January Archives

Hot Eats & Cool Stays

The Spot Restaurant in Sidney Ohio

Enjoy our guide.
Hopefully you find something that hits the spot!

Ohio has some very cool getaways anytime of year featuring unique, interesting and unusual lodging from bed and breakfasts to inns and cabins. And the same is true for your dining pleasure. Ohio has restaurants and eateries to please any foodie looking for something new, different or just plain off the wall.

Click the following to find something that hits the spot for you!

Hot Eats


Cool Stays

If you have a suggestion to add to our out-of-the-norm lodging and dining guides, please contact us.

Steam by Chef Marcus Meacham

Steam and North Market in Columbus
North Market in Columbus, Ohio is excited to announce the addition of new merchant Steam, led by local Chef Marcus Meacham, to the Market family. Steam will be located in the space between Lan Viet Market and Sarefino’s Pizzeria.

Steam is an original, chef-driven concept offering unique-to-Columbus mantou bun (Chinese steamed buns) sandwiches. Chef Meacham plans on a customary menu along with a rotating menu that will be used to showcase other North Market merchants by including their best in class ingredients. Chef Meacham hopes this feature will generate additional interest in Market merchants and showcase their items in a way that patrons may not have previously considered. Reflecting the spirit of North Market, Steam will continually seek out what’s new while maintaining customary, crafted, and consistent meals.

“I can’t imagine a better next step for Steam,” says Meacham. “This opportunity will expose Steam to a larger audience and allow for more collaborations among vendors at Columbus’ only remaining true public market.”

In addition to sandwiches, Steam will carry snacks to include a veggie of the day, cold noodle salad and chips. The other salad on the menu, 36 Mix, features Asian pear, fried chicken thigh, goat cheese and chow mein noodles on a bed of leafy greens.

North Market officials are thrilled to be able to showcase a top talent in the chef world and to welcome Steam into the fold. “We are so pleased to have one of Columbus’ most celebrated chefs joining the NoMa family with such a compelling concept! In keeping with our mission of incubating local entrepreneurs ‘chef driven’ Steam is the perfect fit,” adds North Market Executive Director Rick Harrison Wolfe.

Steam has been running out of a small location inside of Little Rock Bar in Italian Village since earlier this year and is where this concept got its start. From the beginning Chef Meacham’s concept has gotten rave reviews having been featured in 614 Magazine as well as Columbus Alive.

North Market has been in operation since 1876 and is Columbus’ last remaining true public market. It has more than 30 merchants offering a wide variety of fresh produce, meat, poultry, seafood, flowers and other specialty food items. The Market also provides an international selection of freshly prepared foods, distinctive gifts and personable service from owner/operators and is home to the oldest Farmers’ Market in Central Ohio. The North Market is open daily. For more information, visit http://www.northmarket.com/.

Sol – A Spanish-inspired Scratch Kitchen

Sol – A Spanish-inspired Scratch Kitchen
Chef Michael Schoen worked and trained at some of the best restaurants in Chicago. But the millennial knew that one day his goal was to bring home what he learned and open a restaurant near his roots.

Enter David Bartulovic, owner of The Players Club bar and restaurant, and partner in the Lost Nation Sports Park. A native east-sider as well, Bartulovic sought to offer an uptown experience in Downtown Willoughby.

Once introduced, they instantly recognized the opportunity to create something special. Their partnership has resulted in Sol, a Spanish-inspired scratch kitchen which infuses a variety of influences from many regions. Since its inception, the restaurant has delivered bold flavors through an elevated menu of tapas, entrees and salads, all of which are created from locally-sourced ingredients.

“From the time you walk in the door, Sol is a not a traditional dining experience. Chef Michael brings a diverse background to Downtown Willoughby with his flavors, creativity and versatility – a new experience at every meal.”

Sol just celebrated its one-year anniversary with the launch of a brand new menu. Chef Michael has preserved customer favorites including the marinated flank steak and double bone-in pork chop along with other “BIG plates” and “BIG greens”.

The new menu will offer additional variety as well as a new section Chef dubbed “between the bread”.  These easy-to-share handheld sandwiches and burgers maintain the Spanish-inspired influences, and play on the establishment’s relaxed atmosphere.

