Restaurant review: Press Pub on 5th

G.A. Benton, Columbus Alive
Double Press burger, Original Pi pizza and loaded Cottage Fries with a beer

Amid the din in a crowded new Grandview hot spot, I was just able to pick out the classic-rock song nearly drowned out by the boisterous voices: "Do It Again" by Steely Dan.

"That's a fitting soundtrack selection," I thought, considering I was in the Press Pub on 5th, which offers a carbon-copy of the strongly executed bar-food menu of its Short North sibling, the Press Grill.

Open just a few weeks, Press Pub is still finding its feet, so as of this typing the patio isn't yet functional, lunch hours haven't started and the soundproofing I hope will be installed isn't in place. Despite all this - and the throngs constantly showing up - Press Pub is off to an impressive start.

Occupying the radically rehabbed former Graffiti Burger space, Press Pub's decor is spare. Expect mostly bare walls, understated touches of scarlet and grey, a long bar with four large, muted TVs, floor-to-ceiling windows facing Fifth Avenue, simple wooden tables - one huge and communal - and banquettes resembling church pews.

From about 10 taps, there are a few Ohio slurps such as cider from Rhinegeist and beers from Sideswipe, Land-Grant and the CBC Bodhi I went with for $6.50. While sipping that mood-lifter, my food began arriving in a surprisingly timely fashion given how madhouse-busy and loud the place was that night.

Inexpensive daily specials (e.g. Thanksgiving-style turkey dinners are $10 every Thursday) and tricked-out sandwiches (e.g. griddled chicken with bacon, homemade pesto, fontina cheese, portobellos and more for $8.50) are a big draw, but after a bowl of salty, zingy, meaty and pleasant chicken posole ($4.50) my crew targeted the Press classics: wings, burgers and its distinct "Dover-New Philadelphia-style" pizza.

Ordered "hot," the wonderfully crispy, saucy wings (6 for $8) deliver a vinegary sting; a first-rate blue cheese dip helps tame the hurts-so-good flames. The Press double cheeseburger ($7) - griddle-crisped patties on a toasted bun with melted American cheese, pickles, mayo, leaf lettuce, tomato, red onion and a fried egg - triggers diner-style happiness. Pro tip: the hand-cut cottage fries are uncommonly crunchy, non-greasy discs worth a $2 splurge.

And ordering the "original" pizza ($13.50) with a thick-yet-airy and crunchy, golden-brown crust, tangy sauce, zesty pepperoni (crisp, cupped-up) plus Ohio-made colby cheese is such a simple but rewarding combination, you'll wanna, well, do it again.

Press Pub on 5th

1505 W. Fifth Ave., Grandview