Columbus is chock full of entrepreneurs and workers and visionaries and creators. (It was named one of the world's most intelligent cities, after all!) Lucky for all of them--and for all of us--there's never a shortage of great work spaces here in Central Ohio.
Today we're featuring our list of the Top 10 Productive Spots in Columbus. They're the places where you go to get inspired, or to get some peace and quiet, or even just to get a perfect cup of coffee to go along with your business report. And whether you're looking for a great spot to meet a client or a space to grind out some work in solitude, you're sure to find a place that can help you get working and get productive on this list.
A sister store of Stauf’s (which happens to be their flagship brand), Cup O’ Joe is one of the most ubiquitous and popular coffee houses in Columbus. With eight locations around town (including an airport store for those who want a Columbus coffee fix before their next business trip), there’s probably a Cup O’ Joe located near wherever it is that you work or live in Central Ohio. From Bexley to German Village to the Short North and beyond, each location offers customers free Wi-Fi and a menu boasting everything from fresh roasted coffee to local treats from Columbus favorites such as Pattycake Bakery and Jeni’s Ice Cream. What’s more, you can reserve space in most stores (including the Short North’s MoJoe Lounge) for larger business meetings and private parties.
The Northstar Café features a menu that is often locally sourced and always delicious. With three restaurants around town, each location offers something slightly different to its customers. The High Street location has a great city buzz, though space can sometimes be limited. The Beechwold restaurant has large tables that can make for fantastic lunch meeting spaces (if, of course, you snag a table before the lunch crowd beats you to it). And the Easton location boasts the largest square footage, with two whole floors of dining areas. Better yet? You can keep your mug filled with free coffee refills while you work. (And perhaps even better yet? You can reward yourself with one of their amazing peanut butter cookies after a successful business lunch.)
Although you’ll often find students crouched over notebooks and textbooks and computer screens at this Grandview Heights coffee shop, this isn’t just a place for the university crowd: it’s for anyone whose work is fueled by coffee. And it’s excellent coffee too. With tables that tend to be on the small side, this might not be the best space for a larger business meeting. It is, however, a great space for getting some solo work done and/or meeting with a single customer or colleague who loves coffee as much as you do. A perfect place to hunker down with a latte and a laptop in the cold winter months, Stauf’s is just as cozy and inviting every other time of the year too.
A true Columbus gem, the North Market is conveniently located on Spruce Street, just steps from the Convention Center, the Short North, and the downtown area. With dozens of restaurants and shops inside, it’s a perfect spot to grab some food (Vietnamese? Pizza? Sandwiches? Indian? It’s all there!) and get inspired by the bustling, dynamic market. More than that, this is a great place to showcase some of the best and brightest in Columbus to clients or colleagues from out of town. (Note: You can also reserve a room at the North Market for an upcoming event or large business luncheon) .
Located in Powell, Lattes & Lollipops caters to parents with young children who want to take advantage of their supervised play area, free Wi-Fi, and a full service espresso bar and café. Obviously, this all makes Lattes & Lollipops a prime location for parents who work from home. Just pull out your tablet, sit down with a fellow parent and business client, or get to work on your big work project while your children jump, play, and run safely in the supervised place space. Admission for children who are walkers to age 7 is $12 for one child and $6 for additional siblings for up to 2 hours of play. Information on quick play passes and “happy hour” pricing is also available on their website.
Of the many-appearing independent coffee shops in Columbus, Mission Coffee Company at the corner of High and Price in the Short North is an easy recommendation for work away from the office. Mission offers "many brewing methods" to address your caliber of coffee preparation, whether simple or complex. They are intentional about their selection of beans (sourcing, region) and have helpful diagrams which detail the origin, flavor makeup, and price per pound.
The coffee shop is housed at 11 Price ave in a garage whose door is open when weather permits. Even with the open door and light breeze diffusing the great coffee fragrance further, Mission always has a relaxed and fairly quiet space making it easy to hold conversations and get work done. There is a range of table sizes and a comfy corner of couches that supply plenty of options for individual or team work. Free Wifi and easy-access electrical outlets sweeten the deal if you have to plug in and get things done.
A fantastic resource that we have in Columbus is the Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML). Ranked nationally in the top 4 library systems annually since 1999, CML's 21 branches spread across the city make it very accessible for a daytime or early evening meeting. A significant service that the library provides is free room reservations in 20 of their 21 branches. Anyone with a library card can reserve a room by calling 614.645.2275 or by registering online. The rooms hold a range of 4 to 60 people, and the main branch has a room that will accommodate up to 100 people! If that doesn't suit your needs, we're not sure what will.
A quaint, quiet spot in the heart of Clintonville, Global Gallery offers Fair Trade items with supportive practices and local involvement. Their Clintonville Coffee Shop has a range of hot and cold tea and coffee options to keep you going if you've got work to do, and plenty to refresh you if you're seeking relaxation. The atmosphere lends itself more to the latter, but with free Wifi, multiple table sizes, and access to caffeine, work can get done quite easily. Whether you're working solo or looking for a less-trafficked spot for a meet up, Global Gallery has a great offering in philosophy, product, and aesthetic.
For a great meeting place near downtown Columbus, Café Brioso ranks at the top of the list. Brioso lives up to the "artisan" description from their roasting and brewing of coffee to their custom and changing food menu. Free Wifi and ample indoor and outdoor seating at the corner of Gay and High provide a great backdrop for work. The space seems better suited for groups of around four, but larger groups should be able to get settled as well. Brioso is also accessible and accommodating to bikers, walkers, and those needing to park their car. Go if you haven't been, and work if you must. Either way you'll enjoy the experience.
Finally, any comprehensive list in the Capital city must make mention of The Ohio State University (OSU). To that end, the new Ohio Union is a three-year-old landmark on the OSU campus that operates as the center for student life on campus. It's 318,000 square feet hold 34 unique spaces, 4 restaurants, a giftstore, and a fullserve print and UPS shipping center. With free public Wifi available, the Union ranks as a powerful contender for a meeting if you have scarlet and gray in your blood, or just happen to want a fresh dose of academic inspiration. There is an attached garage for drivers and plenty of parking for bikes. If you're willing to have a seat, you may even get a picture with Brutus.
Did we miss your favorite Columbus spot for productivity? Start the conversation in the comments below!