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5 best campus bars for the not-so-college students

614now Staff

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Woo-hoo college football is back!

But if you think you’re just going to aimlessly waltz around Columbus with no tactical plan this weekend, ho-ho honey, you are dead wrong.

Yeah, you went to Ohio State nine years ago but it is a much different place now. Not to mention how it can kind of resemble a battle field when the Bucks are playing.

You need an agenda.

Don’t freak out though because we are letting you in on the best places to loosen up before the 7:30pm kickoff.

Here it is, the Game Day Game Plan:

South Campus:

The new and improved Chumley’s. It’s just a touch south of Gateway which makes it so much more accessible if you went for bottomless mimosas in the Short North first.

We don’t advise you venture further into the belly of the beast that is Ohio State’s campus unless you want to the vacuumed into the #new2osu chaos so just stop there.

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North Campus

If you’re coming in to campus from the north, be sure to stop at Out-R-Inn.

They hook it up on game days with a Bloody Mary bar, a DJ whose repertoire consists of exclusively Buckeye remixes. Out-R-Inn take their 21+ rule very seriously so you can rest assured you won’t be buying an 18yo a shot unless their fake is like….super good.

If you hike a little more north, pop in to The Little Bar. They project the game on a giant screen outside the bar.

For good measure, trek a little further north to the new Cazuela’s. Enjoy the sunshine and 70-ish degree weather on their massive patio and take advantage of the free chips and salsa.

East Campus:

Anything east of High Street

The Land of the Undergrads. Pretend to be someone’s aunt/uncle and join in on a game of front lawn flip cup.

West campus/Lane Avenue: 


Varsity Club is the OG of game day.

It’ll be crowded with oldies but goodies like yourself just trying to relive their glory days with a warm-ish pint of Coors Lite.

You probably won’t be pressured into a Fire Ball shot at this bar like you would at the aforementioned spots but hey, we can’t make any guarantees—you are on campus after all.

Booze will be flowing again this year inside Ohio Stadium in case you want to pass by all these tap mansions.

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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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