Raise your schooners to the return of Chumley’s
The day Chumley’s closed its doors in the summer of 2016 will forever live in infamy to all of the students at Ohio State who had the joyous experience of chugging a cheap domestic beer from an oversized chalice. It was a long year without schooner night and watching Thursday Night Football at Chum’s. But, like the phoenix that rises from the ashes of death, Chumley’s is coming back to campus in a new and improved form.
While Chumley’s still calls North High Street home, they have moved down the road a little where they now sit next to the Gateway and a stones throw away from the Short North. The move was neither a surprise nor a conscious effort by owners and partners Dan Schreiber and Debra Bruce. Due to the continual reconstruction and revamping of High Street, Chumley’s was yet another victim of campus redevelopment—forced to move elsewhere or simply close down, adding them to the list of other bars like Too’s, Scarlet and Grey, and O’ Patio.
However, thanks to a special clause added in last second to the original 20-year land contract, Ohio State and Campus Partners were required to help Chumley’s find a new location, Schreiber said. Since the close, Schreiber said they have lost some of the momentum built at the original Columbus spot, but the outlook on the new location is bright.
“It’s been terrible being down for a year,” said Schreiber. “We missed another NBA Finals, we missed the Indians in the World Series! But to have a lot of students tell me, ‘We didn’t know where to go to watch the World Series, Chumley’s would’ve been the perfect place,’ is exciting.”
And if you are one of the many millennials tired of shelling out $7 a beer at some chain restaurant like Buffalo Wild Wings while you watch the Buckeyes, the prospect of Chumley’s opening is exciting. With 50 beers on tap, you are not limited by drink options or prices. Along with not altering drink specials, like $2 schooners on Mondays and Thursdays for schooner night, Schreiber said creating a thriving atmosphere is something he values as very important.
“When people say they miss us, it’s not really the food they miss, or the drink specials,” Schreiber explained. “It’s the atmosphere. And you create that atmosphere by getting people in the door and it makes it fun for everybody.”
The new and improved Chumley’s will look virtually identical to the old Chum’s, but with some minor changes. The walls will now feature exposed brick to match the outside design where previously the original building used drywall. The mezzanine—appropriately shaped like a block O—now circles the entire bar and downstairs floor and offers a larger ledge to set drinks down on. Previously, the upstairs bar only offered a handful of beer options with the downstairs bar being the complete bar, but now both bars are complete with 50 taps each.
The menu at Chum’s also underwent a few minor changes—such as adding poutine to the menu, something Schreiber said he is way too excited about—but will mostly hold true to the original menu before the move. Schreiber said, although he is surprised by how much food they would sell on the weekend, he understands that with watching sports comes eating food.
“I was always just blown away that we sell so much food. Back when I was college, when you went out drinking; you’re going out to drink, not eat,” Schreiber said. “But it goes hand-in-hand with sports. If you are going to sit [at Chumley’s] on a NFL Sunday and watch the 1 o’clock games and the 4 o’clock games; you’re in the same bar for a long time so you had better have pretty good food.”
Schreiber and Bruce are both hopeful that Chumley’s will be open by the start of the school year and football season. With the first OSU football game being an away game on a Thursday, also known as schooner night, Schreiber said he is hoping to open on a specific day of the week.
“We’re aiming for a Thursday opening,” he said and winked.