COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – One of the last lesbian bars in the United States is bringing its pizza and LGBTQ-friendly atmosphere to the University District.
Slammies on High, the pizza shop companion to downtown bar Slammers, will open its doors to customers in mid-February. Its location on the southern edge of Ohio State University’s campus is intentional, owner Carson Nethers said; they want to be an answer for students and others looking for an openly queer community space.
A space to form community with other LGBTQ+ people is something Nethers’ fellow co-owners, Matthew Johns and Ryan Skehan, longed for while students at Ohio State.
“When we were at school, there really was no safe space on campus to really go to, so our best option was to go down to Short North,” Skehan said. “So, bringing something here closer to campus is a great space for students to now go to, and it’s close.”
Nethers bought a portion of Slammers last year from his aunt, the brains and force behind the bar and pizza shop, as she prepared to take steps back from running the business. Nethers, Johns, and fellow co-owner Ryan Skehan knew they wanted to take Slammers forward and upward – landing them near the corner of North High Street and West 11th Avenue.
There, customers will be able to find Slammers’ influence, whether it be the Columbus-style pizza, unique mix of cocktails, or the friendly, affirming atmosphere. That hospitality is a crucial element to the Slammies experience, Nethers said.
Following Slammers’ tried-and-true motto, “All walks, one groove,” Nethers said Slammies will be a place for all people to feel safe and welcome. In line with that mission, Slammies’ menu features an array of dietary options, including vegan and vegetarian appetizers and meals and gluten-free pizza dough upon request.
At a time when LGBTQ+ rights are under attack – both nationwide and in Ohio – Nethers said expanding the business became even more significant.
“There’s a certain population of people that aren’t really open to come into your establishment because of that reason, that adds another layer of complexity to operating a business like this,” Nethers said. “For us, I mean, I think that pushed us harder to do something, to expand – instead of regressing, to progress.”
Slammies on High is located at 1607 N. High St. and is scheduled to open Feb. 18.