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It was four years ago The Avenue Bar in Columbus came under the ownership of Angela Janssen.

Now, to commemorate the occasion, the venue will host a special celebration Saturday. Local band Whiskey Tango Foxtrot will be performing from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the bar, 1061 26th Ave. A variety of drink specials will also be available.

“The 27th is actually four years, but I’m not open on Sundays, so we’re doing it on Saturday night,” Janssen said. “Just a lot of people having a good time.”

Janssen previously worked as a plant manager at Paraclipse before purchasing the venue from Steve and Connie Herrman. She said the property has been home to a bar for at least the past 60 years.

The owner admitted it was a bit of a struggle when she first took over, noting she had two fridges, two coolers and a freezer break around the same time.

“My biggest challenge has been that I had a lot of fridges and coolers go out on me in the first year,” Janssen said. “I started thinking 'what’s going to go wrong now?' but I worked through it.”

Rock-trio Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (previously known as Choice Cuts) has performed at Avenue Bar previously, so Janseen said it was only fitting for them to play again for the anniversary. Band members are drummer Dave Amick, of Norfolk, as well as Columbus' own Chris Robbins on bass and Cory Delp on guitar.

Under Janseen's ownership, the bar started opening at 6 a.m. Chelsea Aldrich is the bar’s day-manager and has worked there for the past 18 months. She said opening earlier helped the bar stand out and attracted a different kind of crowd to the establishment. For the occasion on Saturday, the bar will serve homemade chicken-fried steak with eggs, hash browns and toast for breakfast.

“I think it really helps that we’re open early in the mornings because we do cater to like the third shift people who, when they get off work, that’s their night time, they don’t have a lot of options,” Aldrich said. “So they can come in here, have a good time."

One of the bar's most popular drinks is its fishbowls.

“That’s a lot of the reason why people come here, we have fishbowl drinks. We’re the only place in town that have the big drinks,” Aldrich said. ”They’re fun to share with your friends, just something different that you can’t get really anywhere else in town.”

Aldrich said that Avenue Bar is a friendly environment with a family-like staff.

“It’s quirky, but it’s my kind of quirky. You walk in here and you see a lot of signs and people are like, ‘God, you guys have a lot of signs.’ And like, yeah, they all have some history and they all have their reason for being up here,” Aldrich said. “It’s a fun place. I love working here, I love working for Angela. On top of her being my boss, she’s a really good friend.”

Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at eric.schucht@lee.net.

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Eric Schucht earned his bachelor's degree in journalism at the University of Oregon in 2018. He has written for The Cottage Grove Sentinel, The Creswell Chronicle, The Pacific Northwest Inlander and The Roseburg News-Review.

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