Dining out is supposed to be fun, whether you’re by yourself or with a group. Eating to me is the most natural conversation piece and we should practice that. So the menu is designed to satisfy the needs of those seeking a big meal or those that just want to graze and socialize with friends.

Sol is located at 38257 Glenn Avenue in historic downtown Willoughby, Ohio. Hours are Tuesday – Thursday: 11am-12am, Friday – Sat: 11am – 2am and Sunday: 10am – 8pm. Learn more at http://solwilloughby.com/.

Get Your Comfort On

 Winter Ice at Hocking Hills Old Mans Cave

January in the Hocking Hills has all the elements of comfort.  The Hills are serene in winter’s embrace.  Cave walls grow ice beards.  Waterfalls freeze in suspended animation.  Eagles, hawks and other magnificent birds are visible in the leafless trees.  It is the place to rejuvenate as you connect with nature, loved ones and yourself.

But, it’s not all about just chill’n.  There’re plenty of reasons to get out and enjoy Mother Nature’s softer side.  The 52nd Annual Hocking Hills Winter Hike, on January 21, will be followed by the Logan Frozen Festival in Historic Downtown Logan.  More than twenty ice sculptures will be displayed along Main Street along with ice sculpting demonstrations, music in the Hocking County Courthouse, music in Worthington Park and performances by Artista in Logan’s newest Main Street music venue.  Ice frame and ice throne will provide the perfect selfie opps.  Corn hole fans will enjoy the ice corn hole games in Worthington Park and new to downtown will be a Pop-up-Shop featuring the works of local artisans and other collectibles.  Plenty of good food and family fun will round out the day.

Beginning January 14 and every Saturday and Sunday in January the 4th Annual Hocking Hills Comfort Food Cruise will offer up classic comfort foods in twelve, locally owned restaurants.  Cruise from inviting restaurant to restaurant as you enjoy stunning scenery and great authentic comfort foods.  The menu ranges from all-time favorites like Mac & Cheese to local favorites like Jack’s Steak House famous Cabbage Soup.  No need to worry about those New Year’s Resolutions.  Along the Cruise there are plenty of beautiful spots to stop, take a hike and work off a little comfort food fuel.  Best of all, the Comfort Food Cruise brings comfort to others; $5 of every ticket goes directly to local food pantries.  Click here for all the details and tickets.

Readers of Ohio Magazine voted Hocking Hills as Ohio’s best outdoor winter getaway.  Whether you’re looking for an outdoor adventure or a cozy romantic getaway to the bosom of nature’s softer season southeast Ohio’s Hocking Hills is the place to find winter comfort.

Vikings: Beyond the Legend

Vikings Beyond the Legend at Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati has been invaded by Vikings. But these Vikings are not the bearded, horned-helmet barbarians depicted in operas, comic strips, cartoons and sports mascots. Go beyond the beard in Vikings: Beyond the Legend at Cincinnati Museum Center.

Real Vikings don’t quite fit the image of a burly man with a braided beard, battle axe and horned-helmet that immediately comes to mind. Vikings: Beyond the Legend uses the latest archaeological finds and incredible original artifacts to break down the Viking stereotype and replace it with a more accurate image of a people and culture with sophisticated knowledge of metalworking, shipbuilding, navigation and trade.

“We are really excited to bring this exhibition to Cincinnati,” said Maria Jansén, director general at the Swedish History Museum . “Don’t miss this opportunity to meet new sides of the well-known Vikings!”

Vikings: Beyond the Legend features interactive displays, hands-on challenges and over 500 artifacts on loan from the Swedish History Museum. Original artifacts show the highly skilled craftsmanship of people who used textiles, wood, bronze, iron, silver, bone, leather and ceramics to create incredible everyday items and ceremonial pieces. Guests can virtually excavate a Viking ship layer by layer, uncovering rich discoveries like weapons, tools and animals just as archaeologists did. You can also test your strength using a model of a Viking sword and compete in authentic Viking games.

