5 O'Clock Somewhere: Rule 3
In the writing world, the rule of three dictates that things in trios are inherently more hilarious, clever or satisfying. This is why we have the Three Stooges, Three Musketeers and Three Little Pigs.
Rule 3 knows the value of bunching good things together - the fine establishment just didn't stop at three.
In fact, Pickerington's newest nightlife spot is equal parts lounge, sports bar, family restaurant, video arcade and bowling alley. If that's not enough, you can also play sand volleyball and rent a Wii.
Lovers of fun, rejoice at the pure audacity of this place, which opened Aug. 17.
Once inside the comfy, carpeted confines, head first to one of 14 lanes in the cleanest bowling alley you'll ever see. The shoes are new, and the blond hardwood is gleaming and polished. Frames seemed a bit pricey - $5 per game, $30 per hour - but I rolled over 100 for the first time. No complaints here.
After the final pin drops, you can opt for a roomy, U-shaped bar lined on each side with beautiful televisions or some high-top tables with a more secluded vibe. If you're looking for family-friendly, try a series of cushy booths in the dining area.
Wherever your post, grab an entree and a drink from an extensive collection of both. The bar has plenty of sandwiches, burgers, appetizers and pizzas for less than $10. Detracting nothing from its peers, I highly suggest the World Tour of Fries ($9).
On a plate of potatoes that'll easily sate two hungry gents come up to three fry styles and up to three toppings. The tastiest were beer-battered waffle fries with cheddar, spicy ham and scallions. Other mix-match combos are nearly endless.
To wash it down, you can swallow 33 craft and import bottles starting at $3.50 or a smattering of domestic bottles a bit cheaper. Specialty drinks include martinis, mojitos and the James O'Kane, an adult coffee named for Pickerington's first postmaster.
More curious sippers are invited to a tasting event Saturday, Sept. 19, which will highlight craft breweries including Stone, Left Hand, Clipper City and Jolly Pumpkin.
Rule 3 purveys a distinct family vibe in both theory and practice, but it's not simply a Chuck E. Cheese with a liquor license. You'll enjoy taking your kids for a birthday party, then want to return for date night once the sitter arrives.
650 Windmiller Dr., Pickerington
Hours: 11 a.m.-12 a.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday, 8 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday, 8 a.m.-12 a.m. Sunday
Happy hour: 4-7 p.m. and 10 p.m.-close Monday-Friday: $1 off drafts and domestic bottles, $3 well drinks
In short: Tons of fun for all ages