It was 3:35 p.m. on a Tuesday when people began lining up beside the velvet rope at 711 N High Street. A smartly-dressed concierge escorted me to the elevator and hailed me a ride with a swift wave of his hand over a small screen. I rode the elevator up nine stories and was welcomed into Columbus’ newest rooftop bar by a floral wall with neon cursive writing that read, “Lincoln Social.”
Cameron Mitchell really outdid himself with this one, I thought as the fresh air swept me into the lounge. Where walls would normally be found, huge open windows revealed stunning views of the Short North and beyond. Foliage hung from beams of the translucent retractable ceiling that allowed sun to spill onto the ornamental rugs below. The room is anchored by a bright, white bar in the middle.
Beyond the bar are several half-circle booths covered in white fabric and textured pillows. An ivy wall runs the length of the booth area, giving guests an opportunity to “grab the perfect Instagram picture,” according to the Lincoln Social website. It’s in these booths where customers really bring Lincoln Social’s upscale lounge experience to life. Parties have been booking these booths since the bar’s opening and patronizing the sections of Lincoln’s menu meant for parties: bottle service and shareable cocktails. Booth guests are often frequent flyers to another portion of the menu entitled “All the Way Up,” which is a hat tip to the bar’s lofty location, and also the prices—these specific bottles of bubbly and wine start at $160 and end at an
And past the booths is the true al fresco experience. The completely roof-less terrace is home to a fire pit, wrap-around flower beds, plenty of comfortable seating, and, most importantly, one of the most spectacular views of downtown Columbus.
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At this point in my exploration, the clock had struck 4 p.m. and the downstairs floodgates opened. A steady stream of people excitedly poured through the doorway. Some went straight to the bar for a cocktail, others took seats at the long community table or at high tops, but most rushed to the terrace to take in the vista. I sat at the bar and watched the iPhones pan, tilt, and flash at every nook and cranny of the bar. Cameron Mitchell was going for Instagrammable and social media, and I’d be damned if he didn’t nail it. But, the photogenic nature doesn’t stop with the aesthetic.
Nearly every one of Lincoln Social’s cocktails come in their own uniquely beautiful glass. “When Mary Met Arnold,” Lincoln’s take on a boozy Arnold Palmer tea, is served in a dainty blue and white teapot and poured into a matching teacup over dry ice (say hello to the perfect smokey Boomerang). “You Had Me At Hello” is made from Lillet Blanc, aloe, peach-chile, citrus, and served in stemware with a red lipstick kiss on the side, which is actually a scented stamp bartenders press on the glass—a play on the classic service industry faux pas. And “Luke Skywalker,” my personal favorite, is sipped out of a fancy etched rocks glass and garnished with colorful flowers (shoutout to Chloe Emmons at Potion Matcha Bar for hooking up the tea in this tasty drink!). “Tokyo Drift” gets an honorable mention because of its fresh and spicy taste, and its patronization of Watershed’s award-winning Guild Series Gin.
You’re probably feeling pretty hungry after all that booze talk, huh? Lincoln Social kept their menu short, swimming, and even a little bit sweet. I highly recommend Lincoln Social’s Wagyu Beef Sliders. At only $4 a pop, these tasty little beefy buns are worth their weight in gold. But, there are also some standout seafood options, too, like the Lobster Corn Dogs, Shrimp Ceviche, Tuna Poke, and Peeky Toe Crab—all under $15! You just have to promise me you’ll end your Lincoln dining experience with the Birthday Cake Cone, okay? It’s the cutest thing this side of Fiona.
I could spend a few hundred more words describing the knowledgeable and well-groomed staff, the attractive lighting, or how the two modestly-sized TVs above the bar satisfy sporto customers, yet do not distract from the overall ambiance, but I think seven little words will do the trick: people of Columbus absolutely adore Lincoln Social. It’s fresh. It’s unique. It’s the high-end, crowd-pleasing Short North experience you can only get when a rooftop concept and Cameron Mitchell collide. So, get in line Columbus—you’re going to want to see this for yourself.
Lincoln Social is located on 711 N High St.
For more information on the menu and offerings,