BravoArtist joins Ace of Cups as partner

In a social media post, Cory Hajde announced that his booking company, BravoArtist, will partner with Conor Stratton at the Old North Columbus venue

Joel Oliphint
Columbus Alive
Ace of Cups

In March of last year, Yellow Springs native Conor Stratton and a group of unnamed business partners took over the lease at Ace of Cups, a beloved Old North Columbus venue that had previously been run by Marcy Mays, a fixture in the local music scene for decades (most notably in the band Scrawl).

More:Ace of Cups changes hands

Taking over Ace was a dream come true for Stratton, who moved to Columbus in 2017 and previously ran the Dayton Music Art and Film Festival and Springsfest in Yellow Springs. 

"I’m not made of money. I have partners,” Stratton told Alive in January of 2021. “Although I might be the face of [Ace] and will largely be managing it, the people that I'm working with are extraordinarily experienced and very aware of what needs to happen. The idea is to never, ever let this place closing be something that's an option ever again.”

Now Stratton has a new partner: Cory Hajde of BravoArtist, a concert programming company that books mostly emo and indie-rock shows in Columbus and the Cleveland area. Hajde, who was previously one of Alive's People to Watch before relocating to northeast Ohio, also co-founded the cocktail bar Cloak & Dagger in Cleveland.

"For almost a decade I’ve been searching for a venue for BravoArtist to call home in Columbus. I moved there with every intention to find a space for us to book almost all of our shows in. After leaving Columbus, I felt like I failed even though we were still booking a lot of shows down there," Hajde wrote today in a social media post. "A couple of weeks ago Conor Stratton and the good folks at Ace of Cups offered to bring me in as a partner. As of yesterday, it’s official!"

According to Hajde's post, Bravo will help "spruce up the programming for both events and hospitality" with a renewed focus on "the local scene and helping provide additional resources for Columbus based bands."

Like Stratton, Hajde said he has long admired the Old North venue. "Ace has always been my favorite venue in Columbus. I’ve seen some of my favorite bands and also discovered some of my favorite artists there," he said. "I’ve had some of the best nights of my life there so for it all to come full circle really means the world to me."