Some of the most incredible artifacts are the four Viking ships, including the Krampmacken, a reconstruction of a 26-foot Viking merchant boat found on Gotland Island, Sweden in the 1920s, and the Karl, a reconstruction of a 21-foot sailing ship. The third ship is unique as it exists only in part, a “Ghost Ship” of original iron rivets suspended where they would have been before the oak hull deteriorated over 1,000 years.

Perhaps perhaps the most impressive ship is the 122-foot Roskilde 6, a partially intact Viking longship excavated from the Roskilde Fjord in Denmark in 1997 and the sole artifact on loan from the National Museum of Denmark. The longship was a Viking warship that was especially fast due to its long, narrow shape, many rowers and shallow draft that helped it navigate Scandinavian and Northern European ports and sail up rivers deep inland. The Roskilde 6 is the longest Viking ship ever found and makes its North American debut in Cincinnati as part of Vikings: Beyond the Legend at Cincinnati Museum Center.

“The 122-foot Roskilde 6 sets the tone for this exhibition, one of the largest Cincinnati Museum Center has ever hosted,” says Elizabeth Pierce, president and CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “Vikings: Beyond the Legend is an incredible collection of original artifacts that tell the story of a people whose beliefs, values, skills and culture continue to influence and captivate us today.”

Vikings: Beyond the Legend busts the myths of a culture devoted to war and destruction and more accurately portrays the Vikings as farmers, artisans, traders and explorers, contributing to literature, religion and navigation.

The Vikings originated from Scandinavia (the modern countries of Denmark, Sweden, Norway and parts of Finland) but inhabited land throughout northern and eastern Europe, the British Isles, Iceland and North America between 750-1100 CE. They were warriors, some who raided and plundered towns both near and as far away as the Mediterranean and northern Africa. But they were also farmers, merchants and storytellers, and their source of status was land ownership rather than brute strength. Plundering aside, they engaged in trade extensively through Europe, favoring their knowledge of winds and currents over navigational tools as they sailed between trading centers. They worshipped Norse gods like Odin, Freya and Thor but accepted many aspects of Christianity. Unlike their European counterparts, women were the head of the household and wielded great influence in Viking society.

Click here for ticket information.

January Just Got Hot!

shadowbox live columbus ohio
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Shadowbox Live Turns The Heat Up This Winter With Body Heat

After all the holiday fallout has settled and 2017 has been successfully ushered in, Shadowbox Live turns the lights down low, slips into something a little more comfortable, and gets ready to get it on with Body Heata sexy, new sketch comedy and rock ‘n’ roll show opening January 5, at the Brewery District theater, 503 South Front Street in Columbus, Ohio.

A mix of brand new characters and old favorites will be featured in original sketches that poke fun at America’s favorite topic: SEX!  And, rockin’ music from house band BillWho? will be so hot that the snow on Front Street is sure to melt!

“Body Heat is our annual ‘sex, love and relationship themed’ show,” explains David Whitehouse, Chief Video Editor and Metaperformer for Shadowbox Live.  “It’s a theme that really resonates with our audience because it’s something we all have in common.”

Jimmy Mak, Head Writer for Shadowbox Live agrees, “The topics of sex, love, and relationships are very broad and universal.  We find ourselves writing sketches that range from the first date to the last, and everything in between!”

From the band stage, audiences will be treated to a diverse playlist featuring hot tracks such as Addicted to Love by Robert Palmer, 24K Magic by Bruno Mars, Do You Wanna Touch Me by Joan Jett, and Sex Machine by James Brown just to name several. On the comedy stage, sketches promise to be titillating.

Body Heat runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm and 10:30pm until March 18th.  General Admission tickets range from $20 – 35.

For information and reservations go to www.shadowboxlive.org.

The following is an excerpt from a past edition
of OhioTraveler Magazine by Rocco Satullo

What did I get myself roped into? Sitting at a table with friends and strangers, our waitress asked loudly, “Are you a virgin?” I looked desperately at my wife for help but she sank into her chair and gazed away.

“ATTENTION EVERYONE, I HAVE A TABLE OVER HERE WITH THREE VIRGINS!” The waiter at the next table shouted for all to hear.

I asked my friend, “What the heck do they do to virgins?” He chuckled and said to relax and enjoy the show.

So I did.

