Columbus Shopping Guide: Two Dollar Radio Creates a Columbus Literary Clubhouse
The independent publisher’s bookstore on the South Side is also a haven for events and approachable vegan fare.
Originally founded by married couple Eric Obenauf and Eliza Wood-Obenauf in 2005, Two Dollar Radio Headquarters opened its brick-and-mortar location in 2017. The indie press is known for publishing fiction, nonfiction and poetry from a diverse range of bold voices, including Hanif Abdurraqib’s career-launching essay collection (“They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us”), Kalani Pickhart’s novel about the 2013 Russian-Ukrainian crisis (“I Will Die in a Foreign Land”) and Adam Thompson’s short story collection (“Born Into This”).
Two Dollar Radio titles have been featured in The New York Times, NPR and Slate and have been honored by the National Book Foundation and shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. In a 2011 book review from the cultural journal The Brooklyn Rail, writer Benjamin Gottlieb said Two Dollar Radio “has released some of the finest works of contemporary fiction in the past few years.”
But it’s more than just a publisher. Its South Side headquarters is also a bookstore, event space and café rolled into one. Order a latte and browse the selection of books, a mix of titles from Two Dollar Radio and other indie publishers. Grab a cocktail before an author reading or a comedy open mic night. Enjoy lunch at one of the rustic wooden tables spread throughout the space.
Two Dollar Radio Headquarters dishes up approachable vegan fare like burritos, sandwiches and tacos six days a week, as well as a special brunch menu on Sundays. (Those who want to recreate the café’s menu items at home can pick up a copy of “Two Dollar Radio Guide To Vegan Cooking.”) In its 18 years, Two Dollar Radio has become a local institution—not only one of the best independent publishing houses in the country, but also a community gathering spot for local literary types.
What to Buy
Robert Lopez’s well-reviewed memoir, “Dispatches from Puerto Nowhere: An American Story of Assimilation and Erasure,” which was published by Two Dollar Radio in March ($26 in hardcover)
Things to Do
The small business frequently hosts author talks, book clubs, writing workshops and more. Sign up for Two Dollar Radio’s newsletter to keep up with events, sales and menu specials.
1124 Parsons Ave., South Side, 614-725-1505
This story is from the Where to Shop Now package in the May 2023 issue of Columbus Monthly.