Closing Time: Dan Dougan's favorite restaurants

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

As owner of Campus rock club Stache’s and its Short North successor Little Brother’s, Dan Dougan played host to local and national talent for the better part of two decades. Since Little Brother’s closed in 2007, he’s been behind the bar at numerous Columbus locales.

Lately he can be spotted at Natalie’s Coal-Fired Pizza and Live Music in Worthington. He doesn’t run the music there, but the listening-focused setup is right in line with the intimate “Listening Hours” series Dougan organized in 2010.

“With this room, that’s really what they want,” Dougan said. “Come in and listen up.”

Between stories about rowdy bar patrons (ask him about the goose-stepping deep sea diver), Dougan shared his favorite food spots in town.

What’s your favorite thing to eat at Natalie’s?

What I like is the balsamic reduction. It’s on several of the pizzas. And of course I like garlic on anything. I’m an insane garlic-o-phile. It’s very healthy for you, you know?

The Venetian Jail has the Italian sausage as well as the balsamic reduction, so I like that. And the Verdura Trebbiano has the balsamic reduction, as well. The Casanova’s really good, too, with the applewood-smoked bacon, because bacon makes everything better.

Where do you like to eat dinner when you’re not at work?

Dinner is all about Alana’s for me because I feel at home there. I know those people, and I know Alana’s always got something unique and exciting.

Know any places with great dessert?

Being a father, ice cream is where it’s at. I go to Jeni’s in Grandview or Graeter’s in Bexley. [My son] Declan and I like to go to Graeter’s, wait outside and wave at the cars to see if they’ll honk at us.

What if you’re hungry late at night?

Late Night Slice. I really prefer sitting in the freakin’ car lot. There’s something about sitting there and eating Late Night Slice and watching an old movie or something that has a great vibe to it. I’m not sure if it’s the pizza or the ambiance of sitting in that alley. Plus it’s my old stomping grounds.


Where Dan Dougan goes for something specific:

Breakfast: “I still like Wildflower on Indianola.”

South American: “El Arepazo, especially the ceviche.”

Greek: “Mazah in Grandview. Get the tabbouleh and the chicken pita.”

Bar food: “Double Happiness is a nice place to go to eat, for drinks or to listen to music and hang out.”

Italian: “Trattoria Roma. If you’re lucky at lunch, you can sit in the Dean Martin chair.”

Photo by Jodi Miller

Dan DouganAge: 55

Hometown: Westgate

Job: Bartender

Natalie's Coal-Fired Pizza

5601 N. High St., Worthington