Feature: The Nest

Jackie Mantey, Columbus Alive

Although it is only 1,700 square feet, owner Lauryn Byrdy hopes The Nest nurtures many fledgling local businesses. In fact, the small stature of the cozy space is something Byrdy plans to use as a selling point.

The Nest is the Upper Arlington photographer's latest endeavor. Located in the former Fireflies and Fairy Tales retail space next door to her studio, The Nest will wear many hats-yoga studio, photo studio, meeting room, dance hall, workshop and retail space, art gallery, whatever. The customer's interpretation of the rental space, she said, will always be right.

"I hope whoever walks in the door can do whatever they want in here," Byrdy said. "The idea is that the space will build a community. We are fortunate to have found a space that could be all of those things."

Mimicking a modern, airy Swedish loft, the all-white Nest is bare but homey.

"The natural light is unreal. It's like a ginormous light box. That's what initially inspired me to use it as a rental space for other photographers," Byrdy said.

Yoga on High will offer classes in the three-level space Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and an art show featuring the work of CCAD students is currently on view. Next-door neighbor Park Street Kitchen and bastion of brunch Tasi will offer catering services for parties held at The Nest.

That's about it, though, as far as set details go. Oh, and rental rates. Those vary, but the hourly rate for the upstairs space is $75 and a full space day-long rental is $650 on weekdays, $850 on weekends.

Byrdy foresees The Nest hosting many intimate parties, meetings and dinners. Her team is also planning pop-up shops or themed markets that offer local brands without storefronts a place to sell and reach customers from beyond the computer screen or typical retail setting.

"Because of the economy, many people have been starting their own businesses but they don't have the luxury of having their own space to sell. This is our answer to what's happened in the past several years," Byrdy said. "I really think there is a need for a space like this … Columbus has a lot of incredible event spaces that serve larger groups of people. [The Nest] is just small enough that it could feel intimate. This is quaint and approachable and we want to focus on a small, local level and work closely with the community that is here."

The Nest will give big meetings a taste of twee and local businesses a place to tweet.

The Nest Grand Opening

2132 Arlington Ave., Upper Arlington

5-8 p.m. Thursday, May 10