National Mom & Pop Day – Shop, Eat, and Drink Small in Grandview Heights!

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There is no better day than March 29th to celebrate small and local! National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day is a day to acknowledge and patronize local businesses, and Columbus has no shortage of options. While there are a thousand businesses I could highlight across the city and surrounding suburbs, I’m going to share some of my favorites in my family’s neighborhood of Grandview Heights.

{This article was written before the COVID-19 pandemic. We realize you can’t leave your homes to celebrate and support local businesses this year but figured you could still start planning.}

Cub Shrub

First things first- we have to look our best for a family date. The best place to get the kiddos some snazzy new clothes and accessories is Cub Shrub, the kids’ version of the iconic Short North boutique, Tigertree. Cub Shrub is chock full of the most adorable kids’ fashions by designers like Bobo Choses, Mayoral, and Tea (some of my favorites for my toddler son.) You’ll find some pieces that are bright and whimsical, some that are simple and basic, and some that will make you laugh out loud with goofy graphics and text. They are all beautifully crafted, high quality, and will definitely last through multiple rounds of hand-me-downs.

In addition, Cub Shrub has the best accessories, like shoes, sunglasses, backpacks, purses, jewelry, hair accessories, hats, and more. They also have a great selection of toys for all ages, including a lot of wooden toys, which I am super into these days as we try to reduce and simplify our son’s toy collection. My personal favorite is their book selection; there are so many beautiful and educational books that I’ve never seen sold elsewhere. Whether its clothes, toys, or books, I purchase 100% of kids’ gifts from Cub Shrub.

Cub Shrub Mom & Pop shop
The book selection at Cub Shrub

Grandview Theater and Drafthouse

Now that your kiddos are dressed up for your date day (and maybe have a new toy or book… or three), next on the agenda is checking out a matinee at Grandview Theater and Drafthouse. This is a single-screen theater that has been in the neighborhood since 1926 and was purchased several years back by the owners of Studio 35 in Clintonville. You’ll want to plan in advance to make sure a kid-friendly movie is playing of course. But when one is, it’s fun for the whole fam! There’s a full bar in front of the theater with dozens of taps, including lots of local brews. There are a few tables to hang out at, play Jenga and have a drink while waiting for your movie. And there’s pinball in the back area of the bar. There are all the standard theater snacks available. If you haven’t had their signature popcorn with M&Ms (make sure you get a couple of scoops), it is the perfect sweet and salty combination! Side note, for a parent’s day or night out, keep your eye out for their beer tasting events at both theaters. They are so much fun and we make sure to go to a few a year (but they are not kid-friendly!).

Grandview Theater & Drafthouse
Grandview Theater & Drafthouse on Grandview Avenue

Knotty Pine Brewing

After your matinee, there are quite a few options on Grandview Avenue for a family dinner, but our go-to is a little deeper into the neighborhood: Knotty Pine Brewing. Knotty Pine is a great place to grab a beer after work with friends, but it’s also totally family-friendly. The space is large with several large tables and cozy booths on the restaurant side with a huge bar. There are a lot of TVs and sometimes live music. The food menu is fantastic (My personal favorite is the salmon salad. Their nachos, wings, and pizzas are excellent as well!), and the kid’s menu is one of our favorites in all of Columbus. For $6.99, kids get a drink, veggies & ranch or applesauce as an appetizer, a generously-sized main dish (their homemade kid-size pizza, pasta, burger & fries, etc.), and a dessert of pudding or Jello. It’s a great value, and we always have leftovers for the next day!

Knotty Pine Brewing
A kids meal of pasta & marinara at Knotty Pine Brewing

DK Diner

Since you’re in the area, I recommend stopping in a few doors down at DK Diner and grabbing some donuts for the next morning. Why not continue the family date into the next day?! My personal fave is blueberry, but you can’t go wrong with any of their donuts.

donuts in GrandviewJeni’s and Stauff’s

You could make a DK doughnut your dessert, but of course, there’s one of the OG local businesses, Jeni’s, on Grandview Ave. if you’re in the mood for a scoop or two of ice cream. And if Mom and Dad need a little pick me up after such a busy day, Stauff’s on Grandview Ave. is Columbus’ first-ever micro-roaster, pouring some of the best coffee in town since 1988. Calories don’t count on family day dates (that’s a fact, right?), so I recommend you splurge on the chocolate-peanut buttery Buckeye latte.

Jeni's ice cream
You can never go wrong with Jeni’s for dessert!
Stauff's
Refuel at Stauff’s Coffee on Grandview Avenue

There are so many local businesses to celebrate on March 29th for National Mom & Pop Day. Whether you follow my itinerary or come up with your own, I hope you’ll celebrate National Mom & Pop Day by visiting some of Columbus’s amazing local restaurants, shops, and other businesses!

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Stephanie Dougherty
Stephanie is a Columbus native, having grown up in Dublin. She attended Ohio University where she met her husband over a friendly game of flip cup. She has been working for the same talent acquisition outsourcing and consulting company since graduating college, going on 14 years and is currently the Director of Implementation. After a three-year stint in Tampa, she and her husband decided to settle back in Ohio in 2008, and Stephanie won the Columbus vs. Cleveland debate (her husband says she's not tough enough for Cleveland anyway.) After almost eight years of marriage and three years of fertility struggles, they had their son, Dexter, in April 2017 thanks to IVF. They currently live in Grandview Heights after living in the Short North for almost 10 years. They love exploring the city as a family and are frequent COTA bus riders. Stephanie is determined to stay hip to all the new restaurants and places around town even after becoming a mom. Their family goes out to eat way too much, but she still loves cooking, especially recipes that use cauliflower as a substitute (is there anything it can't become!?) She is obsessed with bargain hunting but still manages to spend way too much money. You can follow along on their family's adventures on Instagram at @thecbuskid. Stephanie also has a dog, Athena, but she doesn't have her own Instagram because all she does is sleep and steal food right out of their hands.