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Winter prompts restaurant owners to raise the bar

Steve Brown / Lantern photographer

Winter weather tends to keep students around Ohio State’s campus cooped up, but many campus-area bars have created ways to prevent this, all while keeping students warm and entertained.

Adam Breakiron, owner of The Big Bar & Grill, has been involved in the OSU bar scene for more than 19 years. During this period, Breakiron has been active in planning a number of events to give students a study break and get out socializing.

“A lot of students like to come out Winter Quarter,” Breakiron said. “It’s just after Christmas, so they have a little money to spend, and it gives them a chance to show their new clothes off.”

Breakiron and the staff of The Big Bar have already organized a number of events for the upcoming weeks to persuade students to brave the cold and venture out for a fun night.

“We try to do a lot of celebrity events and special guest appearances to keep students up here,” Breakiron said. “Students don’t like standing in line for the bus to go downtown, so it makes sense to stay closer to campus.”

Just down the street from The Big Bar is the newly opened Midway on High Restaurant and Bar.

Manager Will Vodak said that although the first sign of major winter weather hit on their opening night, the snow, ice and wind failed to keep their crowd from showing up.

“We were pessimistic in the beginning, but ended up with a great turnout,” Vodak said.

Vodak said he believes the location of Midway will help to attract customers despite the cold.

“Weather will happen no matter what,” Vodak said. “But our location is part of our name, ‘Midway.’ People don’t have to travel far either way.”

Features of the bar, such as heated patios, allow for customers to venture outside.

Midway’s double-decker environment also allows groups to book parties, another way the bar looks to avoid the winter weather effect.

“We can host Greek events, birthdays and events for student clubs, which is great since cold weather tends to keep everyone indoors,” Vodak said.

While some places around campus have had better luck attracting students to face the cold and venture out to socialize, others have had difficulties attracting business during the winter.

Juan Diaz, a manager at The Tipsy Bar & Grill, said business has slowed down since the cold weather hit.

“People don’t want to go out in the cold,” Diaz said.

Tipsy has attempted to use its happy hour as a selling point to get students to come in during Winter Quarter. However, the cold has kept customers out.

“It worked a lot better when the weather was warmer,” Diaz said.

Many students said the cold weather does tend to keep them from going out Winter Quarter, but they’re much more likely to go out when bars have attractive specials and impressive entertainment.

Mackenzie Schwieterman, a third-year in radiological sciences and therapy, said she only goes out to the bars about once a week during the winter, as opposed to three times per week during the fall and spring.

“We have a house and stay in more,” Schwieterman said. “No one wants to go out as much in the cold.”

Despite the cold, Schwieterman said she would be more likely to head out one night for certain entertainment.

Fashion has also proven to be a big factor in going out during the cold winter months.

“You can’t look good in a big puffy coat,” said Harry Cekovich, a second-year in environmental engineering. “If my friends are going out and bars have good deals and entertainment, I’ll still hit that up though.”

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