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Bento No Mo’: Midway Restaurant and Bar moves into old Bento Go Go space

Dani Myers / Lantern photographer

Midway on High Restaurant and Bar is scheduled to open Thursday, leaving some students sad to see Bento go, go.

To students like Chelsea Stanley-Brown, a second-year in strategic communication, Bento Go Go, formerly located at 1728 N. High St., will be a bar missed around campus.

“Bento was always a fun place to dance,” Stanley-Brown said.

Other students said it had been awhile since they’d been to Bento, but that they had fond memories of the bar.

“Freshman year after pre-gaming in the dorms we would always head over to Bento for a wild dance party,” said Nate Gulick, a third-year in marketing. “I haven’t been there since freshman year.”

Manager Will Vodak, a former bartender at Fourth Street Patio Bar and Grill, the owners of which purchased the former Bento location, said he hopes the High Street location will bring the new bar success.

“We are known up there for our service, prices and relaxed atmosphere, and we’re bringing that to High Street now,” he said.

The current owner declined to disclose the price of the purchase, but the lot is currently valued at $880,000, according to the Franklin County Auditor’s website.

Although Vodak hopes to keep the atmosphere the same, the food will be the biggest difference between the two bars.

“The kitchen will be open to 2 a.m., giving a healthy side of the menu for people to enjoy and adding some American options as well,” Vodak said.

Students said they go to Fourth Street-owned operations because the company has acquired a reputation on campus for providing a great mix of people.

“Fourth is a laid-back atmosphere and the half-priced drinks are nice,” Gulick said. “I’m in a frat so it’s a nice change of pace from The O Patio.”

But as students have seen, the bar scene on High Street is always changing, so it’s important to give the students what they want in order to stay.

“It’s important for a new bar to attract a popular crowd of students in order to take off,” Gulick said.

Midway on High was given its name because it is located halfway between South Campus Gateway and the North Campus bars. Vodak said he anticipates a mixed crowd.

“All people of campus life, similar to Fourth Street: the artsy people, your fraternity guys to athletes. Everyone is welcomed,” he said.

Midway on High hopes that by catering to more than one clientele, it will set it apart from other area bars.

“Downstairs will be a more hang-out spot,” he said. “Come with friends, get some drinks and eat some food and the much more party scene will be upstairs. One bar for everybody.”

Midway on High will always be 21 and up and never have a dress code to help create a more relaxed atmosphere.

“I want everyone to know we want people to feel comfortable coming here any given hour of any given day knowing they will have a great time and be surrounded by great people and great food,” Vodak said.

Dani Myers contributed to this story.

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