Though Elevator Brewery and Draught Haus launched in 1999 in Marysville, the building it calls home in Columbus pre-dates Prohibition. And to celebrate Drink Up Week, we’re taking a dive into the history of the building to see where it came from + how it’s changed.
Bott Brothers’ Billiards | 1897-1923 🎱
According to Elevator’s website, the building was built in 1897 by the Bott family and was known as Bott Brothers’ Billiards. Run by brothers Joseph and William Bott, the pool hall featured 40 tables, mosaic tiles, stained glass windows + a hand-carved Philippine mahogany bar. While many flocked to shoot pool here, others stopped by the bar for whiskey, which was being distilled on the second floor of the building.
A spooky pit stop | 1901 👻
Elevator’s website also mentions ghosts and spirits possibly roaming the halls of the brewery, so we did some investigating. According to the lore, Col. Randolph Pritchard, an apparent womanizer and abuser back in that time, was stabbed by one of his victims outside of the bar on a snowy night. To this day, some claim they’ve seen the two, with Pritchard lurking inside the building + the woman occasionally leaving footprints in the snow around 10:05 p.m.
The Clock | 1924-1979 🕒
After Prohibition started in the US, Bott Brothers’ Billiards was forced to close, which led to a spot that offered a little bit of everything for decades in downtown. Throughout the years, its menu expanded from having no alcohol to becoming a highly popular place for dinner, drinks + a show. The owners also maintained much of the original architecture, including the decorative ceilings + Bott Brothers’ signage. When The Clock closed, the famous clock outside of the building read 3 p.m. for eight months.
Chasens Restaurant and Bar | 1996-1998 🍽
After The Clock closed, it was replaced by Chasens, which most notably, also replaced the clock that was once outside the building. Per online archives, Chasens was known for being a large gathering place where it hosted lunch, then closed + later returned to host dinner.
Elevator Brewery & Draught Haus | 2000-present 🍺
One year after launching in Marysville, Elevator planted roots in Columbus where it still stands today. Since taking over the historic building, the owners have kept as many of the original artifacts from its past around, including the mahogany bar, mosaic tiles, decorative ceiling, and pool tables that line the back of the bar. Thanks to all of these past + current preservation efforts, the building is on the National Register of Historic Places.