City: Five most interesting stories of 2010
5. Small Business Beanstalk takes off
Columbus is a hotspot for eager entrepreneurs. Timothy Wolf Starr found a way to help them work together. The Small Business Beanstalk has signed up thousands of Central Ohio residents for a discount card that encourages them to save money by shopping at local companies. Most recently, Starr and the SBB partnered with Alive to offer daily bargains through bigdealcolumbus.com.
4. Downtown's south end gets a facelift
In terms of development, nowhere was busier than the handful of blocks below Broad Street. The Main Street Bridge, the Franklin County Courthouse and River South apartments opened for business. The Scioto Mile green space continued to sprout along the river, and Columbus Commons took shape in the gaping hole left by City Center's overdue demolition.
3. Wonderland emerges
A while back, some local artists threw around the idea of branding Columbus as the Indie Art Capital of the World. That nickname seems a lot more appropriate with a project like Wonderland.
Slowly emerging from a Wonder Bread factory in Italian Village, Wonderland is set to become a mixed-use creative ecosystem with studios, workshops, recording rooms, retail spots and more. Developers unveiled plans in February and haven't stopped moving since.
2. Micro-distillery movement comes to town
Microbrews have had a long history in Columbus, but it wasn't until this summer that the city got its first taste of small-batch artisan spirits. The micro-distillery movement came to town via Middle West Spirits, a Short North operation that released the Oyo vodka on July 1. It didn't take long for the trend to catch on. Watershed Distillery, based in Grandview, released hand-crafted gin and vodka in early December.
1. Eat-local trend explodes
Ohioans have always eaten some Ohio food, but they didn't make it a top priority until 2010. Throughout Columbus, this was the year many started to care about where their food came from and how it was grown. Farmers markets and community gardens popped up around the city. People made a point to eat local, support restaurants that purchased from area farms and join festivities like Local Foods Week, which ran Oct. 1-7.