Shadowbox Live is a unique blend of comedy, theater, live rock and roll, full bar and bistro. It is located in Columbus, Ohio.

When we entered, we were greeted by Stacie Boord. At first, I didn’t pay any mind except to note that she was very friendly and welcoming. She made our group feel her energy become our own. Energy is the operative word here because EVERYONE at Shadowbox has an abundance of energy and enthusiasm. If you read Stacie’s job titles (yes, plural) written in the program it says she is a singer, dancer, actress, chief vocal instructor, comedy director, choreographer, community relations director, company events sales consultant, fundraiser, creative team member and general manager.

Stacie is the one who called to offer my friend discounted tickets because they pulled his business card, she greeted us at the door, and she would later, sing, act, and dance and …I’m getting tired thinking of the list that goes on.

She is no different from anyone and everyone else working at Shadowbox. A common job description includes marketing, acting, waiting, singing, administrative work and dancing.

Our waitress returned to take orders and said she won’t be back until intermission, so stock up now with all the food we’ll want plus a bucket of drinks on ice. That’s because she would soon be on stage along with the rest of the wait staff belting out classic rock songs or jamming on guitar while taking turns making us laugh by acting in the outrageous and original sketch comedy acts between sets.

So we sat back at our table, ate some tasty food, laughed with friends and strangers, dipped into the ice bucket and took in the high energy, fast pace, intimate setting waiting for the show to begin. The intimate quarters in this environment worked right into the ambience and mood. We were ready for the show.


What a performance right out of the box. You can stand any of these people toe-to-toe with your favorite contestants on The Voice and other shows. Not only can these performers deliver pitch perfect arousing vocals, they do it with style and edge!

Then, silence. The lead singer and a couple musicians soon disappear and reappear in costume to join other actors in an original comedy sketch just underway on the other half of the stage. It’s like watching Saturday Night …live!

At intermission we realized we under ordered and fixed our mistake just in time to kick back and enjoy the second half of the hybrid show that never ceased to amaze.

When the show was over, we were in great spirits talking about our favorite musical performances and comedy sketches. Heck, even the popcorn left an impression.

To plan your night out at Shadowbox, visit www.shadowboxlive.org.

The King is in Cleveland

Elvis Birthday In Cleveland
And his name isn’t LeBron!

In 1953 a young Parker Machinist Shop worker wandered into Memphis Recording Service and paid $3.98 to record two songs as a belated birthday gift for his mother.  Two years later the entire country would be buying his recordings, and Elvis Presley’s $3.98 original recording would come to be worth thousands.

Fast forward to 2017: Elvis is gone, but is still raking in millions in post-death earnings, according to Forbes Magazine. “The King’s” continuing popularity makes the annual “Elvis Birthday Celebration Tour” an on-going success story. This year’s Elvis Birthday Tribute stop at Playhouse Square will be its 17th consecutive year, performed on what would have been The King’s actual 81st birthday, Sunday, January 8 in the State Theatre at 7 pm.

The Elvis Birthday Celebration features over two hours of live music starring three of the nation’s most critically-acclaimed Elvis recreators, Shawn Klush, Ryan Pelton and Cody Ray Slaughter, each performing their entire tribute act.  They are joined by longtime Elvis back-up singers The Sweet Inspirations, Dove Award winners and Elvis’ gospel family, The Blackwood Quartet and hosted by Elvis’ original drummer, D.J. Fontana, who peppers the evening with intimate Elvis anecdotes.

Visit Graceland and Sun Studio

The Elvis Birthday Tribute recreates the memorable Elvis eras from his rockabilly beginnings through the Las Vegas comeback years.  Serious Elvis followers, rock fans and lovers of live musical theater will be treated to 50 Elvis songs, with the tribute artists decked out in replicas of The King’s flashy wardrobe.

The three hands-down Cleveland favorite Elvis recreators over the past six Playhouse Square appearances, Shawn, Ryan and Cody, all come with impressive credentials, including rave reviews from those who personally worked with The King.

Klush has been acclaimed as the #1 Elvis performer in the country and was featured in the 1999 CBS-TV movie Shake Rattle & Roll.  He was the winner of the Worldwide Elvis Competition and currently stars as “Elvis” in “Legends in Concert,” alternating in the show’s Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Branson, Seattle and Myrtle Beach venues.

