Drinking in the sun: Columbus' best spots for warm-weather boozin'
Winter has been one rude dude, Columbus. Now that spring has arrived (albeit fashionably late), it's time to properly reward yourself for fighting the urge to cuss-out the local meteorologist. From rooftop bars to sprawling patios, we've rounded up some of the city's best spots to work on your tan while you work on your buzz.
2791 N. High St., Clintonville
The crew over at Lineage Brewing might have moved their brewing operation from the garage, but they kept the garage door. Transforming a Clintonville carwash into an airy 70-seat pub and brewery, Lineage offers a sunny spot to sip one of its signature beers. Brushed steel and blonde wood accent the minimally adorned interior, and a huge glass garage door opposite the bar allows you to soak up the rays without being hit directly in the face with sunlight. Grab one of the in-house brews like Shoot-The-Chutes cream ale or the Spaceship #6 IPA to sip on while you nosh on cheese plates, a bacon spread or duck confit pies.
The Pint House
780 N. High St., Short North
The sprawling space that is The Pint House seems hardly feasible in the cramped Short North, but the roomy spot is only part of the reason to post up at the arts district bier garten. Not only does the Pint House offer retractable windows for ultimate people watching, but if you find yourself a little farther back in the bar you can still get a healthy dose of vitamin D from the retractable roof. It's a sunroof for the bar! Enjoy elevated pub grub like braised short ribs and Mahi tacos, or try a limited-release brew during a tap takeover, like Four String Brewing's special beer release on May 2.
955 W. Fifth Ave., Grandview
Red sneakers and high-end grub abound in Grandview's answer to the Put-In-Bay bar scene. To keep in-step with the weekend-getaway spot from which the original concept hails, an indoor-outdoor bar runs through the center of the space to the patio, separated by a large retractable door. In summer months enjoy your favorite party band, a burger and a bourbon from the extensive list while you sit outside at the opposite end of the bar.
Also worth checking out: Seventh Son Brewing Co., Arch City Tavern, The Pearl
229 Civic Center Dr., Downtown
Nestled between Franklinton and Downtown, Milestone 229 offers the best patio for a romantic evening. Bicentennial Park (with 15,000 square feet of interactive fountains), COSI and the Columbus skyline serve as the backdrop while you dine on favorites like Skillet Mac 'n Cheese and Milestone Wings, or go all-in on filet mignon. Milestone 229's lengthy wine and martini list will be sure to appease any palate. If the weather takes a turn, move the party inside without compromising the view. Floor-to-ceiling windows make every seat the best seat in the house. Pro-tip: Get a reservation during the Columbus Arts Festival and peruse the vendor booths after dinner for the perfect date night.
893 N. Fourth St., Italian Village
Fair warning: Exile is not for the faint of heart. The LGBTQ bar with an upstairs fetish shop is a premiere dive for the gay leather community, and for good reason. Weekly events, go-go dancers and even crab racing fill out the schedule at Exile. But if things get too hot inside, post up on the endless patio behind the building to enjoy the cool night air and a strong drink. Exile's prime location, ample parking and cheap drinks make a walk on the wild side well worth the hangover.
482 S. Front St., Brewery District
The Brewery District hangout is best known for hosting some of the best up-and-coming indie acts, but even on an off-night, Double Happiness is a prime location for summer imbibing. Outside the cozy, Asian-inspired bar is a top-shelf patio complete with stadium seating and a view of Front St. Sip on your favorite no-frills cocktail and soak up some rays before checking out your next favorite band.
220 W. Nationwide Blvd., Arena District
Located in the heart of the Arena District, Nada is a colorful and vibrant Mexican-inspired restaurant with a patio as lively as the décor. Serving ceviche, queso, taquitos and more, it's the perfect place to enjoy the warm weather and a frosty margarita. If you're hitting up an outdoor show at LC Pavilion, save yourself the "Oh hell, I forgot to bring cash" headache by pre-gaming at Nada. If you over-do it on the tequila, just sober up on the stroll.
Also worth checking out: Union Café, Park Street Patio, Rehab Tavern, Club 20, Woodlands Tavern
ROOF TOP BARS
The Big Bar & Grill
1716 N. High St., Campus
The rowdy campus haunt next to the Newport Music Hall offers everything a Big 10 campus bar should: OSU football on projector screens, EDM dance parties and (most importantly) cheap drinks. But for those of us without a college ID, the Big Bar can still be a summer drinking destination. Take in the view of the Ohio Union and south campus on the Big Bar's slick rooftop bar, outfitted with hanging lights and a glass barricade around the side. Pair the view with a thumping beat and enough shooters for a "magic carpet ride" experience. Those with vertigo need not apply.
The Crest Gastropub
2855 Indianola Ave., Clintonville
Clintonville's favorite gastropub excels in locally sourced grub, hand-crafted cocktails and an ever-evolving local beer list, but its lush rooftop bar and patio adds a new dimension to day drinking. The Crest boasts a commitment to fresh food and sustainability, which is why so much of what it serves was actually grown in its rooftop garden. This means delicious food and a garden-like ambiance in the spring and summer. So surround yourself with greenery and sunlight while you take in the lively atmosphere.
520 Park St., Arena District
Overlooking the North Market and Goodale Park, Callahan's rooftop bar offers a great view in a bustling social hub. Serving nachos, pizzas and salads along with a basic list of drafts and cocktails, the Irish-themed bar has something for most palates. If you dig the rowdy vibe of a campus dance club, stop by on Saturday nights for the live broadcast of Club NCI with DJ Gonzo and Nate Tyler.
Also worth checking out: The Social Room, Novak's Tavern and Patio