Costco, Bass Pro, Cheesecake Factory top large wish list in Columbus

Bass Pro Shops, which recently announced the acquisition of Cabela’s in October, is highly sought after by Columbus-area residents. Local developers have said it and Costco have been looking at the local area for a site for several years. --
Bass Pro Shops, which recently announced the acquisition of Cabela’s in October, is highly sought after by Columbus-area residents. Local developers have said it and Costco have been looking at the local area for a site for several years. -- Image from Wikipedia

It has been an ultra-competitive “vote” of sorts, and the Ledger-Enquirer has tallied the results from its totally unscientific effort to determine which restaurants and retailers Columbus-area residents would love to see in the market.

Readers were asked recently to decide which businesses — not already with a local presence, of course — they would desire, and perhaps comment on why that is the case.

For instance, Gloria Geddis Thomas said she would prefer a Von Maur store, Super Target, P.F. Chang’s, Cheesecake Factory, Season 52, BRIO, Farmer’s Basket and a Melting Pot. “My list goes on and on,” she opined.

The wishlist of Lisa Ariel Saenz-Kaczmarski includes a Banana Republic, J.Crew, Home Goods and Sur La Table. “Basically, stores in Birmingham and Atlanta so I do not have to drive so far for my business,” she said.

And Terrence Robinson declared if he had the power, the city would land a Guitar Center, a Kroger’s, Nike and Polo outlets, Whole Foods, Cheesecake Factory, Maggiano’s Little Italy, Dave and Buster’s and IKEA. “Just different retailers and clothing stores besides Walmarts on every corner,” he said.

(What will you have? P.F. Chang’s, Maggiano’s, Costco or Bass Pro Shop)

While the overall list heavily skewed toward chain retailers and food establishments, there naturally were some people who believe the area already has enough of everything, with the exception of more independent, mom-and-pop-style businesses.

“What I’d love to see is for Columbus to set the example for other communities and begin to embrace more locally owned businesses in high-traffic areas,” suggested Lisa Francis.

“Screw the big chains,” Mike Childree said bluntly. “Support local small business. If there’s one thing this area desperately needs, it’s originality and local identity.”

And, of course, there are those who feel that aside from another eatery or retail store, what the city really needs is more jobs, and good-paying ones, so folks have enough disposable income to frequent local businesses.

“Great paying jobs so people can afford to eat and shop in those type of establishments,” is what Courtney Mantrell said she would welcome, while James Bezner suggested something along the lines of a Toyota manufacturing plant. “Get some real jobs, not retail and restaurant minimum-wage jobs,” he said.

All of those sentiments aside — and we thank you for all of them — this exercise was about dreaming of what else the city could use to make it more convenient to shop and dine out and enjoy time with family and friends.

That said, the top establishment people want to see here is Costco, with it being the choice of 127 residents, followed closely by Bass Pro Shops, which was the pick by 107 people.

“Bass Pro Shop, right next to the Costco, so my wife and I can take one vehicle but know both of our lists at the same time,” joked Mike Smith.

Here are the Top 20 selections and the number of our dear readers picking them, submitted informally via Facebook:

▪ Costco Wholesale — 127

▪ Bass Pro Shops — 107

▪ Cheesecake Factory — 63

▪ Trader Joe’s — 56

▪ P. F. Chang’s China Bistro — 35

▪ Dave & Buster’s — 28

▪ Maggiano’s Little Italy — 27

▪ Whole Foods — 22

▪ Academy Sports & Outdoors — 20

▪ Joe’s Crab Shack — 19

▪ Kroger’s — 19

▪ IKEA — 18

▪ Home Goods — 10

▪ DSW (shoes) — 9

▪ Taco Mac — 7

▪ Whataburger — 7

▪ Cabela’s — 6

▪ Pappadeaux — 6

▪ Super Target — 6

▪ Five Below — 4

(Old Captain Seafood and Oyster Bar on the way as Fuddruckers closes)

(Ruby Tuesday closes ‘underperforming’ Columbus restaurant)

(Seafood restaurant bringing its shrimp, fish and crab claws to Columbus)

(High-end restaurant on the menu for Veterans Parkway project)

(French bistro, liquor store among tenants at shopping centers coming to north Columbus)

The best of the rest

Here is a list of other businesses local residents would like to see in Columbus, in no particular order:

▪ Belk

▪ World Market

▪ Macaroni Grill

▪ Guitar Center

▪ Bubba Gump Shrimp Company

▪ Taziki’s


▪ Papa Murphy’s

▪ Gander Mountain

▪ Newk’s

▪ Jack in the Box

▪ In-N-Out Burger

▪ Wasabi Juan’s

▪ Fazoli’s

▪ Schlotsky’s Deli

▪ BJ’s Wholesale

▪ Van Maur

▪ Seasons 52

▪ BRIO Tuscan Grille

▪ Farmer’s Basket

▪ Melting Pot

▪ Miller Ale House

▪ Bahama Breeze

▪ Earthbound Trading Co.

▪ Pappasito’s Cantina

▪ Teavana

▪ Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant

▪ Lettuce Souprise You

▪ The Container Store

▪ Flying Biscuit

▪ Boston Market

▪ Wahlburgers

▪ Thumbs Up Diner

▪ Ruth’s Chris

▪ Godfather’s Pizza

▪ Skyline Chili

▪ Bonanza

▪ Banana Republic

▪ J.Crew

▪ Pottery Barn

▪ Sur La Table

▪ Nike Outlet

▪ Polo Outlet

▪ Uno Chicago Grill

▪ Au Bon Pain

▪ La Madeleine Country French Cafe

▪ Baldinos Giant Jersey Subs

▪ Fogo de Chão

▪ Gladys Knight’s Signature Chicken & Waffles

▪ Mazzio’s

▪ Mr. Tomato Sandwich

▪ Culver’s Restaurant

▪ Taco Del Mar

▪ Wet Willie’s frozen daiquiri bar

▪ Cook Out

▪ Beef O’Brady’s Family Sports Restaurant

▪ Which Wich Superior Sandwiches

▪ Charlie’s Restaurant

▪ Topgolf

▪ Houston’s Restaurant

▪ El Pollo Loco

▪ Sweet Tomatoes/Souplantation

▪ Quizno’s

▪ Charming Charlie jewelry and accessories

▪ Borders bookstore

▪ Pew Wei Asian Diner

▪ California Dreaming restaurant and bar

▪ Amy’s Kitchen

▪ Zara clothing store

▪ The “original Top Hat chicken”