Monday, March 31, 2008

Worthington/Crossroads..ok, mostly Buca di Beppo

Worthington is a suburb on the northern part of Franklin County straddling southern Delaware County, almost exactly halfway between Westerville and Dublin. High Street..yes..THAT High Street, on the far northern part of the county, is the main drag though it has large intersections with Morse Road, Rt. 161, Worthington Galena Rd., and I-270. It is a quiet suburb settled earlier actually than Columbus itself, in 1803 by New Englanders looking for opportunities westward. While the street layout and architecture only vaguely resemble true New England, many side streets bear names such as Fenway and Lowell. Now Worthington is nice and all but there is a slighhht problem. Worthington has had a long standing city ordinance that PROHIBITS external neon signage! Other areas have limitations..but this is basically, with a few exceptions, a ban on neon! The 'downtown' area of Worthington is bustling with business most any weekend or evening, all without neon lights. Now there are some businesses that appear to be in the city of Worthington but because of the odd jagegd boundaries that cities, towns, and suburbs have around Columbus, they actually are in the city limits of Columbus. Often south of Morse, High Street is the dividing line between the two, with Columbus and neon on the east side of the street, and Worthington and NO neon on the west side. I honestly am not sure when the ordiance was ennacted, but I did find a couple exceptions to the no neon rule. A vingage Dairy Queen sign, outdoor, two-sider which has to date to the mid 1960s at latest. My GUESS is that the neon nazi clause was ennacted sometime after the sign was erected and was grandfathered out it, thereby allowing it to remain standing and lighting up N. High Street near Worthington Galena Rd. Another exception is much more recent, and was for the chain restaurant Buca di Beppo. The chain has opened up a few locations around here about five years ago, including one in neon friendly downtown (Arena district). A little news was made when they chose the locaction then learned of the ordinance. Long story short, an exception was made and I am sure there are some strict rules they have to follow but, at least they have the neon! I have only eaten from this restaurant once, at the Arena location..very good food..very large portions..very hefty bill! All pics were taken late afternoon on Sunday, 3/30. The vintage DQ sign, probably early to mid 1960s, before Worthington made neon signs a capital crime!This small sign is on a Mexican Restaurant in the Crossroads Center, in the northern part of Worthington at the I-270 interchange. There is some neon in this area, but really not much and not much interesting.


Maureen said...

Is the beer sign at El Acapulco at Crosswoods? Campusview and Route 23 (High Street?) That is the City of Columbus, although it is in a Worthington ZIP code.

ColumbusNeon said...

Yep, that is where it is. And I think you are correct, it is in the city limits of Columbus but in the 43085 zip. I am not quite sure about the Bucca location and I know the DQ is in Worthington.

Maureen said...

Bucca is in Worthington and so is Dairy Queen.

When Bucca came to town they did a very good job of making the case for why neon and Worthington was in a more mellow mood architecturally than usual.