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Cocktails and Class

May I see a cocktail list? That’s a question you’re likely to toss out at many of Columbus’s finest establishments. But Watershed hands you much more than just a menu, instead opting for an in-depth document detailing the hopes and dreams of its drinks—and the dreamers and those who help shape them. Did the distiller [...]
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May I see a cocktail list?

That’s a question you’re likely to toss out at many of Columbus’s finest establishments.

But Watershed hands you much more than just a menu, instead opting for an in-depth document detailing the hopes and dreams of its drinks—and the dreamers and those who help shape them.

Did the distiller and now kitchen + bar make up their John Wesley Powell School for the Shaken & Stirred? Yeah, probably. But now, everytime you walk in to Watershed, you get to sit down with an honest-to-God “yearbook,” where the staff gets creative in telling you which drinks are destined to be somebody outside their walls.

Owners Greg Lehman and Dave Rigo sit in the superintendent role, the wait staff is the Debate Team, and the Alex Chien (bar) and Jack Moore (kitchen) preside as principals, respectively.

Since the yearbook was the brainchild of the HR Department (Watershed’s in-house marketing team and JWP’s head counselors), we had to get a little extra gossip about the Class of 2017.

Can you give us a little history about the founding of John Wesley Powell? Well…When John Wesley Powell defined a Watershed as that area of land…within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community we removed the word ‘community’ and replaced it with the word ‘school.’ Then we made a school!

Can you tell us a little but about the curriculum, or what a day in the life at JWP is like? The curriculum can be a little tough at times. We spend our mornings learning about syrups, and infusions, and the differences between egg whites and their vegan substitute, aquafaba. We have a course that teaches us different techniques on things like when to shake a cocktail versus when to stir a cocktail. Our instructors let us try spirits that are made here, and ones that come from all over the world so we can build a palate that helps us come up with balanced drinks that everyone can enjoy.

Did the superintendents give you editorial free reign when it comes to the yearbook? Heck yeah! Except for the one time someone scanned a butt and tried to put that butt on one of the pages … they didn’t like the butt. Other than that, we spend about three months brainstorming, and finalizing drinks with Vice Principal Alex Chien, and getting the best designs possible from our amazing Art Teacher Greg Davis. It’s a lot of work, but when we get to see the final product, the whole school is pretty proud.

As school counselors, what are your biggest challenges when it comes to handling a school where all the seniors students are alcohol? It can be difficult sometimes. Some of our spirits can be bullies if you don’t reign them in. Sometimes Bourbon tries to push wimpy flavors like strawberry into a locker, and they’ll get away with it, too, if you don’t step in. Balance between our Senior spirits, and our underclassmen liqueurs and flavors is one of our top priorities. We have weekly meetings with our syrups, and new flavor techniques to talk about their future and potential.

As far as those students, I know you don’t wanna play favorites, but which of them do you think have the most potential, post-JWPSS? We are proud of all of our pupils at JWPSSS, but there are definitely some exceptional students among them. Most Likely to Succeed was voted well…Most Likely to succeed for a reason. Also, Most School Spirit has a way of getting people going, and really bringing well…Spirit to those around them.

Along those lines, who from JWP do you worry about once they leave your warm embrace? One of your staffers appears to be raging against a machine….
Oh, you’re referring to Grant Bain. He can be a little hot-headed at times, but this year he really stepped up as the Debate Team coach, and despite them finishing 8th at districts he can comfortably argue why they deserved 6th at least.

What do the JWP staff do when school is out?
You could say we take it pretty easy. When we aren’t ripping beers on the patio of Seventh Son, we’re probably straight crushing brunch cocktails on Lindey’s patio. You might catch us absolutely slamming Lushies at Oddfellow’s, or getting a mad mind freezer from a Frozen Irish Coffee on the rooftop of Little Rock. For real, hit us up some time. We’ll hang this fall for sure.

What is the class motto for the Class of 2017?

