August 13, 2019 10:27:27 AM
Mary Pollitz - [email protected]
With The Elbow Room's fate uncertain for the past year, patrons meandered in and out of the bar on Saturday for the last time.
Originally posted for sale in July 2018, the bar on Second Avenue North was officially purchased Monday afternoon by Zachary's owner Doug Pellum.
By early September, Pellum will open Zachary's Event Tavern in the downtown space across from his restaurant.
"It'll be for private parties only," Pellum said. "With us, you'll be able to rent out the place. We can serve you alcohol, beer and food. You can do it all in one place. We are able to provide anything, all in one stop."
Pellum is still in the process of rebuilding Zachary's after an April fire temporarily closed the restaurant. He said the restaurant should open its doors once again by mid-September. When his restaurant was open, Pellum said he felt he was missing out by not providing patrons a private space for parties and events.
"I get calls all the time for private parties and we just don't have the space to accommodate 30 or 40 (at Zachary's)," Pellum said. "It's business I've been losing that I'm able to do now."
Barbara Bigelow, executive director of Main Street Columbus, said she was more than thrilled with Pellum's purchase of The Elbow Room.
"I think it'll be great," Bigelow said. "Zachary's is a very popular restaurant itself. I think it will be great for downtown. It's going to be more of a casual place and I think that will be a good place. He's gearing his efforts to the Air Force base, not strictly though, and that will be great to have a venue that our Air Force folks will feel very comfortable going to."
With the downtown space threatened for closure more than a year ago, Bigelow said Pellum's new event space will continue to bolster downtown and tax dollars to the community.
"It'll be good for the whole community," Bigelow said. "We never want a business to close. I'm just thrilled. It's a great thing. It's a win-win for all of us. Any new addition to downtown is a good thing. I'm so excited for Doug and his team. I know they'll do a great job."
Pellum added, with a number of event spaces in Columbus, he feels a "dive-bar" experience is still much needed. With customers and events already lined up, Pellum said 90 percent of the space will remain largely the same, offering those renting a comfortable and personal environment.
"Downtown has a lot of venues but it doesn't have a dive-bar type atmosphere," Pellum said. "It's a unique venue. You want to have your 40th birthday party and bring 30 friends, you're able to have your own private bar. We're gong to add a larger TV for the football venues. We want to keep the historic Elbow Room look to it."