Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summit Station (also known as Jack's)

The Summit (2009)
Summit Station (also known as Jack's)

Location: 2210 Summit Avenue, Columbus, Ohio, USA

Founded: early 1970s?

Closed: late 2000s?

I can't find out a lot about Summit Station (sometimes referred to as Jack's). Starting with when was she born? There is a reference to her from 1999, and even then it was said that Summit Station was for "old timers" and that it was a lesbian bar "that had been around for a long time." A little more digging, and I found mention of a 15-year-old girl and her high school friends "sneaking" into Summit Station--and that was around 1976!

But while she was among us, Summit Station sure had patrons that adored her. See, for example, this glowing review from tripadvisor dated February 2002:

“wonderful, comfortable lesbian bar”
Of all lesbian and gay bars that i have been to, Summit Station is the most comfortable and welcoming. upon entering, the bartenders learned my name, introduced me to regulars, and made me fabulous drinks at an affordable price. some nights there is kareoke, some nights there are local acoustic acts, other nights it just provides a casual place to play pool and kick back. i highly recommend this hidden is easy to find if you go to a direction site.

Or this one from August 2003:

Summit is my favorite place to be on a weekend or week night because of the calm atmosphere and welcoming crowd. Each night brings something different, whether it's kareoke, pool, darts, or just sitting and talking. There's a great jukebox too!

This brief description is undated:

Karyoke, poetry events and "drag king" performances are held at this lesbian bar.

In April 2007, it apparently still existed, as there is an article that reports that Summit Station was currently owned by a man named Jim Criswell. Criswell also owned a gay men's bar in Columbus (Woof), as well as other gay-oriented enterprises. It was also claimed at that time that Summit Station (Jack's) was the city's "longest standing gay and lesbian bar."

By 2009 though, if not earlier, Summit Station had been turned into a (straight) indie/punk/rock club called the Summit.

Photo: The Summit, an indie/punk/rock club that replaced Summit Station, probably around 2009. As the blogger/photographer rhapsodied, "I will always remember you as the down-home lesbian bar formerly known as 'Summit Station':  home to some naturally obscure, unpretentious and wildly entertaining weeknight karaoke-goers."  


  1. The Summit Station was the place in the early 80's for Little Kings night. Everyone called it Jack's because the prior name of the place was Jack's A Go Go...not sure if that should be A GoGo. Anyway, it was close enough to the Ohio State campus to attract some lesbians for the night...aka sorority girls. But also it was a hang out for older lesbians. And that meant lesbians in their late 50's and 60's who'd come out IN the 50's...and that's a whole nuther story...


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