Ohio State took over the Thirsty “I” bar on Lane Avenue last week, kicking out the bar’s owners — and the popular tailgate party, Hineygate, along with them.
The party, sponsored by radio station WTVN, moved to the Thirsty “I” this year from its former venue, the Holiday Inn on Lane Avenue, after OSU purchased the hotel and turned it into the Lane Avenue Residence Hall.
But the bar’s owners fell behind on rent payments in December, and the university evicted them in April, according to The Columbus Dispatch. After a fight in court between the university and the owners, a judge ruled Wednesday that the university owns the property.
No determination as to the bar’s future has been made yet, but officials will soon make a decision, OSU spokeswoman Shelly Hoffman said.
As for Hineygate, an attorney representing OSU told The Columbus Dispatch that it’s dead.
Buckeye football tailgaters will certainly mourn the loss of Hineygate on game days, but so will nearby businesses.
“They haven’t been drawing the crowds that the Holiday Inn typically did, so I think we’ve already felt a little bit of that this year,” said Kelly Dawes, owner of College Traditions gift shop, next to the Thirsty “I.”
Hineygate’s move from the Holiday Inn, its venue since 1984, to the Thirsty “I” was also damaging, Dawes said.
“It’s hurt a little bit, but I think the loss of Hineygate at Holiday Inn has hurt us worse than what the loss of this is going to be,” Dawes said.
WTVN producers did not immediately return calls seeking comment on the future of Hineygate.