Columbus After Dark: Buckeye Donuts
3:20 a.m.: If there's a definitive late-night Columbus locale, it's Buckeye Donuts. Nestled at the center of Campus, it's an insomniac institution, overrun by stressed-out students and tweaked-out revelers fresh from the bar.
Doughnuts, coffee and gyros sell like crazy. Call it the edgy, urban version of Schneider's.
A regular since 2001, Steyven Curry now lives in the apartment upstairs and hobnobs with owner Tula Barouxis on Sunday evenings. At the moment, he's lounging on a bench outside, recalling his Thursday at Carabar (where he also hobnobbed with the owner) and showing off his black leather boots with a pink lining.
The next bench over, Tim Allen is rolling a cigarette and lamenting the way things change.
"I just moved back to Columbus a couple weeks ago," Allen says. "They got rid of 'Street Fighter.' That was my main motivation for coming here."
On the other side of the window, after serving a lady in a black dress and heels and a guy in a designer T-shirt, Eric Bretschneider sells me a devil's food doughnut. He tells me he's been working there for six years, most of them on this grueling but always interesting 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. shift.
A few students are perched at the bar, noses buried in textbooks, likely too overwhelmed with homework to be jealous of the drunks in their midst.
1998 N. High St., Campus