Ryan Pelton’s uncanny resemblance to Elvis was noticed as far back as his pre-teen years.  Even in the Marine Corps, with his head shaved, the drill instructors nicknamed him “Elvis.”  Ryan went on to become the “Worldwide Elvis Impersonator Champ, Year 2000” held in Memphis.

Andy Cody Ray Slaughter, who began at only age 13 impersonating Elvis, went on to win The People’s Choice Award at the Elvis Week 2008 as part of the Images of the King Competition.

(Tickets for the January 8th (7 pm) State Theatre “Elvis Birthday Tribute” range from  $47, $37, $27 & $10 Smart Seats, on sale at the Playhouse Square Ticket office; at 216-241-6000 or at www.playhousesquare.org.

STEM and the Soap Box Derby

The International Soap Box Derby (ISBD) is entering new territory with the launch of a curriculum as part of its STEM-based education program. The curriculum is directed at children in grades fifth through eighth.

The curriculum features five modules that contain activities that engage learners with project based lessons, team building, inquiry based learning, creative problem solving and FUN!

“We’re extremely excited and proud of the new curriculum,” said Derby President & CEO Joe Mazur. “The Derby has come a long way over the last several years and this is another piece of the puzzle that adds to the continuing growth of the Derby’s education program. We piloted and tested the modules last year and received positive feedback from educators and students. We made some changes over the last year and feel that we have a great product that can be used inside or outside the classroom using the Soap Box Derby and gravity racing as a tool to give students a fun, STEM-based learning opportunity.”

The Akron, Ohio based nonprofit organization, best known for sanctioning and operating Soap Box Derby races around the world, including the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby, began its education initiative in 2010 with the creation of the Gravity Racing Challenge STEM Team Competition. Two Soap Box Derby cars were placed in the National Inventors Hall of Fame School as a test to see if children in a classroom setting would benefit from constructing, fine-tuning and racing Derby cars. The GRC STEM Team competition is now held in seven different locations and has grown to include more than 300 teams. The teams come from traditional classroom settings, after school programs and youth programs such as Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts and Boys and Girls Clubs. In 2011 Soap Box Derby Mini Cars and workbooks were introduced as part of the education program. The cars are 1/13th scale replica cars of the Derby’s three divisions: Stock, Super Stock and Masters. Mini Cars are now being used in classrooms and after school settings around the country to introduce students to STEM through gravity racing.

“The curriculum idea really came from educators who were already involved with our GRC and Mini Car programs,” said Derby Vice President Bobby Dinkins. “They told us that Soap Box Derby was a great hands-on learning tool for their students and they wanted more.”

The modules focus on developing STEM competencies such as prototyping, research, critical thinking, problem solving, communication, collaboration and teamwork.

The five modules can be purchased together or separately. One module is not dependent on the other and most of the necessary supplies are packaged with each module.

For more information please go to: /education-program/curriculum.aspx.

Pretty Purple Puddy Tat

iwasm womens air and space museum in cleveland ohio

The International Women’s Air & Space Museum (IWASM) presents a new exhibit featuring the mascot of the late aviatrix, Tracy Pilurs. This will be the first time the stuffed cat has been on display.

Pilurs was an airplane builder and mechanic, flight instructor, and aerobatics champion. She took her first flight lesson at the age of 16, but didn’t obtain her private license until the age of 30. By 1960 Pilurs had her commercial, flight instructor, and ground school ratings.

In 1962, Pilurs finished in 17th place in her first Powder Puff Derby. Around the same time, she was divorced and raising her six children alone. A year later, with the support of her children, Pilurs went on to place first in the 1963 Women’s National Aerobatics Championships.

As a family, Pilurs and her children built a Smith Miniplane that donned a color scheme of purple stripes on a white finish, in their garage. The plane was named the “Pretty Purple Puddy Tat”, and a purple stuffed animal cat became the official mascot, which was put on display at various air shows and after competitions. That plane resulted in a first place win at a 1965 aerobatics competition.

By 1976, Pilurs had added multi-engine, helicopter, hot air balloon, and aircraft/powerplant mechanics ratings to her already growing list of accomplishments.

