Group dinner in Columbus, OH
We're going to be visiting Columbus next weekend and need to find a restaurant in the area near OSU that can accommodate a group of 30-35 people for dinner. It needs to be (1) on the inexpensive side (under $20 per person) and (2) a place that serves non-adventurous food (i.e. american, italian, chinese). Chains are acceptable.
Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
There are a spate of well priced restaurants in the "Short North" neighborhood which is quite close to OSU. Call a few and see who may be able to accomodate a group of your size. A very good option is the Burgundy Room; a wine bar with many small plate options. The food is quite competent and the range of dishes is broad enough to satisfy both the serious diner or non-adventurous eater. Below you'll find a couple of links to Columbus dining guides.
I think the Short North might be difficult because of parking. It is pretty limited unless you park in the Arena District garage and walk there. Burgundy Room is great, but it's pretty small, so I don't know if it would be easy to get that many people in there on a weekend night. Near OSU, El Vaquero on Olentangy River Road near Ackerman is a good bet for large parties. Every time I go there there are huge groups. It's tex-mex style Mexican food and it's very reasonable. It is not a gourmet dining experience, but it is fun in a large group and the service is very fast. In the Arena District, there is a Buca di Beppo that does a lot of group events. Buckeye Hall of Fame Cafe can handle lots of groups, too, but the food is pretty average at best. It would be a decent choice if you have a large number of Buckeyes fans.
The Alumni Grille (right across from the stadium on Lane) is a greta option for groups. The food is really good, typical grill food (burgers, reubans, pork chops, etc), and they have a separate room that can accommodate groups, I believe.
Plank's on Parsons Ave. Cheap, nothin' fancy, lots of local ambiance. They have a private room upstairs.
If your center of gravity is out toward Dublin, try Mary Kelley's on Muirfield Dr. They have a big party room, and the food is good and not too pricey. I have a hunch that you'll be out of luck there, however, with the Memorial Tournament in town.
Eddie George, of Heisman Trophy fame, has a nice place on High Street just south of the OSU campus. I think it's called Grill 29, or something like that. The food is non-adventurous, but servings are large, everything is nicely done, and the place is quite large. It'll be a big hit if your group includes football fans.
There is also very inexpensive parking less than a block from the restaurant.
There's also a fun Mexican place called Mad Mex in the same area - but I don't know if they could take a group your size.
Just west of campus, in the Lane Avenue shopping strip, is a bar/restaurant called Rusty Bucket that is just fine. Also, the TOmmy's pizza near the Lane Avenue center (not the Tommy's on Lane just north of campus) is pretty large and the pizza rocks. They can probably accommodate a large group.