Little Pieces of History


One of my favorite local restaurants is The Blue Danube, a little greasy spoon just north of The Ohio State University’s main campus. It’s been a fixture in the community for a very long time: my parents used to go there when they were in college. It hasn’t changed much over the years, either, with the notable exception of the recent no-smoking law in Columbus. When I was a student, I’d often go to the Dube for a snack or a nightcap, and at the time it was very much a smoking zone: you’d literally walk into a wall of smoke when you entered the establishment, and you’d walk out smelling like several thousand ashtrays. It’s refreshing to eat there without the smoke, now, and it’s really refreshing to be able to take my kids there for dinner.

And to the Dube we went tonight, while Carina went out to some “Girls’ Night” cook-out at a friend’s house. The twins were delightful, and we had a lot of fun just hanging out together.

One of the hallmarks of the Dube is that many of the drop-panel ceiling tiles are decorated in colorful, creative ways. Patrons are allowed to request a panel, decorate it (basically) however they wish, and return i to the restaurant. Then their panel will be added to the ceiling and remain on display, basically forever. Some of the tiles have been up there for almost two decades.

Prior to tonight, I always thought you had to buy the tiles. I was marginally interested, but never so motivated as to actually find out the cost. Both of the girls expressed an interest in decorating a tile, so we asked our server. It turns out the panels are given away for free! So after we paid for our meal, we walked out with a panel for each girl. I’m excited to see what they do to the little piece of history that they will contribute to the Dube. Pictures will be posted as soon as they’re done!

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