Golden Hobby Gift Shop relocating temporarily to Columbus Performing Arts Center

Gary Seman Jr.
ThisWeek group
Geoffrey Martin, arts administrator for the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, stands outside the Columbus Performing Arts Center, 549 Franklin Ave. in Columbus. The Golden Hobby Gift Shop will relocate to the center this spring.

The Golden Hobby Gift Shop, forced to leave its German Village location, will establish temporary new digs in the Columbus Performing Arts Center, 549 Franklin Ave. in downtown Columbus.

The nonprofit consignment shop for senior citizens' crafts, which closed last March, is taking over three office spaces, a dance studio, a hallway and one storage room at the performing-arts center sometime this spring, said Geoffrey Martin, arts administrator for the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, which operates Golden Hobby.

Golden Hobby Gift Shop spent more than four decades at 630 S. Third St. It was forced to relocate when the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department sold its 9,500-square-foot building to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus for a reported $1.23 million.

Because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, plays, musicals, dance and other entertainment aren’t being performed live right now at the theater, which troupes and individuals rent to stage shows, Martin said.

The Columbus Performing Arts Center has two theaters: the 300-seat Shedd Theatre and the Van Fleet Theatre, which seats about 175, Martin said.

Some groups that emerge from any of the department’s 29 community centers can perform at the center for free, but COVID-19 has put a halt to those large gatherings, too, he said.

“Right now, we’re pretty much on hold,” Martin said. “We can’t really rent the space out right now. The organizations that would be renting out the space are on pause right now.”

Cheryl Hager, co-manager of Golden Hobby, said some new policy changes, such as checking to make sure logos used on merchandise are licensed, would be added, and there would be fewer consignors because the new space will be smaller.

The shop at one time had 14,000 pieces of merchandise contributed by 317 consignors, who were 50 years or old and made the crafts by hand.

All were refunded and the merchandise returned to them after German Village store closed, Hager said.

She said she expects up to 200 consignors at the performing arts center.

“On the other hand, we’re making plans to recruit from different arts groups, such as the Clintonville Arts Guild,” Hager said. “So we’re starting from scratch and (plan) to do that with a lot of intent and control and do it right.”

Golden Hobby items are marked up 20%, which is the portion returned to the shop and managed by a board of directors, Hager said.

Because Golden Hobby is under the auspices of the recreation and parks department, it will not pay a lease at the performing-arts center, she said.

Hager said Golden Hobby likely will be in the performing-arts space for two to three years as the city readies its next permanent location, the Douglas Community Center at 1250 Windsor Ave.

Andrea O’Neal, president of the Golden Hobby board trustees of and an artist, said the new space is in the city’s Discovery District where the main Columbus Metropolitan Library, Topiary Park and Columbus Museum of Art are located.

O’Neal said she likes the fact that the new location is not too far from German Village.

“It’s got a ton of character,” she said of the performing-arts center.

“I think it’s going to be a good option for us,” Martin said.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary