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Closer To God

Columbus levels up their patio game. VASO | 6540 Riverside Dr. Look, we know that it gets cliche to say something or someplace provides a whole new view of the city, but atop VASO, it doesn’t feel Dublin, and it certainly doesn’t feel like Columbus. One of the more exciting facets of the suburb’s new Bridge [...]
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Columbus levels up their patio game.

VASO | 6540 Riverside Dr.

Look, we know that it gets cliche to say something or someplace provides a whole new view of the city, but atop VASO, it doesn’t feel Dublin, and it certainly doesn’t feel like Columbus. One of the more exciting facets of the suburb’s new Bridge Park development, its upscale rooftop space is cozy and contemporary at once, and the see-for-miles perspective of the county is as impressive as they come. (Plus, you can see all the hospitals from there!)

Novak’s Tavern & Patio | 474 N High St.

The OG of the OT (on top) drinking space. Back in the day, their tiny square of fire-escape-adjacent was what sufficed for legal rooftop revelry, and when the new owners took over a few years back they made sure to put dollars and thought into the space. It’s really just a bar—but that’s part of its charm. No dance parties; no Jenga, just a place to belly up to the bar—where you can turn your back to the world and get a little sun on your neck.

Callahan’s | 520 Park St.

One of old-school rooftop spaces, Callahan’s is one of the few bars that may be better known for their second floor than their ground floor space. After recently renovating their space, it’s alive again with a good old-fashioned bump-and-grind dancefloor, something we could all use a little of every once in awhile.

Juniper | 580 N Fourth St.

You’re not really doing Columbus right now if you haven’t made at least one visit to Juniper. Doubling as the best wedding view and patio, this for-rent venue on the weekends, bar/restaurant during the week has made quite the splash atop the Smith Brothers building since its opening last year. Mind the calendar, though: it’s only open to the public Tuesday-Friday, and could be booked for a private event.

BrewDog Franklinton | 463 W Town St.

The rakish lads from Scotland never do anything without fanfare, and the second of their two new brewpubs is no exception. Its open-air, two-story concept is an imposing addition to the Town Street block of Franklinton, the literal crowning achievement being the second floor patio. One of the best, and perhaps the only patio view of the city from the West Side, you can easily gather the crowd in front of the corrugated steel-covered container bar from street level. Extra points for massive bean bag chairs and access from indoors and out. At BrewDog, you’re on top of the world—but looking up to Columbus.

RAM | 906 N High St.

These guys can claim the only rooftop space in the hottest area of town (Short North) and its half-facade provides cozy cover and a little protection from the elements. No frills here—just all chill.

Little Rock Bar | 944 N Fourth St.

One of the first new bars to kick-start the rooftop rally, Little Rock is on their second summer of secondary space—a small L-shaped outdoor lounge that complements the main floor’s beer-and-shot simplicity. No smoking, no cover, and no worries overlooking Fourth Street’s busy buzz.

Seventh Son | 1101 N Fourth St.

It was a 4/20 miracle when Seventh Son pulled off a last-minute open of their new second floor space just in time for Willie Nelson’s birthday (needs fact-checking). Never afraid to do their own thing, Seventh Son’s next-level expansion isn’t open to all of Columbus—but to all people, of course. Retractable roof tiles give them the advantage of year-round use, giving it adaptability for all seasons. It’s not the old Seventh Son, but it’s an even better version of the same vibe.

Platform Beer Co. | 408 N Sixth St.

Just like their Cleveland birthplace, Platform is the blue-collar lunch pail patio of the capital city. Come by on Tuesdays to drink for a good, rotating cause and take a pint up-top where you can once say you saw the city before it developed into what it is today (tomorrow).

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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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