The Buckeye State Building and Loan Company was founded in 1895, at the height of the building frenzy. It specialized in real estate mortgage loans for town and farm properties. Its prior locations included 101 N. High Street (1895) and 22 W. Gay Street (1899). But, it ultimately selected a new location to build in 1926, the site at 36 E. Gay Street. The contractor, Robert Evans, and the architecture firm, Hopkins and Dentz of New York City, designed Buckeye State Building and Loan Company in the classic revival style.
The building served as the main banking headquarters for the Buckeye State Building and Loan Company (after 1949 as the Buckeye Federal Savings and Loan Association) from 1927 to 1990. It was the largest savings and loan financial institution in Columbus during this time.
After WWII, many soldiers came home to Columbus and turned to Buckeye Savings & Loan for GI mortgages to enable their new post-war lives as businessmen and property owners. The loans and banking deals made at Buckeye Savings & Loan were a key factor in developing Columbus’s successful business industry which we know today. After purchasing the Buckeye Savings & Loan building in 2004, Concord Hospitality was inspired to bring new business to East Gay Street, which had many empty storefronts. The building made for a perfect Hotel and the Residence Inn was born. Many bar and restaurateurs looked at the grand lobby, but none had a plan that Concord Hospitality felt was the perfect fit.
Concord Hospitality realized the benefits of the growing global thirst for Bourbon and created Buckeye Bourbon House. Just like the building’s details and craftsmanship have withstood the test of time, the Bourbon industry is not going anywhere. The industry is filling more and more barrels, creating more good-paying jobs, generating more tax revenue, and attracting more tourists to local distilling communities. The Buckeye Bourbon House building is strategically located in downtown Columbus and represents a key opportunity to revitalize the downtown corridor and East Gay Street and generate new revenue for the city. This renovation has both financial and sentimental value, as it creates an important source of revenue and also revives a chapter of Columbus’s history. Three generations of local craftsmen have put their imprint on the building and Bourbon bar.
Concord Hospitality discovered that most of the locals in Columbus have about two degrees of separation with the Buckeye Savings & Loan building. Concord’s team took the relationship Columbus has with the building very personally, making sure every guest feels its historic magic which has so carefully been brought back to life. The building maintains the architectural integrity and classic revival style of the original structure with original 40-foot, brass-plated ceilings. Similar to the whiskey found at Buckeye Bourbon House, the marble floors and columns were made in Tennessee. Buckeye Bourbon House embraces its mid-century roots by creating an environment where timeless and eclectic designs intersect.
Just as the building has an interesting past and the best stories to tell, so does the staff at Buckeye Bourbon House. Our staff is filled with knowledgeable bartenders, conversationalists, and good listeners who encourage guests to relax. Whether they are reminiscing about their past or fantasizing about the future, Buckeye Bourbon House has set up a comfortable environment for guests to share stories, drinks, food and games. The Buckeye Bourbon House ‘punch ritual’ and our shareable punch bowls were designed to be the ultimate sharing experience.
The individual guidance and educated advice formerly given by the Buckeye Savings & Loan bankers is mirrored by the Buckeye Bourbon House bar historians. Aside from having knowledgeable bartenders that will make the best Old Fashioned you’ve undoubtedly ever had, Buckeye Bourbon House bartenders provide our guests with knowledgeable recommendations and one-on-one attention. Each crafted and personalized cocktail will leave you wondering if the bartender is a mind reader.
Every guest has the rare opportunity to have a cocktail adventure by choosing how their cocktail is made based on their personal tastes. We also offer cocktail classes for aspiring bartenders and/or wannabe Bourbon scholars. All ingredients are fresh and locally sourced. Buckeye Bourbon House also creates many house-made ingredients to further customize the experience and embraces beer and wine lovers with hand-selected craft brews and beautiful wines. We treat our bar the way a chef would treat their kitchen.
Today, over a century later, the historic icon in Downtown Columbus once again opens its doors to Columbus’s locals and guests. It has been Concord Hospitality’s honor to reintroduce the Buckeye Savings & Loan Building as Buckeye Bourbon House—an incomparable downtown Bourbon bar—where the spirit of the customer experience reigns supreme.