Classic Columbus Haunts: Old Mohawk Cafe

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

First meal served: 1933

Down Memory Lane: Almost assuredly a Prohibition-era speakeasy, the vintage brick building on the corner of Mohawk and Kossuth became a legitimate gin mill as quickly as possible with therepeal of that"what-were-we-thinking?" experiment. Back then, the joint was calledElks Tavern, for ownerMyles Elk,an immensely fat man said to have raised turtles in the basement for the place's popular turtle soup.

The tavern's name changed to the Mohawk Grill in 1947 when Elk passed on to that great saloon in the sky. After briefly becoming "Tiffany's" in the '70s, it claimed its much better, present-day title.

Between the aisles: That classic German Village look - brick walls,local art, accumulated clutter and a loopy sense of humor - pervades the comfy-as-your-favorite-sneakersOld Mohawk. There's also a standoutphoto of a squatting Myles, a distinguishing horseshoe-shaped bar and (fittingly) a Tiffany lamp with happy prancing turtles on it.

On the plate: Turtle Soup, of course (tastes like a homeybeef and veggie, with only a hint of sea creature); thick and crispcheese and bacon-covered house fried kettle chips; the duly famous Mother Mohawk sandwich (roast beef and superior house-made chicken salad); andterrific bratwurst sandwiches starring brats made in Bucyrus (home of the Bratwurst Festival!).

Old Mohawk Cafe

819 Mohawk St., German Village