Member News

Columbus, Ohio Welcomes the Opening of The Junto!

June 5th, 2023

The new independent lifestyle hotel offers carefully crafted accommodations, inviting public gathering spaces, dynamic programming and more.

Columbus, Ohio, June 2, 2023 Rockbridge and Makeready announce the grand opening of The Junto. The highly anticipated independent lifestyle hotel promises to be a dynamic hub to bring people together within the Columbus community. Nestled ‘a little west’ of downtown and steps away from Franklinton, known for its flourishing art scene, and rich historical heritage, The Junto elevates the city’s innovative spirit to new heights.

“I am incredibly proud and humbled to bring The Junto to Columbus,” said Jimmy Merkel, Rockbridge CEO and Founder of Makeready. “Having witnessed the remarkable growth and potential of this city, we wanted to take the best parts of our other projects and bring them to life at The Junto, I think we did that. The Junto is not only a hotel—it’s a testament to the evolution and the city of Columbus which is poised for extraordinary growth. I have seen the impact our other Makeready hotels have had in other markets, and now I’m looking forward to bringing that same community impact to my hometown.”

To bring The Junto and its experiences to life, Merkel assembled his teams: Makeready, RBHD and RBHM have come together to develop, concept, design and operate the hotel and restaurants. Prior to The Junto, this team collaborated on the redevelopment and reimagining of several other properties including Emeline and The Ryder in Charleston, SC, Noelle in Nashville, TN, Halycon in Cherry Creek, CO, Cliff House in Ogunquit, ME, The Adolphus in Dallas, TX and more. Additionally, the group is leading the development of more independent hotels and restaurants in multiple cities including Columbus, Phoenix and Charleston.

The design of The Junto was meticulously fashioned to create a space that fosters connection, comfort, and a sense of residential warmth. With a keen focus on bringing people together, the hotel’s public spaces have been thoughtfully designed to inspire connection, gathering and creativity. Deep, rich hues and soothing blue tones envelop the surroundings, creating an inviting ambiance that is both engaging and convivial. Upon arrival, guests will find The Trade Room, a compelling take on the hotel lobby that is a place to laugh, have fun with an old friend or simply pay homage to the foundation of great conversation – commerce and trade.

The hotel’s library serves as a cozy fireside retreat, inviting guests to immerse themselves in a world of knowledge and inspiration. Every element of the design, from the carefully selected materials to the captivating artwork, works harmoniously to create an environment that is both visually stunning and emotionally resonant. Celebrate and come together for creative business events in The Junto’s 13,000 square feet of inventive meeting space with oversized expansive windows opening to a large, wrapped balcony overlooking the surrounding greenspace and downtown city views, unlike any other venue in the area.

Featuring 198 unique guest rooms and suites, the hotel is designed for a variety of offerings to meet the needs of many who seek either a couple’s getaway, a family trip, business needs or the curious traveler.  The Junto’s accommodations feature contemporary touches such as oversized custom-built window benches overlooking the redeveloped Scioto River, for versatile dining or workspace, custom art programming and well-curated materials. Spacious suite options from one-bedroom suites with extended terraces artfully dubbed “The City Escape”, to “The Apartment” a thoughtfully designed 1,200 square foot suite with a separate living area to a unique set of custom bunkbed rooms, and “The Loft” a spacious accommodation ideally situated for entertaining, offerings that were crafted for a truly different experience.

To further enrich guests’ experiences, The Junto is proud to introduce a diverse lineup of programming including outdoor activations for the neighboring community with Maudine’s Night School and The Trade Room Talks. These thought-provoking events invite our guests and community to have fun, be inspired and foster connections through experiences with influential local cultural voices. The Trade Room will also come alive with live music every Friday, providing the perfect backdrop for unforgettable evenings. The Junto is excited to host a series of vibrant events that celebrate the spirit of Columbus, coinciding with the abundance of city events and festivals.  

Following the opening of The Junto, the team will unveil several new culinary experiences in the summer months, such as – Little West Tavern, a wood-hearth neighborhood tavern that will deliver a menu comprised of honest wood-fired select cuts and a range of classic pours. Brass Eye, the dynamic rooftop bar is the perfect place to unwind and be inspired by one of our founder fathers who knew how to have fun and not be too serious. Benny Frank’s Drinker’s Dictionary will make you laugh and want to have one more. For guests on the go or for those looking to settle in, The Junto will also offer Maudine’s, a neighborhood coffee shop welcoming guests with morning breakfast pastries and a custom blend. End the evening with late-night naughty eats at Little West Poutine window, a craveable, walk-up window where night owls can indulge in the classic treat.

Offering an array of exciting amenities at the Gear Garage, guests can easily explore the outdoor offerings within Columbus. Inviting guests to choose their own adventure, this over-the-top amenity provides guests access to a variety of equipment. From bikes and kayaks to skateboards, scooters, GoPros, picnic kits, adventure backpacks, and more, The Gear Garage sets the stage for memorable outdoor adventures in the city’s breathtaking metro parks. Additional wellness amenities include the fitness center, offering Peloton bikes and Rogue Fitness equipment.

To celebrate, The Junto welcomes guests to adventure to Columbus with special offers that include experiences, upgrades and complimentary retail, food and beverage offerings with rates starting at $269 USD. To learn more or make a reservation, please visit or by calling 888-976-2106.

For high-resolution images, please visit HERE.

About The Junto
The Junto is a new 198 room independent lifestyle hotel located on 77 Belle Street in Franklinton, an historic area of Columbus near downtown. Rockbridge CEO and Founder of Makeready, Jimmy Merkel brings this new lifestyle hotel to his beloved hometown. As the visionary behind Makeready – the hospitality company that concepts, manages and operates an independent and diverse collection of brands, Merkel has led the placemaking of award-winning lifestyle and luxury hotels in discerning cities such as Savannah, Charleston, Nashville, Denver, Dallas and now, Columbus.

About Makeready
Designed from the ground up to create truly independent hotel, restaurant and retail brands with individual points of view, Makeready is a different kind of hotel operator, one that provides an opportunity for travelers to connect to the world around them, city by city and person by person. Makeready is passionate about developing independent experiences that are an essential part of each community, cultivating deep, emotional connections across guests, teams and local brands to create sustainable value for investors. Makeready operates notable hotels, restaurants and retail shops throughout the country such as: Noelle, Keep Shop, Hidden Bar and Makeready L&L in Nashville; The Alida and Rhett in Savannah; The Adolphus and Commerce Goods + Supply in Dallas; and Hank’s Seafood Restaurant in Charleston and its elevated venue space for private events, Hank’s Social Hall. Find us online at or Instagram at