Story behind the Hubbard Grille sign

Shelley Mann, Columbus Alive

Hubbard Bar and Grille has been serving up cocktails and comfort food since January in the former Rosendales space at the corner of Hubbard and High. But what has people buzzing most is the fantastic retro neon sign out front.

Designed by Brent LaCount of Design Collective Inc. and made at Morrison Sign Company, the sign is a replica of the one used when the building housed Winder's Chevrolet.

How'd the sign come to be? The sign was conceived at the end of the overall restaurant design process. We had presented the Victorian Village Commission members a couple different sign designs when they handed us a very pixelated, black and-white photocopy of Winder's Chevrolet dealership.

They told us that was how the building should look, and suggested we look into designing a similar sign. Our goal all along was to highlight the building's history, and recreating the original Winder's Chevrolet sign was a perfect fit to our concept, blending past and present, traditional and modern.

How similar are the two? The shape of the sign is a replica of the original Winder's Chevrolet sign. Hard to believe, but the size is actually shorter than the original.

How else does Hubbard Grille pay tribute to its car dealership roots? We reused the original Winder's Chevrolet flooring. Antique cast-iron wheel spokes we found at Grandview Mercantile are displayed, as well as black-and-white photographs of antique cars.

Fun fact: Dave Morrison, the owner of Morrison Sign who produced the sign, grew up in the Short North and bought his first car at Winder's Chevrolet dealership

Neon by the numbers: Sign cost: Over $20,000 Sign weight: 900-1,000 pounds