Park Street Cantina unveils largest whiskey bar in Columbus

Anthony Dominic, Crave

It took Fadi Michael the better part of six months to build what he says is the largest whiskey library in Ohio-and he's not done gathering bottles yet. In addition to sharing his passion for whiskey, Michael hopes the new 300-bottle bar will distinguish his Arena District pub.

"Columbus is turning into a micro-brewery town," Michael says. "Everyone has 50 beers on tap, but nobody has 300 whiskeys on the shelf."

Park Street's inventory now includes nearly every bourbon and Scotch whisky listed in Ohio, all available by 1- or 2-ounce pours or customizable flights. Park Street will also host weekly tastings, usually held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays. For $10 to $20, guests will taste a select distillery's product line and, in most cases, meet a rep from the distillery. Next Tuesday, Nov. 11, famed distiller Jimmy Russell of Wild Turkey will be at Park Street for a tasting and meet and greet.

Park Street is also featuring whiskies of the month, with November being Evan Williams' single barrel bourbon. "This is part of the education component of the bar," Michael says. "Think of it as advertising; the bartenders will push that whiskey, but we'll likely include one or two cocktails with that whiskey."

Fadi sought rare scotches, like The John Walker whisky, which sells for about $3,500 per bottle (that translates to about $480 per glass, Michael says), as well as an assortment of orphan whiskeys from around the world-or those that were barrel-aging but not bottled at the time their distilleries shuttered.

"You don't walk into any liquor store for these whiskeys," Michael says. "They're not easy to hunt down. But every time there's a new limited edition, we'll be the first to know about it, the first to have it."