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.
For the pants-inclined, the StrandCafe offers a load of beautifying treatments for hair, nails, and skin. Welcome warm weather by keying up dull tresses with a color retouch ($50+). Social butterflies can freshly flap their way through an event or date by surrendering locks to a thorough shampoo and thermal style ($50+) or full makeup makeover complete with fluttery, eye-catching eyelashes ($60). Peel fingers out of gloves and toes out of boots for a mani-pedi shot ($30, solid polish only) or a full manicure and pedicure with massages, soothing scrub, and paraffin ($80). StrandCafe also mollycoddles mugs with indulgent facials ($50–$80) specially concocted for smoothing out men's rough edges, treating tender skin, and reworking other epidermal blights.
Travonna Coffee House serves up expertly poured coffee and a robust menu of sandwiches, flatbread pizzas, and breakfast items 24 hours a day. Kick off with a Charlie Brown mocha, mixing chocolate, macadamia nut, and hazelnut, but no peanuts ($4.10). Served beginning at 1 a.m., Travonna’s morning start oatmeal—a healthy swirl of whole oats, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, raisins, and cinnamon—gives pale night-walkers much-needed nutrition ($3.75). Or scale gastronomic peaks with the ultimate grilled burrito, a hefty package of chicken, bacon, cheese, onion, olives, and banana peppers in a tomato basil wrap ($6.99). Vegan baked goods are also available, and soy milk can be used in place of regular milk at no extra charge.