Plank’s Bier Garten is known for several things. Theirs is one of the best pizzas in the city. Regular patrons have revered their Dagwood sandwich for years. We let that secret out of the bag several months back in our Nine for Nine section. The establishment itself is warm and rustic—a prime spot for locals, Ohio State Alumni and, of course, the softball players who kick up their cleats nightly during the summer.
But if there’s anything that this local haunt is known for, aside from its great beer selections and pizza, it’s the Plank family and the staff they keep on hand. It’s the true reason why people keep coming back again and again. It’s also one of the reasons why Christine “Chris” Plank, decided to stay enveloped in the family business for most of her life.
“In 1973 I was working in Florida and I got a call from my family asking me to come back and help manage the bar,” says Plank. “I’ve been here ever since.” Having grown up with three brothers (Dan, Billy and Don) under the guidance of her parents (Willy and Marilyn Plank), one would think that Chris is as tough as nails. She admits she really is a true softy. “I’m not tough enough when I need to be,” she laughs.
Although her true reason for coming back was so she could spend time with her dad, she is still attracted to the history her family has established in this city. She has informed her daughters, ages 11 and 17, that, while they may not realize it, they come from a “famous” family, and there is always someone in the city that knows their name. Plus, she likes the fact that she has helped create an atmosphere that is welcoming and entertaining. “You can come here and feel safe and feel at home,” she says. “It’s a fun place to hang out.”