One of the more pleasant takeaways from my recent trek along the Columbus Bookshop Crawl on Independent Bookstore Day (aside from a trunk-load of books) was experiencing the camaraderie and support shared among the city’s booksellers. More than once, a shop owner or clerk would ask, when hearing that I was doing the crawl, “Have you been to Two Dollar Radio Headquarters yet? It’s so cool!”
While I wasn’t familiar with the establishment – and wasn’t quite sure what to expect given its unique name – upon arrival I understood why so many people were urging me to visit.
Two Dollar Radio HQ, locally owned and family-operated, is – according to its website – “an indie bookstore, event space, bar, coffeehouse, and fully vegan café located on the scenic South Side of Columbus.”
The shop is the brick-and-mortar offshoot of Two Dollar Radio, a local indie publisher founded in 2005 by book lovers Eric Obenauf and Eliza Wood-Obenauf, which publishes five to six (often award-winning and critically acclaimed) books per year. (They’ve also established a film production company and launched a three-day music festival, The Flyover Fest.) The retail space opened in 2017, when the couple decided they wanted a broader space to interact with their community of book lovers. Their vision: “to provide a cozy meeting and event space, and to encourage the reading not only of our books, but of exciting, stellar work being published by other independent presses from around the country and abroad.”
My take after visiting? Mission: accomplished.
I arrived shortly after the shop opened on that sunny Saturday morning, and the shop was already bustling with activity. Almost all the café tables were full with customers enjoying coffee and café offerings, mixed in with book browsers probably on the bookshop crawl themselves.
While not an expansive space, the shop offers a finely curated library of almost exclusively independently published titles. With reviews and recommendations written on decorative wooden blocks, the books are neatly displayed on large tables and shelves scattered among the café seating area.
In addition to the books and café menu, Two Dollar Radio HQ keeps an active calendar of literary and musical events, as well as a series of themed book clubs, book subscriptions, and membership options.
Two Dollar Radio HQ is located at 1124 Parsons Avenue, Columbus. The shop is open Tuesday-Wednesday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.