The New Jazz Age: Where to Go in Columbus to Hear Jazz

Kristen Schmidt

Short North

Brothers Drake Meadery

This meadery has slowly evolved from a production facility to include a bar, a food truck and a robust musical calendar. The intimate space lends itself to jazz in particular, with its cabaret seating and, mellow atmosphere.

Park it: Grab a small table in front.

Sip it: The Ohio Gold ($9), with Apple Pie mead, bourbon, ginger liqueur and a splash of ginger beer, is deceptively smooth.

Post-show munchies: Stay put and order from house food truck Tokyo Go Go.

Old North

Dick's Den

This has been the spot for club jazz in Columbus since the 1960s. Dick's Den is the epitome of a classic dive bar with cobbled-together space, a dearth of fussy drinks and a pool table in the back.

Park it: A favorite perch is next to the short divider wall that runs parallel to the bar.

Sip it: Check out the selection of bottled craft beer or keep it old-school with whiskey.

Post-show munchies: The Blue Danube, a few doors down, keeps the dive vibe going.



Proprietor Yavonne Sarber opened De-Novo in 2011 shortly after closing Vonn Jazz, her popular North Side jazz club, and she brought the music with her. De-Novo's space has Sarber's signature dramatic decorative flourish. Musicians typically perform on Friday and Saturday during dinner service (check the Facebook page for upcoming acts).

Park it: The bar area is neither too far from or too close to the musicians.

Sip it: A glass of wine or a specialty cocktail

Post-show munchies: Grab late-night fried cheese curds or poutine at Little Palace.

Arena District

Park Street Tavern

This unassuming bar is the flip side of the rambunctious Park Street nightlife scene. The only hollering you're likely to hear during a Tuesday night jazz jam is encouragement for the musicians-and they deserve it. Saxophonist Pete Mills leads a quartet through a first set before inviting drop-in musicians on stage to jam.

Park it: Jazz jam starts at 8:30 p.m., but the bar doesn't get busy until 10 or so. Arrive early to get prime seating close to the stage.

Sip it: Bourbon-the selection is surprising.

Post-show munchies: Head to Mikey's Late Night Slice for Spicy-Ass Pepperoni.

King-Lincoln District

Zanzibar Brews

By day, it's a spot for breakfast, lunch and coffeehouse activity. By night, it's a space for musical and spoken-word performance, complete with a full bar. Visit the Facebook page to keep up with bookings.

Park it: The sight lines in this narrow space aren't great, but you'll be able to hear everything from any seat in the house.

Sip it: For a night show, try a cocktail at the bar or choose from the long list of specialty coffee drinks.

Post-show munchies: Skip out a little early to order jambalaya at Creole Kitchen before they close at 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.


Natalie's Coal-Fired Pizza and Live Music

Jazz has been part of the mix-along with Americana, country, blues and rock-since this Worthington spot opened in 2012. Music and pizza are stars with equal billing at Natalie's, where tables are positioned perpendicular to the small stage and every seat in the house has an equally good view of the glowing pizza oven. The jazz brunch on Sunday is excellent and family-friendly.

Park it: Ask for one of the high-top tables along the far wall for the best all-room views.

Sip it: The amazing bloody mary, with pepper-spiked vodka and, yep, pizza sauce in the mix

Post-show munchies: If you do it right, you won't have room.