Your bar is My Bar

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

My Bar 161 is your bar. You can't have everything your way there - like free drinks or TV remote privileges - but owner Chris Hale earnestly aims to please all types.

"I'm here for the people in the area," he said.

Hale became the bar's owner two years ago. After 15-plus years in the bar biz, he's proud to call it his first bar. Wedged between Dublin and Linworth, the tidy little pub emanates an intimate neighborhood vibe in an otherwise detached area near Sawmill Road.

In just four years of operation, My Bar 161 has nurtured a hearty, loyal crew of regulars. The bar's staff - including many of Hale's family members - help create an inviting atmosphere for saddling up and rolling down your sleeves.

A long island bar with dark wood trim and old country knickknacks mix with beer signs and huge projection TVs for an atmosphere somewhere between an English pub and an American sports bar.

Sports gazing is a big draw at My Bar 161, and free food during OSU games - like chili, burgers and coneys - pleases fans hungry for victory. In addition to a happening happy hour, the bar boasts wallet-friendly, all-hours daily specials like Tuesday's $1 select domestic bottles and $3 subs or Wednesday's $3 Long Islands.

Supplementing games like pool and darts, the pub hosts karaoke Thursday nights and pop/rock-blending DJs on Friday and Saturday. My Bar 161's eclectic crowd teeters toward beer drinkers, and the pub's selection is certainly conducive. You'll find 22-ounce drafts of Bass, Sunset Wheat and Burning River ($4) and bottles like Peroni and Strongbow ($3.50).

In addition to a decent selection of single-malt scotches and small-batch tequilas, the bar reps a brilliantly simple house shot: the Beer Bomb ($4.50) is a bite-free blend of Jager and Frostop Root Beer.

The pub's small Italian menu stands on its own. The Stromboli ($7.75) comes packed tighter than a diva's suitcase with crispy layers of Italian sausage, spiced pepperoni, mozzarella and selected veggies - it's one of the best around. The spaghetti sauce-stuffed Calzones ($6.75) and subs, like the Chicken Parmesan ($6.50), are also noteworthy favorites.

The Crab Parmesan Dip ($6.25) and specialty pies, like the Spinach and Artichoke Pizza ($8.75), are light, share-worthy options. If everything works out, Hale hopes to expand the bar next door and fill out the pub's culinary capabilities.