5 O'Clock Somewhere: Porter's Pub

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

An appetizer of mini tacos and a faintly Spanish-style portico are the only relics from Azteca's, the Mexican restaurant that once occupied the small building at 5225 N. High St.

Those lamenting the loss should return and check out what's taken over the unassuming digs. Porter's Pub is a quaint, no-frills neighborhood bar that should fit in nicely alongside the beloved mom-and-pop, suds-and-grub standbys in the Riverlea neighborhood, just north of Clintonville.

The building still looks a bit rough from the outside, but fear not. Inside it's clean and open, bearing a layout honed through extensive remodeling before opening several months ago. The feel suffers a bit from a drop ceiling and bright tile floor, but the bar makes its laid-back, fun-with-friends mission clear.

Tables handmade from old barrels pepper the main space, where on Monday night a raucous group was eagerly making its way through a good number of domestic bottles and an informal 501 tourney. Four nice dart boards line a front wall with plenty of space to throw, and bustling leagues run Monday and Wednesday nights.

If you're looking for a bit of a respite from the action, a series of tables is also set up in a small arcade that should entice couples and friends into a good late-night chat. The bar currently closes at 1 a.m., but a full liquor license is in the works.

The crowd is fairly eclectic, demonstrated by jukebox selections ranging from Bon Iver and Robert Palmer to 311 and Kenny Loggins. Drinkers come from across the city, though some regulars can easily stumble home to the residential neighborhood nearby.

Porter's food menu is fairly standard, with familiar features like onion rings alongside a few unexpected ones like Spinach & Artichoke Rangoon. Sandwiches with fries, the pub mainstays, hover around $8, while appetizers range from $3-$6.

That means some very good happy-hour deals - for example, a bottle of Budweiser and a side of mini tacos for $4. Other specials include $5 24-ounce margaritas on Monday, a slate of $5 and $6 martinis on Tuesdays and $3 imports on Thursday.

The bar has been hosting specialty events and will offer a unique twist on the single mingle Saturday, Feb. 13. Men will fill out simple questionnaires, and ladies will browse them to pick the gents they want to get to know better.

Porter's Pub

5225 N. High St., Clintonville


Bar hours: 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Monday-Saturday

Kitchen hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday

Happy hour: 4-6 p.m. weekdays: $2 off appetizers; 4-7 p.m. weekdays: $3 wells and $1.50 domestic bottles

In short: Riverlea's newest neighborhood bar