Columbus, Ohio, February 8, 2023 – Rockbridge and Makeready are proud to announce The Junto will open May 2023 in Columbus, Ohio and is now welcoming reservations at Known for its vibrant art scene, expanding tech industry and historical contributions, Columbus is undergoing an energetic transformation. Beginning in May, Ohio’s capital city will welcome its first independent lifestyle hotel to match its innovative energy.       

The Junto is designed from the ground up to serve as a hub to bring people together within the Columbus community producing an inventive meeting place for locals and travelers alike. The new destination with a variety of restaurants and bars and distinct accommodations will provide a warm welcome with its 198 creatively designed rooms and suites with unexpected touches. 

Rockbridge CEO and Founder of Makeready, Jimmy Merkel is bringing this new concept to his beloved hometown. As the visionary behind Makeready – the hospitality company that concepts, manages, and operates an independent and diverse collection of hotel and restaurant brands, Merkel has led the placemaking of award -winning lifestyle and luxury hotels in discerning cities such as Charleston, Savannah, Nashville, Denver, Dallas and now Columbus. 

“I am proud of the team we have built at Makeready to steward the vision of creating connective places and destinations that make a difference within the communities we join” Merkel, notes. “We consider it part of our job to understand the soul of the cities we build in and I couldn’t be more excited to bring The Junto to my hometown”.  

With an emphasis on public gathering spaces, The Junto will be both a destination and a landmark of the area, helping to add value to the future of Columbus. A modern-day embodiment of the former club of the same name, the original “club for mutual improvement” was founded by Ben Franklin in 1727 to bring people together to improve society. The independent lifestyle hotel aims to give people from all backgrounds – visitors, locals, entrepreneurs, and artists alike a place to come together, exchange ideas, and inspire one another. 

The Junto aspires to attract the neighboring communities a little west of downtown and near Franklinton, an historic area of Columbus, Ohio that continues to evolve and attract creatives, restauranteurs, private businesses, and cultural difference makers. A nod to the spirit of going a ‘little west’ to continue growth and prosperity.  

“The Junto has been intentionally programmed as a space where people and ideas can thrive. This destination exemplifies the creativity, and the evolving growth Columbus is becoming known for while connecting people from all backgrounds to gather and become inspired,” Christine Magrann, President and COO of Makeready, states. “We look forward to fostering a deep relationship between this great community and The Junto in May.”  

Come May, the lineup will include many options to explore and dine at The Junto. Enjoy morning breakfast and coffee with grab and go at Maudines, or tuck into the Trade Room for cocktails, conversation, and a cozy fireside library. The neighborhood rooftop bar Brass Eye will be a new local stomping ground where the drinker’s choice is served amid sweeping downtown views. Or guests may experience an honest wood-hearth cooking restaurant, Little West Tavern, where they can grab a seat at the bar to watch a game or a table with friends, day or night. End the evening with late night naughty eats at Little West Poutine window, a curious, craveable, walk-up window where night owls can indulge in the classic treat.  

The guest rooms feature contemporary touches such as oversized custom-built window benches overlooking the redeveloped Scioto River, local artistry, versatile dining, or workspaces. From one- bedroom suites with extended terraces artfully dubbed “The City Escape” and a more than 1,200 sq. ft one bedroom suite with separate living area known as “The Apartment,” to a unique set of custom bunkbed rooms, the spaces were carefully crafted for a truly different experience. The notable touches include signature Zenology Sycamore Fig fragranced amenities, and a copy of No Idea is Final: Quotes from the Creative Voices of Our Time all combine to set a tone of comfort and ease, perfect for personal relaxation or professional inspiration.  

Celebrate, gather and provoke creative business together in more than 13,000 square-feet of thoughtfully laid out event and meeting space with oversized expansive windows opening to a large, wrapped balcony overlooking the surrounding green-scape and downtown city views unlike any other space in the area.  

Additionally, The Gear Garage will offer guests complimentary recreational equipment including bikes, scooters and longboards for exploring the local area and downtown offerings. For those seeking a fitness center, The Junto offers Peloton bikes and Rogue Fitness equipment.  

As the hotel is introduced, new partnerships, amenities and packages will be unveiled that embody the many layers of interesting ideas which come from bringing people together.  

The Junto is now welcoming reservations, with an exclusive Grand Opening offer, The Founders Package. Enjoy a complimentary upgrade based on availability upon arrival, a signature keepsake from The Junto, food and beverage perks and access to our Gear Garage to customize your Columbus adventure. Book this debut offer between January 16 and June 30, 2023 for a two night stay between June 1 and August 31, 2023. This debut offer may be booked online at