“No regrets”…that, and “everybody Wang Chung tonight.” •

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Food & Drink

Brewery District bakery to close after 10 years

614now Staff

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The Brewery District will be sans a bakery in just a few short days.

After 10 years, Kolache Republic will be serving its last pastry on Saturday, February 8.

"We are truly grateful to our community of customers, friends, family and staff who have supported us in our pursuit to bring a unique food experience to this vibrant city as Columbus’ first and only kolache bakery," wrote Kolache Republic on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/Kolacherepublic/posts/3438844786142628

Other than deciding it was "time to hang up our oven mitts and start a new chapter," the Czech pastry shop did not provide a reason for the closure.

If you're planning on showing a lot of love for Kolache Republic before it closes, Kolache recommends calling ahead for any orders of a dozen or more.

Kolache Republic is located at 730 S High St.

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Food & Drink

Hilliard looking to tap into its first brewery soon

614now Staff

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Orlando-based Crooked Can Brewing is targeting a February launch for their new taproom and brewery space in Hilliard, according to Drink Up Columbus.

The 4,000-square-foot taproom will be joined by a 7,000-square-foot patio, which will provide outdoor seating for the brewery as well as Hilliard's Center Street Market, which is expected to open in March.

The taproom will also feature large viewing windows where patrons can get a behind-the-scenes look at Crooked Can's new 16,000 square foot brewing operation.

Once open, Crooked Can Brewing will be located at 5354 Center Street in Hilliard. For more info, visit Drink Up Columbus.

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Food & Drink

Restaurant Week: High Bank’s $20 deluxe comfort food menu doesn’t disappoint

Regina Fox

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If you've sequestered High Bank into strictly a booze category, you're missing out on one of the most well-executed comfort food menus in Columbus, especially during Restaurant Week.

Weighing in at a mere $20 per person, High Bank's three-course menu is so tantalizing, you'll struggle to pick just one dish from each. Believe me, I certainly did.

Course 1: Choice of Garden Salad, Nacho Fries, Loaded Baked Potato, Five Ways Spaghetti

With great power (being tasked with choosing just one starter) comes great responsibility (making sure I pick the best). Luckily, there really is no wrong move.

Ever had Taco Bell's Nacho Fries? High Bank's are better. Crispy, battered fries smothered in melty queso, seasoned beef, refried beans, and a generous heap of sour cream make for an elevated, indulgent, heavyweight starter. The portion is definitely big enough to share, but I wouldn't blame you if you didn't.

Course 2: Choice of High Bank Bacon Cheeseburger, Queso-Rito, Spicy Chicken Sandwich, High Bank Bowl

Since stick-to-your-bones food is officially back in season, you have to get down to High Bank for their fried chicken menu items. The chicken is battered using an incredibly light and crunchy buttermilk, fried, then dusted with cayenne that leaves a warm glow on your palate—not too hot, not too mild.

Restaurant Week features two chicken entrees: the Spicy Chicken Sandwich and the High Bank Bowl.

The sandwich is an instant comfort food classic, but the High Bank Bowl is like the designer version of KFC's Famous Bowl. The mashed potatoes are perfectly salted and buttered, the sweet corn adds just the right amount of sweetness and pop, and the cheese and gravy culminate into a savory sauce. Colonel Sanders would be impressed.

Course 3: Choice of Mint Chocolate Sandwich, Snickerdoodle Sandwich, Oreo Sandwich

At this point, I was almost too full to function, but I had to press on. To absolutely no one's surprise, High Bank's third course did not disappoint.

The Snickerdoodle Sandwich came with two perfectly under-baked snickerdoodle cookies bookending a lump of hard-dip butter pecan ice cream. Drizzles of white chocolate over top sent this dessert into the winner's circle.

I can't remember the last time I felt so repleted, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat, and so should you. At just $20 a head, this is a deal you can't afford to miss.

Click here to check out High Bank's Restaurant Week menu. To learn more about Restaurant Week January 20-25, visit eat614.com.

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