Following a critical automobile accident which left Pilurs unable to continue her flying career, the “Pretty Purple Puddy Tat” plane floated around to various places. In 1996, Pilurs donated the plane to IWASM, on agreed terms of no one every flying it again. Complete restoration of the plane was finished in 1999, two months before Pilurs passed away from cancer.

The “Pretty Purple Puddy Tat” plane is a permanent static display within the museum. Due to the fragility of the stuffed cat mascot, it will only be on display a limited time concluding on January 15, 2017.

The museum offers free admission. Exhibit hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Office, gift shop and research center hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The International Women’s Air & Space Museum is located in the terminal of Burke Lakefront Airport, only seconds from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the Great Lakes Science Center. The mission of IWASM is to preserve the history of women in aviation and space and to document their continuing contributions today and in the future. In 1986 the museum opened in Centerville, Ohio. IWASM was welcomed to the City of Cleveland, Ohio in 1998, where you will find their home at Burke Lakefront Airport. Exhibits are in the lobby at Burke, as well as the west concourse, and are accessible seven days a week. For additional information please visit www.iwasm.org.


LeatherlipsAdmission to the Leatherlips Statue is Free at Scioto Park in Dublin, Ohio

  • Open: Dawn to Dusk
  • Location: (Map It) 7377 Riverside Dr. at Scioto Park in Dublin, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-410-4550 (Audio tour by cell phone: 614-763-3100)
  • Web: Click Here

Leatherlips at Scioto Park in Dublin, Ohio stands 12 feet high. This  stone monument to Chief Leatherlips looks out over what was once Wyandot land. The Dublin Arts Council in Dublin, Ohio had Ralph Helmick, an artist from Boston, create the structure out of limestone in 1990. The statue itself is a photogenic piece of art but a unique walkway atop the sphinx-type recreation of the chief’s head provides a nice view of the Scioto River at sunset. The chief was named Leatherlips because his word was a strong as leather. If only the white man’s word was as strong he may have lived longer. He was executed, nearby, in 1810 by his own people for signing over their lands in the 1795 Treaty of Greeneville.

Deep Darkness Exploration


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Do you have what it takes to go across the
Ohio-Indiana stateline to explore deep darkness?

Would be adventurers can now descend, climb, crawl and kayak deep underground in Indiana’s longest cave system.  Indiana Caverns, near Corydon Indiana recently opened a new, guided high adventure cave exploring trip.

Descending a 93 foot shaft into a remote section of passage discovered in 2010, explorers then descend a steep mountain of breakdown using a hand line before reaching the underground river, 200 feet underground.  Splashing and wading downstream, eventually the party of no more than 10 has to take to kayaks to continue exploring the deepening water.  The underground stream features a large population of blind cave fish as well as blind cave crayfish and other spelean species.

The section of cave that is visited is just a tiny portion of the vast Binkley Cave system south of Corydon Indiana.  The first serious exploration and mapping was done by the Bloomington Indiana Grotto of the National Speleological Society.  Since 1967, all research and exploration has been done by the Indiana Spelological Survey, with exploration quickening since 2009.  The length of the system has grown for 22 miles in 2009 to 42.5 miles and growing, making it the 7th longest cave in the United States.

More information can be found at indianacaverns.com/cave-exploring.

Magical History Tour

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Arlington National Cemetery

If you are venturing up or down the east coast of the United States, get a preview and inside look at what’s ahead by clicking on the links below. Each month, a new story is added.

Begin the Journey



Colonial Williamsburg

Mount Vernon

Arlington National Cemetery

U.S. Capitol

National Mall & Monuments

Philadelphia Freedom

New York City

Coming Soon:

Plymouth & Cape Cod


Charlestown Navy Yard



Falling Water

Stories by Rocco Satullo, your tour guide to fun!

Visit Before You Go

old ohio film videoohio youtube videos

Visit Before You Go Ohio Travel Videos

Grab your popcorn and enjoy dozens of Ohio travel videos featuring tourist attractions from around the state. Please note the “Lost in Ohio” series features places that may not be current attractions. Spend a couple of minutes and visit before you go.