Five Columbus Locals Share Their Perfect Weekends
This article first appeared in Columbus Monthly City Guide 2020.
Central Ohio has so many options for things to do, it can be hard to decide on just one. To help you frame what can be tackled in a matter of days, we asked five Columbusites to share their ideas of a perfect weekend in the city.
Artist and songwriter Angela Perley says her latest album, 4:30, is aptly named because that’s the time she usually goes to bed. Most weekends, Perley and her bandmates are on the road, so a weekend at home is always viewed as a treat.
“I love starting off Saturday with friends—for sure with [bandmate] Chris Connor—at Fox in the Snow Café, where I get a New Orleans iced coffee. Then we might hit Flower Child, my favorite vintage clothing store. From there we catch a film at an indie theater, or go to Eat Purr Love Cat Café, this adorable place where I can get my cat fix and jot down lyrics while enjoying herbal tea and cookies. Dinner and drinks would be a food truck and Seventh Son Brewing Co. I love Kitty Paw, a hard seltzer that’s fruity without a weird aftertaste. We’d end the day with a local late-night show at Rumba Café or Natalie’s Coal-Fired Pizza and Live Music. I would kick off Sunday with a healthy Breakfast Smoothie—the original—at Alchemy, and then bike or run to the Scioto Mile and catch a festival or head to the Scioto Audubon Metro Park and work on songs. If it’s cold, I like the Columbus Museum of Art and the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, where it just feels so tropical. Sunday evening might involve tea at Stauf’s Coffee Roasters or Queen City Cajun ice cream, a spicy chocolate, at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams—or maybe both!”
Orcan Turkay continues to climb the hospitality ladder. He landed in Columbus in 2016 as the general manager of the AC Hotel by Marriott Columbus Dublin and its rooftop eatery, Vaso, in Dublin’s Bridge Park development. These days, he is the corporate director of food and beverage operations for Shaner Hotel Group, parent company of the AC.
“If I’m not working, my perfect weekend starts at Rebol with a Bulletproof coffee and breakfast bowl with chorizo. But I’m usually working, so I combine work with play by checking out other restaurants and bars. My go-to is Watershed Kitchen & Bar, where I get Chef Jack [Moore]’s Pickledillies and Pork Cheeks. From there I’ll hit Comune and get Crispy Fried Rice and a cocktail. After that, I’m bar-hopping for good conversation and drinks. My new favorite place is Law Bird, owned by dear friends Annie and Luke [Pierce]. All of Annie’s cocktails go down super easy—too easy! I never sleep in, but on Sunday I like to chill by calling family and friends and watching Turkish TV channels. If it’s soccer season, then I’m definitely dedicating two hours to watch Galatasaray play. If I have my daughter, Emory, 6, then it’s all about her and whatever she wants—the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, watching TV, shopping at the American Girl doll store.”
Often described as a “serial” entrepreneur—a term she embraces—Tanisha Robinson is well into her next adventure after two years as BrewDog USA’s CEO. Her latest startup is W*nder, a CBD- and vitamin-infused sparkling water brand that launched in January. The canned drinks are selling online and in local retailers, restaurants, spas and coffee shops.
“My ideal Saturday starts with my wife, Michelle Heritage, and I walking to brunch at The Table. I like a hardcore mimosa with just a whiff of orange juice for color. In summer, we ride the Olentangy Trail, stop at the Clintonville Farmers Market and load up our bike saddlebags. Dinner would be at The Refectory’s Dinner Music Series, to hear a phenomenal band and have a phenomenal meal. If it’s a wild night, we would go to Mouton afterward and meet up with some friends. I would have a classic Manhattan with Woodford bourbon or a mezcal Negroni. On Sunday, Michelle and I, along with our friend, Carlie Snyder, would go to Club Pilates and hit Ambrose and Eve or Third & Hollywood for brunch. If it’s summertime, we’d go to Goodale Park’s music series and just chill. In winter, we might go to Otherworld, an insane immersive art installation. My wife is an amazing cook, so Sunday evening I like to wind down over dinner with friends before I start prepping for the week ahead.”
Like most entertainers, Andrew Levitt, who performs as drag queen Nina West, is usually on the road during weekends. In February, we caught up with Levitt as he was wrapping up a United Kingdom tour, The Magnificent Nina West, a magic show based on his time on season 11 of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
“My perfect Columbus weekend starts with pancake balls or the Mazatlan sandwich at Katalina’s in Harrison West, right down the street from my house. Then I’ll wander around the Short North or hop on the Olentangy Trail and go for a jog. In the afternoon, I’m playing board games—usually Sorry—at Kingmakers with Adam Yates and Tyler Cummings. I also love Scrabble with Patricia Taylor. She usually wins. Later it’s the Gateway Film Center, my favorite place to catch a movie. For dinner, Cap City Fine Diner for sure. I always get the Bleu Cheese Potato Chips for an app, and then head to Jeni’s for the Cream Puff ice cream. If I’m out on the town, I’ll go Axis or the Union Café. Sunday morning it’s a workout at CrossFit, an iced coffee—I’m so boring—from Starbucks, and then a walk around the neighborhood with Edgar and Felicity, my Berger Picards. Then afternoon is family time with my parents, most always at Northstar Café in Clintonville. I’d get a fish sandwich and chopped salad. Later in the evening, I love to get lost in the Book Loft or grab a coffee. I used to love Sunday Showtunes at Union Café, but I haven’t been in a while.”
Columbus City Councilmember Elizabeth Brown is all about broad-based economic prosperity that includes business growth and poverty reduction. A council member since 2015, she serves as president pro tempore, and she is the executive director of the Ohio Women’s Public Policy Network. She and husband Patrick Katzenmeyer have two children: Carolyn, 4, and Russell, 1.
“For me, the perfect weekend in Columbus happens during summer. One of the great things about my job is being able to combine community duties with being a mom. A Saturday morning visiting Westgate Farmers Market or attending Milo Fest allows me to be present for both. Some Saturday afternoons, I get together with other moms and kids for our international eating club to experience the diversity of foods in Columbus. We recently tried Hoyo’s Kitchen in the Northland area. Sundays consist of completely unscheduled time with family, starting with an endless pot of coffee and great banana pancakes that my husband makes. We might take in a Clippers game, and it’s fun when the kids run the bases at the end of a game. The weekend was successful if I get the kids to bed early so Patrick and I can relax with a glass of wine, get ready for the week ahead and then fall asleep with a good book. I just finished ‘Ask Again, Yes’ by Mary Beth Keane.”