Leo’s on the Alley is set to become the newest addition to the Gateway district when it opens its doors in late August.
The new bar will occupy the former Eddie George’s private event space, a part of the restaurant that wasn’t taken up by TRISM, at 25 Chittenden Ave.
Leo’s will focus on an old-school concept which comes from Ohio State alumnus and Oldfield’s North Fourth Tavern owner Dan Starek, who said the neighborhood bar environment is lacking near campus.
Christiana Moffa, property manager at Gateway, said the new bar is a great way to mix up the variety of concepts that Gateway offers the public.
“It’s a perfect compliment to our existing bars, taverns and lounges,” Moffa said in an email. “It will appeal to everyone from students to neighborhood residents who love the corner watering hole concept, the kind of bar where the bartender will know your name as well as your favorite drink.”
Starek said students can expect cheap prices at the new bar, which will only serve cans of beer.
“While most will be Local Ohio Breweries, we will have very cost conscious options as well,” he said in an email. “We want to bring value to the students.”
In terms of style, Starek said Leo’s hopes to embody the old dive bar that used to be on campus in the 90s, with music coming strictly from a jukebox.
“Just a small place to get more than a few drinks and relax with your friends,” he said. “If you want glimmer and glitz, we’re probably not going to be the place for you.”
Now adding a second bar to his collection, Starek also said Leo’s and Oldfield’s will be linked. Though staff members will only be working at one location, customers will be encouraged to go to either bar depending on the weekend’s activity, whether it be a sporting event or a live music event.
Leo’s will host weekly karaoke nights, but on Sunday’s during the NFL season, when it comes to NFL Sunday’s, Oldfield’s will be the only place to go. However, Leo’s will be a hotspot on Ohio State game days with 15 TVs in the space.
If you’re wondering who the bar was named after, Starek also added that anyone who can figure out Leo’s identity will receive free drinks for the rest of their college career.
Leo’s on the Alley will open before the end of the month and prior to the first Buckeyes game on Aug. 31, though its first semester on campus will be a test period for the new bar.
“We’ll take all the feedback from Autumn Semester, good and bad, and make Leo’s on the Alley the bar that students helped develop,” he said. “So if you have ideas, let us hear them.”