Scott Woods: When gentrification is delicious
I recently tried brunch at the new Hang Over Easy restaurant that opened up on Parsons Avenue in Olde Towne East. The original campus location was a spot I would hit once in a while — not in my regular rotation, but not an uncommon hit. Menu-wise, I knew what I was getting into: A carb-heavy roster that never met an egg concoction it didn’t like. The Parsons location is a nicer joint, and the Campus Casualati clientele have been swapped out for the dandelion sub-specie that is Hip Columbus.
They’ve also swapped décor, a notable move considering the campus location already scrubbed its traditional dorm room chic for a cleaner, pre-OSU game palate. The Parsons spot is an even more spartan affair. The front is all business: diner chrome and window lighting and T-shirts for sale. By contrast, the back wall, at first glance, has a bit of the old spirit: a conglomeration of old photographs and signs, a virtual mullet of design.
I was seated next to a wall plastered with old pictures of East High School athletes, all black, as I recall, and jazz musicians associated directly or obliquely with Columbus, also all black. Jazz legend Rahsaan Roland Kirk, some Central Ohio Tuskegee Airman and so on. Even the late Bill Moss grinned from a high perch in the back, the picture taken from an old campaign for mayor like a mugshot. There were a few non-athletes and musicians sprinkled around, but overwhelmingly it was a yearbook designed by the basketball team and a few kids in band class who knew how to work the photo lab.
This is the point where my breakfast pretty much went south.