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North Market

July 25, 2017

  • 59 Spruce Street
  • Columbus, OH 43215
  • (614) 463-9664
  • Website

When we decided to make the trip to Columbus to go to the Zoo, we knew we didn’t want to do any driving before or after walking around in the heat all day.  We drove to Columbus late Friday night and stayed until Sunday afternoon.  The money spent on the hotels was worth it for our sanity.

If you don’t know J and my’s story, we met working for the same company in Peoria, IL about twelve years ago.  It was the kind of company where there were a lot of young, single people which led to a lot of couples being formed in the years we spent there.

One of those couple moved to Columbus several years ago.  The guy and I were pretty good friends before J ever moved to Peoria and the woman and J became fast friends in the short period of time we all worked together.

I got back in touch with them when we started planning this trip.  I was really hoping we could meet up for lunch or something, but I know how summer’s go so I wouldn’t have been surprised if they had something going on the weekend we were in town.  Luck would have it, they didn’t and we decided to meet up for lunch on Sunday.

I left picking a place to meet up to the people that know Columbus better than I do.  On Sunday morning, I got a text asking if we wanted to meet at North Market.

The North Market is in downtown Columbus at the corner of Spruce and Park Street.  It’s kind of tucked into a very crowded portion of the city near the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

The history of a market on this spot goes all the way back to the 1870’s.  It was, at the time, one of four public markets in Columbus.  North Market is the only one that has survived to this day.

Well, the space still survives.  The original market burned down in the 1940’s and was replaced by a Quonset Hut.  The current market was built in 1995 after a capital campaign to raise money for renovations.

For you Grand Rapidians that read this blog, North Market is a lot like the Downtown  Market.  It’s a mix of artisan retail and restaurants all in an open air space with very few walls.  There are 35 merchants that take up space inside the building as well as 30+ farmers and local “makers” that set up shop outside in a farmer’s market like setting.  Inside the building, almost every available inch of space is used up on the aisles can seem narrow on a busy afternoon.  I seem to remember North Market being the model for the Downtown Market when city leaders were still trying to pitch that idea in Grand Rapids.

We met our friends on the porch where they were waiting for us at a picnic table.  We headed inside once we got all the handshakes, hugs, and introductions out of the way (our kids have never met them.)

The market can be a little overwhelming if you don’t prepare.  Our plan was to grab lunch from some place then just hang out and catch up.  I had done a little bit of research to know what some of the options were before we got there so I knew where to get something the kids would eat.  Had I not done that, we would have been walking around in circles for a while just trying to get the lay of the land and figure all of what is there.

We ended up splitting up and all getting meals then meeting upstairs where there are tables set up on the catwalk.  J and I got BBQ, the kids got pizza, one of our friends got Kentucky Hot Chicken, while the other went with Asian noodles.

Meeting at North Market was actually a great idea that I would not have thought of on my own.  It was a somewhat relaxing lunch where we could take up a table and not feel bad about screwing over a server while we caught up.  Once the kids got restless, we moved downstairs and got ice cream then went to sit outside on the patio while the kids ran around a little bit giving J and I the opportunity hang out with people we spent a lot of time with in our younger days.




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