It’s a sun-drenched Saturday evening in late May, and it is HOT. In other words, it’s time for a drink. With summer kicking into full swing for Ohio State students, that can only mean that it’s officially Patio Season for your favorite campus watering holes. This month, we hit two iconic bars at golden hour to catch the temperature of their outdoor accommodations.
Ethyl & Tank
We got to Ethyl a little before 7 p.m., and the walk alone was enough to coax me into perspiration. The heat was a good indication that the fine folks of Columbus, often deprived of ideal climatic conditions, would be enjoying their beverages outdoors. This was certainly no exception at Ethyl. Without the hubbub of a football game day or the excess population of the typical school semester, it may have taken another couple hours for patrons to begin flooding in, but the majority of the guests at the bar were on the patio. The rustic brick exterior of Ethyl provides an attractive backdrop for its High Street-perpendicular patio space. The vibe was laid back, with a few groups of three or four people content to toss back pints of beer as they sat around the gray marble island-style patio tables. As Ethyl’s interior boasts two spacious floors, its patio is slight by comparison. Nonetheless, it is as good a location as most to enjoy happy hour refreshments, which run from 2-6 p.m. on Saturdays. Although offering signature cocktails and a beer of the month selection for $4 is no slouch, the real unsung hero of Ethyl is its food selection. A 12-piece spicy garlic wing and a craft beer on tap does not make for a bad combo outdoors on a summer weekend.
Lucky’s Stout House
Around an hour later we found ourselves further south of campus, enchanted by the charms of Irish-inspired Lucky’s Stout House. With an unassuming, hole-in-the-wall exterior and a location several blocks down from Ohio State’s official parameters, Lucky’s may seem like a well-kept campus secret. But you wouldn’t be able to tell from the crowd. We arrived at the peak of Lucky’s renowned 7-9 p.m. Saturday power hour, and the pub was packed accordingly. Luckily we managed to sidestep the $5 cover charge on the strength of our prestigious media credentials (1870 t-shirts). Boasting $1 drinks, it was no mistake that the stout house was sprawling with life inside and out. The patio, described by Ohio State engineering major and first-time Lucky’s attendee Meghan McDuff as “cute and trendy,” was the main attraction. Lucky’s patio is constructed to provide space and seating for the inevitable droves showing up for cheap booze. With the sun beginning to set, there was a golden shimmer bending and stretching around the self-contained patio space. Complete with large picnic tables, the Lucky’s patio is under a wooden terrace, shut in with fences and shrubbery that lend an organic atmosphere to the space. If simply guzzling down dirt-cheap buckets of beer and conversing with friends doesn’t scratch all your weekend itches, Lucky’s provides cornhole boards for customers to conjure up their competitive spirit. McDuff may have summed it up best with this description of Lucky’s: “It’s cheap, and it’s less ratchet than Midway.”