Columbus has several pizza joints and a lot of live music venues, but one place that really combines the best of both worlds. Located at 5601 N. High St. in Worthington, Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza and Live Music allows Columbus residents to enjoy a unique pie while watching quality, live music.
Father-daughter duo Charlie and Natalie Jackson started the full-service restaurant, bar and music venue to fill a void they saw in the Columbus market, always aiming to be more than a bar that happens to have live music on the weekends.
Growing up, Natalie worked at a pizza place in Circleville that also had live music – music that Charlie played or booked. After going to college and spending a few years in NYC, Natalie and her dad started toying around with the idea of bringing her favorite pizza to Columbus and coupling it with live music.
“We felt like if we could raise some money and do some research and put the business plan together it would be worth trying,” Charlie says.
So Natalie’s set out to carve their niche, quickly identifying what would make them stand out.
“With a zillion pizza places why would we be successful?” Charlie asks. Bringing Natalie’s favorite pizza-cooking technique that she discovered in NYC to Columbus, the restaurant coal fires all their pizzas. The 1,000 degree oven is far hotter than wood or gas ovens and cooks the pizzas quickly producing a unique crust. Natalie’s crust contains a bit of sourdough producing a distinct flavor.
Natalie’s also uses the freshest of local ingredients when possible.
“We don’t have a freezer so everything is fresh,” Charlies says. Natalie’s carries that same fresh, local philosophy over to their bar, pouring local craft brews and mixing fresh cocktails.
Normal dining hours are from 4:00 pm until an hour before showtime. When the regular dining flow starts thinning out, guests can be seated for concerts, and still enjoy the full menu.
“We do live music six nights a week,” Charlie says. “We’re going more for the American, jazz, acoustic, national and regional acts.” He felt there was a demand for the types of artists they feature, including several singer-songwriters. Natalie’s has garnered attention from some big names which is helping them attract others.
“I‘m really encouraged that the musical community seems to really embrace us,” Charlie says.
The community is responding well too as Natalie’s will celebrate their second anniversary in August. “We’ve just been really encouraged by the response that we’ve gotten,” he says.
Since people will often travel to see their favorite acts live, partnering with a travel and tourism organization like Experience Columbus has proven valuable.
“Part of our audience is people visiting Columbus,” Charlie says. “We want them to know that we’re unique and we’re here. Experience Columbus helps us reach those people.”
Natalie’s features special upcoming events on Experience Columbus’s website and is able to distribute cards of information in high-traffic areas like Easton and the Arena District through their services.
“The staff has been very helpful in helping us understand how they can help us,” Charlie says of their partnership with Experience Columbus.
For more information, visit nataliescoalfiredpizza.com.
Photos via Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza.