This weekend marks the end of an era near the Arena District, as three popular bars on Park Street close their doors after nearly a decade in operation. The owner plans to demolish the buildings to make way for an upscale boutique hotel.
Just across the street from the North Market sits a string of once-popular bars all owned by local developer Chris Corso. He plans to replace the Park Street Saloon, Park Street Patio, and the Social Room with an upscale hotel, something he says has been 10 years in the making.
With the recent growth and development taking place in the Short North, Cosro says this location is ideal for out-of-town visitors.
"Just being in the center of all the entertainment, from that hotel," Corso says. "Between the Short North and the Arena District you're probably talking over 75 restaurants and bars in the immediate walking area."
Cosro says that because plans for the hotel include a bar and restaurant on the ground floor, the area isn't really losing anything.
"We're not really eliminating a whole lot, we're just changing the dynamics," Corso says.
But locals disagree. Denae HollyCross says removing the Park Street bars will certainly have an impact on the area.
"It might help the other businesses, for less competition, but it's definitely going to be a different kind of crowd that's going to be around here once a hotel is up, instead of a lot of younger bars," HollyCross says.
Elizabeth Landrigran says she often visits this area, but only on foot. Her biggest concern for the new development is parking, something Columbus officials know needs to be fixed around the Short North.
"It's already tight as can possibly be," Landrigran says.
Construction is expected to take around 15 months. In the meantime, longtime patrons of the Park Street bars will enjoy one last celebratory weekend - Social and the Patio will host a party on Saturday to mark "the end of an era."