behemoth containing apartments (studios start at $1,200) and “celebrate local,” street-level retail that will include a Wendy’s and a Donatos.

Cameron Mitchell presents the Blue Danube

The newest Mitchell joint will also preserve the Dube’s classic $165 grilled cheese with champagne special (menu price: $279). 

The new Campus Partners headquarters

Ohio State’s redevelopment arm, which has revitalized most of the personality from the stretch of High Street running along campus, will make the Dube its new central headquarters. To add insult to injury, it will operate out of the building as-is, allowing the space to stand amid its other redevelopments untouched like the house from “Up.”

Conbarrio

No, rival taco shops Condado and Barrio have not finally come to a sort of peace. Rather, the two will split the space, with half being dedicated to Condado’s Day of the Dead theme and the other half being dedicated to Barrio’s, um, Day of the Dead theme. Once inside, patrons are free to order from either business, giving them a choice between tacos made on Barrio’s “dub” shell (flour soft + corn hard + queso) and tacos made on Condado’s “Sweet Lucy” (flour soft, corn hard, queso and guac, so totally different).

The Brew Danube

Initial beer offerings include the $165 Grilled Cheese IIIPA, Ceiling Tile Stout and the Breakfast Burrito Berliner Weisse.

The Old North North Market

Following a successful expansion into Dublin, the North Market continues to spread throughout the city via satellite locations.

Local Cantina

Let’s face it, this is the most likely outcome.