As a fourth-generation owner of Johnson's Real Ice Cream, Matt Wilcoxon is proud to distribute ice-cream flavors to 200 restaurants, help mastermind flavors with local companies, and avoid being locked in the ice-cream freezer again. Back when he was 12 and cleaning tables, “I was the one [the employees] always picked on,” he recalls. On a particularly creative night, the teenage staff hosed him down and shut him in the freezer. “I find it funny now,” Matt says chuckling.
Despite a trial-by-fire beginning, Matt knew during college that he wanted to run the family business. “We’re kind of Columbus’ original homemade ice cream,” he says, which is the impetus for Johnson’s current project. Matt and other local companies are “developing three new flavors…as a Columbus local collection” to focus on area flavors that Columbus knows and loves.
At the store—still in its original 1950s location—diners snack on classic and innovative flavors such as caramel cream, chocolate marshmallow, and Buckeye fever. An expansive outdoor patio welcomes diners with 50 seats, and bands croon sweet tunes in temperate weather.
Urban-Spirit's eclectic art gallery and coffee shop honors Columbus's unique jazz history and the struggle for equality endured by African Americans. The shop has dedicated much of this tribute to the lives of two men, Doctors William Arthur Method and his friend R. M. Tribbett, who built the Alpha Hospital in 1920 to employ and heal their community. The shop, where baristas dole out coffee, specialty drinks, and pastries, is located in the historic Alpha building and is also home to the Loft Gallery. This gallery showcases and sells the works of independent and youth artists monthly, and it even invites featured artists to create masterpieces on premises.The Urban-Spirit Education Foundation, a subsidiary of Urban-Spirit Coffee Shop, works with its humanitarian partners to evoke social change and artistic development within the community. They strive to expand the horizons of budding young artists, entrepreneurs, and students through special events, art-education workshops, and competitive internships. They also put their diverse knowledge to use through consulting services, joining forces with local businesses to aid in professional development, program design, and event coordination.
Like an overzealous mama bird, The Brown Bag Deli has been feeding hundreds of hungry mouths over its 30-plus years in existence. Join the nest with today’s deal: for $5, you get $10 worth of sandwiches, soups, salads, and more at this German Village mainstay. This is a popular lunch spot, but it's also open for dinner. Please don't neglect dinner, as he hates when his little brother gets all the attention and will most likely react by putting mashed potatoes in your hair while you sleep.
Strand Cafe's staff brings extensive industry experience with modeling agencies and photography studios to the industrial-style salon's redbrick confines. During a wax, the professional technician uses Nufree, an all-natural, no-stick soy wax that addresses the needs of sensitive skin and dyspeptic birthmarks while lifting hairs from their roots. The front-only wax takes approximately 20 minutes, while the full Brazilian wax takes approximately 40 minutes. Emphasizing aesthetic education, Strand Cafe hosts events to enlighten clients on cultivating beautiful skin and how to grow a flower from their belly button.
The scent of freshly roasted beans emanates from Travonna Coffee House, luring passersby into a café where they can sink into a black leather couch and sip from mugs filled with creamy lattes and cappuccinos. The friendly staff of baristas prepares café beverages behind a simple wooden counter, pairing iced or steamy drinks with vegan baked goods, flatbread pizzas, and gourmet sandwiches. When they aren’t engaged in caffeine-fueled conversation, patrons can surf the Internet on waves of free WiFi or walk across the café’s hardwood floors to peer into a full-size fish tank. The café stays open until 2 a.m. seven days a week; on Thursday and Friday nights, local poets and musicians stage performances for the crowd, who signal their approval by snapping and pelting the stage with packets of nondairy creamer.
Indulge yourself or others with gourmet brownie options such as this season's caramel apple fudge or peanut butter caramel fudge ($3.25 each), each decidedly more delectable than equally seasonal dried-leaf granola squares. New breakfast additions include cinnamon streusel and cappuccino pecan ($3.25 each), and standbys such as chocolate fudge and fudgy cookie ($3.25 each) give fans of the classics something to chew about.