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A night at Lincoln Social Rooftop

Last month, the iconic OSU Sophomore tweeted, “BREAKING: if you do not get your picture taken in front of the Lincoln Social plant flower wall this summer, you’re banned from block this fall.” Here at 1870, we don’t take warnings like this lightly, so I headed on over to Lincoln Social Rooftop on a Thursday night to snap some pictures and see what the buzz was about.

Located at 711 North High Street, right next to Forno, and across from the Columbus special Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Lincoln Social Rooftop is in a prime location of downtown that gets quite a lot of foot traffic. When I arrived at 8:00 p.m., there was already a short line congregating in the chic marble lobby, comprised mostly of middle- aged men and women, seemingly coming for an after-work drink. I immediately had my ID checked at the front desk and promptly again before entering the elevator that whisks patrons to the roof. I didn’t take this personally; I have the face of a 12-year-old, but it immediately gave me the vibe that college students looking to get rowdy wasn’t exactly Lincoln Social’s target clientele.

Upon reaching the top floor, I turned a corner and lo and behold, there was the backdrop of every sorority girl’s Instagram post from the past month: the famous and highly regarded flower wall with LED lights spelling out “Lincoln Social” in a boujee cursive font. I slunk by groups taking artsy shots with the sign and walked into the bar. The atmosphere screamed “classy” and “professional”. Most of the customers were in their late twenties to early thirties, dressed in business casual or what I imagine garden party attendees wear. My friends and I instantly got stares from most of them; we were easily the youngest ones there and it showed. I tried to channel my inner middle- aged mother and tried to walk through the crowd like someone who always wants to talk to the manager at grocery stores.

Think O Patio meets the Ritz Carlton.”

With a beautiful U-shaped bar, views of the downtown skyline, hanging greenery, and a variety of plush seating areas, Lincoln Social dazzled in comparison to other bars. It was obvious that this was no Sky Bar. Determined to make the most of my night out on the town, my friends and I scrambled to find a table and examined the menu. There were a couple of different food options, and even though they were pricey, I was starving and sacrificed my wallet to order a lobster-filled corn dog for $5, expecting my appetite to be satiated. Therefore, I was severely disappointed when the waiter brought out one mini corn dog embellished with a drizzle of pomegranate mustard. However, the plating was impeccable; it could give even Gordon Ramsay an orgasm, and the taste alone made up for my prior disappointment.

Photo by Fikunmi Idowu

Most of the drinks were also on the expensive side; cocktails “When Mary Met Arnold” and “The Real McCoy” were at the cheap end of the list at $10, while the priciest choices were the “Old Fashioned” or “Don’t Kill My Vibe” at $14. I personally chose “A Kiss From a Rose”, made up of Moet Chandon Rose, lemon, and pomegranate. It was delicious, had a bit of a sour tang, and well worth the $11 spent. After one drink and the corn dog, however, my pockets were empty, and I left the rooftop without even being slightly buzzed. For those looking to wild out on a night out, I’d recommend stopping somewhere for dollar bombs beforehand. Or even bringing a ask of cheap tequila.

Toward the end of the night, small bon res were ignited for the masses to congregate around. Think O Patio meets the Ritz Carlton. It was a beautiful way to light up the night while peering out at the sparkling downtown view; standing by the window looking out at the city beyond me almost made me forget that I’m spending my summer in Ohio of all places. The cosmopolitan vibes makes Lincoln Social a great place to pretend you actually got your dream internship in New York City or Chicago: that is, if you can ignore the High Street construction that sits right below you.

All in all, Lincoln Social Rooftop was definitely a different experience than my usual encounters at Midway, and allowed me to escape my dreary, boring routine and pretend that I was a part of the “Sex and the City” cast. It allows many different spots for mid- summer photo ops, so if you’re not vacationing anywhere exotic and looking to class up your Insta feed, I would head over early when you can get that perfect “golden hour” post. While I think I’ll personally always prefer my regular haunts like Ethyl or Chumley’s, I’ll definitely be visiting Lincoln Social Rooftop again.

Header photo by Brian Kaiser

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Meera Mathur

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