Columbus Cars and Coffee Season Opener Roars Into Columbus Zoo

Columbus Cars and Coffee Season Opener Roars Into Columbus Zoo

There is something special about the slightly angry roar emanating from a high performance car, the sound revealing power ready, at any moment, to be unleashed. It’s a like a wild animal, and might be part of the inspiration for the 2017 Cars and Coffee Season 9 opener that took place at the Columbus Zoo’s African Event Center.

Cars and Coffee was founded in 2009 by Paul Milligan, creating a new community for exotic car owners and enthusiasts by combining the casual atmosphere of monthly meets with other special events and unique experiences. 

Columbus Cars and Coffee is one of the largest automotive communities in the Midwest, partnering with select brands such as Nationwide, Huntington, Byers Imports, Honda, Esoteric Auto Detail, and Diamond Cellar to deliver a season of meets, experiences, drives, and fun.

Though the weather was temperamental, hailing as late as 4 p.m. the day of the event, owners and their cars came out in force.  The ominous clouds were no match for the confident drivers who braved the unpredictable Ohio Spring evening.  

The African Event Center is an elegant banquet space on the far side of the Columbus Zoo that comfortably held the hundreds of people attending the sold out party. With its private parking area, sweeping deck overlooking an “African Field”, spacious ballroom and beautiful decor, this space made for the perfect venue to groove to the DJ while socializing, dancing, and enjoying food and drinks. 

The expansive deck was a highlight of the night, offering the feel of being swept away to an African compound watching ostriches and wildebeests enjoying an afternoon stroll around an oversized fire pit.  The crowd was congenial, engaged with conversations about cars, business and life while mingling. The catered food was delicious, and the coffee inspired dancing.

The band’s music was danceable, and engaging with vocals lead by Kristan Omor.

The Diamond Cellar brought out the big guns with several exquisite Patek Philippe watches priced over $50,000.

Guests seemed to really appreciate the Zoo’s exclusive access to small animals. Zookeepers offered an up close and personal experience with a few exotic animals inside the hall.

Is it really a party without fashion models wearing the latest swimwear designs?  

No way!  

Local designer Lubna Najjar brought out the latest from Lubna Designs Spring swimsuit line with a “Victoria Secret” style runway show.

Local Sponsor and manufacturer Honda brought out a few of their Acura NSX hybrid super cars. NSX is the first supercar powered by a bespoke Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, 573-hp power. Engine power and direct electric torque combine for a new kind of dynamic performance, not just in acceleration, but in steering and braking too. The Acura NSX starts at $157,000.

Columbus Cars and Coffee with the Columbus Zoo made this an exciting party. The exotic cars were incredible.

If you missed the season opener, there’s always next year, but until then, check out a monthly meet.

Tony Bentivegna

Tony Bentivegna writes reviews, articles and photographs for NID Magazine and can be reached at [email protected]