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Amid Park Street bar closings, owners looking out for employees

Park Street is a staple for nightlife in Columbus, and especially to those who attend Ohio State. However, this weekend will mark the end of the road for three of the most popular bars on the stretch.

Park Street Patio, Saloon and The Social Room will all cease operation after this weekend to make way for a hotel and office spaces to be developed by Continental Real Estate Companies.

“We’re pretty prepared for this,” said Ed Hastie, co-owner of all three venues. Hastie, along with his partner, Jimmy Woodland, also own Woodlands Tavern and Woodlands Backyard.

Both Hastie and Woodland said they were ready for the closings, which have been in the works since early 2017. While the pair was kept in the loop for the entire process, Hastie said he wanted to make sure his employees knew well enough in advance as well.

“Some places where you work, there’s a sign on the door that says ‘Thank you for your service, you’re done,’” Hastie said, adding that this was not the approach they took to their own series of closings.

Hastie said all three bars employed many students who were working their way through college, and so, the pair first shared the news with their employees at the beginning of November to give them time to find other opportunities.

In the last few weeks, the pair has helped employees find jobs at other bars, restaurants and clubs in the area, all while coordinating the closing events scheduled for this weekend.

Woodland refers to this weekend as the “Last Hoorah” for their venues, complete with local DJs all weekend and a watch party for the Big Ten championship game to take place Saturday.

As for Woodland and Hastie’s next business venture, their sights are set on renovating Woodlands Backyard, located at 668 Grandview Ave. The existing volleyball courts will see the construction of a seasonal dome that will allow the venue to continue volleyball all year long. They will also add a new outdoor bar to the venue, and these renovations are slated to complete by October 2018, Hastie said.

“Nobody has to cry for us,” Hastie said. “This weekend we’re just looking to have some fun and go out with a bang.”

The weekend-long closing celebrations will take place at Park Street Patio, Saloon and Social Room beginning at 10 p.m. Friday and will run through Sunday.

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