April 8, 2020

Everybody’s Favorite Dive Bar: Leipzig Haus

If you go to Capital, chances are you’ve either been to Leipzig Haus, or you’ve at least heard of the place.

Back in 1984, when Mark Linton was still a senior at Capital, he decided to buy what we now know as Leipzig Haus, or more commonly known as The Zig.

“I had worked at a place … called After the Gold Rush back in the hay day of the big bars out in Reynoldsburg,” Linton said. “I liked the bar business … [and] just decided it would be a fun thing to try.”

Before The Zig became the dive bar students all know and love, it was called The Horseshoe and had a much different feel to it.

What regulars now see as a wall that holds up the weekly specials and happy birthday sign was at one point a stage for Go-Go Dancers. The bar was in the shape of a big horseshoe, and the stairs were in the middle of the bar rather than in the back.

For any student who has heard the rumor that there is a secret door in the bottom half because The Zig used to be a speakeasy, Linton said you’re not too far off. Back in the 70s, The Horseshoe would hold poker tournaments.

“The [door] by the men’s bathroom goes out to the back. One of the guys that used to own this was involved with a lot of nefarious things,” Linton said. “They used to have a lot of poker tournaments down there that weren’t a part of the bar. You had to go in the back entrance. I’ve heard many, many stories that they used to play for $10, $20, $30,000.”

While the years have changed, and every new school year brings a new class of 21 year olds ready to take on the Zig, the bar itself hasn’t changed much since 1984.

“We’ve done a little bit of remodeling. [We] try to stay up with the times a little bit,” Linton said. “I like the small town bars [and] the atmosphere, so I don’t like to make a lot of changes.”

However, students may have started to see some minor changes occurring throughout the bar, such as a hand dryer and a new counter in the girl’s bathroom. The punching bag game has also been switched out for pinball. Linton said that these will be the only changes made, but he does welcome student suggestions for new ideas for weekly specials.

Senior marketing major Drew Young said that better deals throughout the week like Saturday’s dollar bombs would help get students to the Zig mid week.

“Some better deals, specifically on Thursday, and karaoke … [I think] better liquor specials, definitely Tequila specials would be cool … and just all liquor specials in general would be nice,” said Young.

Although they didn’t have any specific ideas for weekly specials, senior biology pre-med major Mariah Richards and senior nursing major Ashleigh Schmittle said that the Zig should be open on Sundays.

If you wish to have your opinion heard, Linton said to write down your suggestions and give them to the bartender, and they will try to change the weekly specials every couple months to meet the needs of students.

While people may differ on ideas for the weekly specials, students said that they agreed that the Zig was one of Capital’s notorious hangout spots.

Fifth year senior criminology and sociology major Matt Tash said, “My favorite part about the Zig is the camaraderie, the Cap Fam, and the popcorn of course! It’s always a good time when you go to the Zig.”

Linton said that any student of age who brings in a copy of this article will get a $1 off a pitcher of beer.

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