Go wild at these warm weather patio and rooftop bars.
Weekends in Columbus are my favorite, especially during warm months when I can sit in an outdoor section and nurse my gin and tonic. If you’re anything like me, finding a good bar with decent appetizers is like striking gold, but the following pubs go above and beyond my relatively low bar standards. From “the best karaoke in Columbus” to a 3-story bar with a rooftop patio, this list surely has something for even the most picky of pioneers.
Partying On The Patio
This is where you go if you want to get drunk, and I mean really drunk. There are a few craft beers behind the counter, but PBR is just as accessible. Similarly, they serve cheap keg beer and “liquid dope,” described as a sweet “alcoholic mess of drink.” This pub has nightly drink specials, pizza from a local joint, and a hunting lodge vibe that will resonate with even the most anti-hunting of folks (me, I’m talking about myself). Thanks to all the construction between 15th and High, O Patio won’t be in its current spot by this time next year so you gotta make the most of this dope patio before it’s another high rise, multi-use building.
Fourth Street claims to have the best karaoke in Columbus, but what deserves more of a shout out is their wide open patio. Open until 2 a.m. everyday, this unique Fourth Street pit stop always looks inviting with its streamed lights hanging from the patio creating that uber hipster vibe that fits anyone’s Instagram aesthetic. Perhaps the most unique thing about this place is that it has a beer school, and as a wannabe beer connoisseur myself, I am so here for it. The class is offered the second Monday of every month, and for $10, participants receive five 5 oz pours of beer, swag from the hosting brewery, and the opportunity to drink with and learn from the best. Also, you get unlimited $3 pints of the beer you learned about for the rest of the month, and the appetizer combos you can create to pair it with seem truly endless.
Standard Hall, in conjunction with its sister locations Forno and Pint House, aims to impress the Short North community with superior customer service and inspiring products. They don’t fall short, given their signature items like boozy popsicles, and a kick-ass brunch menu. Seriously, you need to try the Nashville hot chicken wings. Beyond the delicious hot chicken you can chow down on, Standard offers a large patio with access to the inside bar as well as a boozy truck serving up your alcoholic treats, life-sized Jenga, and weekly specials like the 90’s themed Throwback Thursdays.
Relaxin’ On The Rooftop
The Big Bar & Grille
This 3-story bar has something for everyone, from 21 flat screen TV’s to a rooftop patio with its own bar. Located on N. High in the heart of campus, this is one of the few true rooftop patio in Columbus that offers a full view of High Street and Downtown Columbus. Get your Snapchats ready because we already know you’re going to want to pose with the city as your backdrop. They also have a new club-like atmosphere with premier dance lighting, professional DJ’s and specialized hours; Thursday-Saturday, 8pm-2am. Thursdays are for the 18+ and they offer specials like half off drinks all night with no cover charge, while Friday and Saturday have specific discounted beverages, like $1 bombs and $4 Miller or Coors Light in bottles.
RAM Restaurant & Brewery
With 24 locations spanning across six states, the RAM stays busy with daily business and event hosting since their humble beginnings in 1971. The N. High Street location keeps things fresh with drink selection as their beers are constantly changing with the seasons. The rooftop patio here definitely fits into the vibe of the Short North; a heavy emphasis on modern design with rustic elements. During happy hour, you can happily overlook either direction of High St. running through the Short North as you sip on a $3.75 beer without a care in the world. As for the drunken bites, I’m craving their beer battered fish and chips, but also want to explore the “substitute any beef patty with a veggie burger” option. Nevertheless, no visit is complete without a dirt cup, which is essentially chocolate or vanilla pudding with crumbled Oreos and gummy worms. What more can you ask for?
This historic bar/restaurant has been open in Grandview since 1925 and now has two sister locations; Hadley’s and Balboa. Located on W. 3rd Ave., the Grandview Cafe is a walkable hangout for residents, and its focus on community keeps them coming back. The vibe of Grandview is modern, but you won’t feel like you stepped into some pretentious bar when you are here. The drink prices are fair—$14 for a pitcher of Jackie O’s Ricky Golden Ale is a damn steal—and you can get that same glass of Jackie O’s for $10, plus pair a fried chicken dinner on Tuesdays. Add in a happy hour on Monday through Friday offering discounted beer prices, $10 pizza, and half off all local spirits from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Grandview Cafe just became your drunken paradise above the streets.