Courtesy of Brian Swanson
On the outside it looks like a giant warehouse, but when you step inside, you realize that it is anything but. The recently opened Sugar Bar 2 is more than 20,000 square feet and located in the heart of downtown Columbus.
The new nightclub is a fresh take on the previous Sugar Bar that closed a few years ago. Sugar Bar 2 opened its doors for a special New Year’s Eve party, then had an official grand opening on Jan. 11.
“I think times have changed, and there was a need right now for a huge dance club,” said Brian Swanson, one of the owners. “Columbus is a great city and there really are no big, mega dance clubs here.”
The same group that owns Park Street Cantina, Park Street Patio, Park Street Saloon, The Social Room and Long Street District also owns Sugar Bar 2. Unlike the others, however, Sugar Bar 2 is only open one night a week, on Fridays.
“If you want to have a place where it takes 1,500 people to fill, you can’t be throwing a half-way party every night,” said the bar’s marketing director Sam Henley. “It’s going to be wild here. You know if you come down here you’re in for a wild party.”
The club has five total rooms comprised of three big ones and one other sectioned off into two, which is a change from the original Sugar Bar, which was only about 8,000 square feet, Henley said.
Alex Yeazel, a first-year in professional golf management, who does marketing for the club, said Sugar Bar 2 provides an atmosphere that appeals to more than just students.
“I think we offer a completely different feel. We bring in more than just Ohio State students,” Yeazel said. “If you go to The O (Patio & Pub) or Too’s (Spirits Under High) for example, you’re seeing the same people. Down here, we have a mix of everyone.”
Henley said the club offers a different atmosphere from anything else in the area.
“We’re trying to incorporate more of a Vegas-style feel to Columbus. Trying to catch them up with the night club scene that they’ve been missing out on,” he said.
The club offers different weekly events that are already scheduled for the next five months through June, Henley said.
“We try and keep everything fresh that way everyone has something to be involved with and it makes the night a lot more fun with themes going on,” he said.
Swanson said so far the club has been meeting their high expectations.
“It’s been doing great. We’ve had real good feedback, a lot of people keep coming back, a lot of good social media chatter about it so I’m really happy with it,” he said.
A potential difficulty for students is that the bar is off campus and not exactly in walking distance.
“People can book buses if they have a huge house party on campus and they want to book a bus to come pick them up, they can do that online and we’ll come pick them up at their party,” Swanson said.
Aside from being able to book a bus, Henley said Sugar Bar 2 also offers different deals and promotions going on to appeal to the young, college crowd.
“With school and everything, it’s a nice relaxing break from it all,” he said. “It’s just fun to walk in and see everyone else having fun and it takes your mind off the stress.”
Paula Lindsay, a fourth-year in human development and family science, said she enjoyed the club and recommends that other students try it out.
“It has a great atmosphere and a lot of room for a big crowd,” she said. “I think anyone could have fun there.”
Yeazel said that Sugar Bar 2 offers something for everybody.
“We offer really great exclusive things. If people want to buy bottles they can come and rent out booths and be really excluded,” Yeazel said. “Right now it’s at an opening bar price but hopefully soon it will go down a little bit more so students can afford it.”
Every Friday night the club is open to all guests 18 and up from 10 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. The cover charge for anyone 21 and over is $5 before midnight and $10 after. For guests under 21 it is $10 all night.
“It’s something they just really have to come out and experience for themselves. You can try to write or talk about it but it’s really nothing until you can physically see it,” Henley said. “The sound, the lighting, everything when you take it in, it’s just a whole different feel.”
Sugar Bar 2 is located at 87 W. Main St.