If you’ve read any of my other posts, you might remember that the quaint little enclave in the heart of the city known as The Landing is my primary subject of interest. And you might remember that in a past life the same area was once an electric railway hub called Transfer Station and many years prior to that a landing—thus the name—for canal boats. I’ve told you about some of the places you’re definitely going to want to visit while you’re there: the city’s best retro dance club, Flashback, and the place that serves Mexican food like it should be, El Charrito. But what of the establishment that bears Columbia Street’s name? That is, Columbia Street West. Since its completion in 1860 the big brick building on the corner of South Harrison and Columbia has functioned as a tire shop, a pharmacy, and an inn. It’s also rumored that during prohibition there was a speak-easy in the basement. Skip to the 1970s and early 1980s and Columbia Street West was living as a blues bar called Mother’s. Circa 1985, the bar was purchased by the Freistroffer family and became the P.O.E.T.S café. Not long after that it took its present form. Modern day Columbia Street West no longer houses a tire shop, you can’t rent a room there, and the only thing being sold in the lower level of the building is superb New Orleans- style cuisine at the Bourbon Street Hideaway restaurant (260-422-7500), but you just might hear the blues. If only for the top-notch music, that’s why you’re going to want to stop by while you’re there. In addition to weekly shows every Friday, Wednesday, and Saturday, the venue annually hosts Fort Wayne’s biggest and best Battle of the Bands competition. And, if that weren’t enough, every Friday from 5:00 to 7:00 is happy hour with a food buffet! In short, the place represents everything The Landing is: charming, historic, and, most importantly, simply a place to relax and have fun. That’s why it could be called the Spirit of the Landing. So, there you go. If you’re looking for excellent food and a good drink, fantastic music, a place to dance, and a relaxing and casual atmosphere in a building with a varied and rich history, Columbia Street West on The Landing is the place for you. If you’re interested, you can give the fine folks there a call at 260-422-5055, or check them out on the web at www.columbiastreetwest.com. The address is 135 West Columbia Street, Fort Wayne IN, 46802, and they open daily at 4:00.