Thursday, March 3, 2011

What I am Blogging and Bernie's Bagels and Deli

Well first let me get into what I plan to do with this blog, my mission statement or goal here. I seem to see a lack of people telling a story of what really is going on in Columbus. I see a few secret circles (as I call them) controlling what gets played who gets heard what gets headlined and what gets to play at Comfiest. I see a few people attempt to write about the local scene in Columbus with some honesty but I suspect they are heavily influenced still by their friends in the bands they write about --and the secret circles--in Columbus ( hipsters, etc). Well I can do that too. The plan here is to bring to light some of the bands I think need mentioning and some honest opinions of them and the venues they play at. Minus the influence of any secret circle as I am an outsider not influenced by the local radio stations or the bands or bandaids . I might come off as a groupie for some of the bands ,but I'm not. I might come off as a hater to some of the bands, but I'm not . I'm just not following the local secret tide of what "me and my friends do this weekend" .Saying that; if you would like to submit your bands music, have me come to a live show, or your venue then send an email mp3s and invites to

Bernie's Bagels and Deli

1896 N High St
Columbus, OH

For my first review I would like to repost the review I made for city search on the not so fabulous but for some reason ironic I mean Iconic spot Bernie's' Bagels.

Bernie's, well-The food is- okay. I prefer a Ruben with a little more dressing, but it's good. The deli side is nice and mostly clean. It's non smoking and the cooks look clean ,L.A. clean that is. At first the place will look good to you drawing in the local students as a deli with a bar. A bar that serves beer (duh) and has a stage. I guess that's what you call the thing in the corner.

No, my experiences at Bernie's were not as happy or enjoyable as the other reviews (in citysearch) and I think that might have to do with the secret circles in Columbus promoting itself. First there is no matter what time you go to a gig or show or people playing something like music (depends what night) always a puddle of urine in the back hallway. Luckily, I don't have to use the men's room and I decided never to use the ladies room again.

The bands that play there are hit or miss and I wonder exactly how much take home pay the bands get when the regulars come in the back door without getting charged. The sound guy seems to do his job well when he is actually in the sound room not smoking or chugging beers down. I got a look at the equipment a few times and you better bring your own ,that's if they let you . I don't understand what a band is thinking in such a tiny little urine smelling room playing music so loud with such bad acoustics that the only people that can make anything out are the people outside smoking on the patio not listening to you because they are about to play there music or about to go to a house party. I would not recommend this place to any band and unless you already have a good following that likes your band or just want to get super drunk and scream, if not find another spot. But since some really cool people have played through there and since I seem to keep going there once a month, I give it two stars. Like I said , it's better than your moms basement.
I would like to see Bernie's redo the bar stage half. They don't have to light up the place but a little improvement could go long way. The stickers on the wall give that authentic cool indie punk feel and the stickers are from actual bands that played there so that's cool. Maybe some new paint wouldn’t hurt and some plumbing and doors on the bathroom stalls. They could expand there draft beers and FYI the it's hip to drink PBR thing will fade and Blue moon makes me think I'm drinking orange cleaner and dust fuzz and really Bernie's you don't come of as a specialty beer bar even if your clientele think so. Give it the real indie rock beer feel yes PBR’s ( for now) but tell the bartender not to get snooty when someone wants a bud draft or tries to order something like a Natty in a can the people in your neighborhood aren’t all exactly carrying large amounts of fun cash . It might be a good idea to stop paying for under par sound people and pick some that aren’t mad and won't complain to the audience and get something going on the back door at every show the bands and the sound men deserved to get something out of their time even if you have a large list of bands wanting to get a gig. It wouldn’t take too much to turn Bernie's back into a place where Columbus could be proud of for underground music and not just the dirty niche bar it seems to have become.
2 out of 5 stars


reviewbysue said...

Response to my review of Bernies by local musician Jeff Jay

Hello Miss Sue,
Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Jeff and I am the singer/songwriter/ lead ego from local band "parishioners". I also paint a bit on the side. I have been in and around the local music scene for almost 15 years.
I saw your post on craigslist and was compelled to respond. Bernies, in my eyes, is a rite of passage for local musicians/bands. Its a shithole, for sure....but, where else can new bands get a slot to play (probably sight unseen...or sound unheard, in this case)? And you get the full authentic punk club experience of sticky floors, crap sound , and getting stiffed on the money. Bernie's will stay as it is (2stars) because you don't make money with swill beer and swill music, but perhaps thats a good thing for the local music community in the big picture.
Good luck with your blog and feel free to check out our stuff on facebook/ reverbnation etc.
Keep the reviews coming.

-Well thanks Jeff perhaps you are correct maybe Columbus needs a starting point for bands to test out there music and get stiffed before they move up the chain of venues in C-bus. Somewhere to earn their "chops" per say, but also perhaps Bernie's could charge people coming in he back door and buy a mop.
-If you would like Sue to review your band album or venue or know a band you would like seen reviewed by Sue send an email to sueme17@gmail

reviewbysue said...

From Craigslist


I admire your sincerity....I think you're going to do a great job and bring an honest, fresh perspective. I'm not a grammar nazi, but to have any credibility, please consider typing in MS Word so you can use the spelling/grammar check. It will strengthen your clarity and takes very little additional work on your end.

Hope this helps....good luck! -Anon posting

-Thanks for your opinion I guess but if you can on my blog point out a misspelling of an actual word will give you a nice big fat no prize and as far as grammar goes if you know what freestyle essay means then you would understand that the blog is NOT writing a thesis but written as if I (the writer) was speaking to you and in the future have some balls man ape and send mean email and not post an anonymous post on Craigslist.
-Sue Collins Columbus Ohio ReviewBySue

Well, we found an error instead of my experience at Bernie’s were it should have read my experience at Bernie's was because it was a single experience so anon you win a big fat no prize to bad you can not claim it oh but you loose it because your grammar is not correct Nazi needs a capital N.

Anonymous said...

Sue, I admire your blog. I have played Bernie's for the past 10 yrs in 1 crappy band after another...and everything you said is CORRECT! But for the people reading this that have never been to Bernie's...Don't let this scare you away. It’s an atmosphere, nostalgic if you will...I love the place...Warm PBR's... trashy women, piss on the floor and horrible bands...BUT every once in while you can go home with a great big smile on your face coming out of Bernie's. I've been on that stage many times and have seen smile after smile on my friend’s faces. Bernie’s is NOT the best place to go...but it IS A PLACE TO GO…If you’ve never been to Bernie’s, you should go…even Sue’s blog…with how much she didn’t like it…you can kind of grab that she didn’t want to hate one does. IT KEEPS BRINGING YOU BACK for some odd reason!!?! Oh, and I will probably never take my band their again . . . lol, but I most definitely will return.

Jimmy P.