A new restaurant/bar and music venue has opened recently on North High street in Worthington aptly named Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza and Live Music. The space offers the combination of live music, old world New York style pizza made in a unique high temperature coal fired oven, classic cocktails made with freshly squeezed juices, wines, and the best local and regional craft brews.
The entertainment is presented on a specially designed stage with high quality sound, lights, and video, with care being taken to provide all patrons with a great view of the stage. The music will include a variety of the finest local and national artists, and will mostly feature the “Americana” format, which will include folk, singer/songwriter, jazz, blues, Irish, and other traditional styles. The space also displays art installations created by various local artists and offers the occasional array into film, theatre, and dance.
We sat down with owner Charlie Jackson to talk more about Natalie’s:
JC: Who is Natalie?
Charlie Jackson: Natalie is my daughter, who moved to New York City after graduation from Marietta College. She studied marketing and sports management in college while working at several fine dining establishments in Marietta. In New York, she waitress-ed at restaurants and live music venues, as well as interned at a record label and performing arts venue.
JC: What is the history behind Natalie’s? Why did you decide to open it and what is your professional background?
Charlie Jackson: Natalie fell in love with several pizza restaurants in New York City, and found that they all used coal in their ovens. In high school, she had seen me produce music series at area restaurants and taverns, and came up with the idea of moving back to Ohio and seeing if we could combine our interests into a pizza restaurant/bar that featured quality live music.
My professional background is mostly as small business owner. I founded Aardvark Video in the Short North back in the 1980’s, and we featured international cinema, music documentarties, cult classic, and independent films. I later owned a vending company that had juke boxes and amusement devices in central and southern Ohio. For the past ten years, I have been involved with promoting travel and tourism in Circleville and Pickaway County. I have also been a lifelong lover of music, being an avid record collector as well as a guitarist and singer.
JC: What is “Coal Fired Pizza” and how is it different than other ways to cook pizza?
Charlie Jackson: These coal ovens are used in New York City where the first pizzerias in the United States emerged over 100 years ago. Heating with coal brings the oven temperature up to 1200 degrees, which gives the pizza a unique flavor and a perfectly charred crust that can’t be matched with gas, convection, or wood ovens. The type of coal used is anthracite, which comes from abandoned mines in Pennsylvania. It is one of the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuels – cleaner than wood fires or gas grills- with minimal black smoke to damage the environment.
JC: How often do you plan to offer live music at your venue? Why did you decide to offer live music in addition to the food aspect of the business?
Charlie Jackson: Right now, we offer live music about 3 nights a week. Our approach has been to slowly build up the music shows as we tweak the acoustics and find performers that we think would be a good fit. Fairly soon, I’d say that we will offer music 4-5 times per week.
We feel that the food aspect of the business will help subsidize the music operation, and that pizza is something that is relatively easy to consume while enjoying live music.
JC: It sounds like jazz will be an integral part of the music schedule, how often do you envisions jazz performances at Natalie’s?
Charlie Jackson: Columbus has a tremendous number of great jazz musicians, so we plan to have jazz music at least one night per week, and sometimes more.
JC: What else should people know about the new Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza?
Charlie Jackson: Mostly that we are determined to do it right. We are taking the menu and food very seriously and want to offer freshly made, high quality items. For our bar operation, we are carefully selecting the best of the area craft beers and spirits, and have 12 items on tap, as well as a great wine selection. Finally, we want to establish a reputation as a premiere live music venue, and we have invested in a high quality sound and light system and want the presentation to be first rate.
** The other important thing I’d like music fans to know is that advance tickets to our shows can be purchased through our website.
Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza and Live Music
5601 N. High St, Worthington, OH 43085
Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza Facebook Page
Follow Natalie’s on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Natalies_Coal