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Level Up: Everything you need to know about rooftop bars

614now Staff

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You may not know it, but we are in the midst of a very exciting week for rooftop patios!

For starters, Dublin’s winter wonderland rooftop at VASO will be changing out it’s Instagram-worthy igloos for patio furniture for the first time this season. On May 1, the tapas restaurant in Bridge Park will invite guests out onto the patio for entertainment by DJ Anthony and spectacular sunset views.

Seats are limited and outside tables are first come, first serve. Visit VASODublin.com to reserve your spot.

Also this week, we have a new rooftop bar player entering the game: Lincoln Social. With a retractable roof and a fire pit, Lincoln Social Rooftop guest can experience a superb bar program, carefully crafted bites, Instagrammable features, and a beautiful view of the Columbus skyline year-round.

With an expectation like Cameron Mitchell’s this grand opening celebration on April 30 is sure to draw a crowd. Visit cameronmitchell.com for more info.

Scroll down for a look at 8 of our favorite rooftop bars in Columbus!

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 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, it’s upscale rooftop space is cozy and contemporary at once, and it’s see-for-miles perspective of the county is as impressive as they come. (Plus, you can see all the Wendy’s from there!) there is this thing

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

The OG of the OT (on top) drinking space. Back in the day, there 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 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 dance floor, something we could all use a little of every once in awhile.

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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 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.

Platform Beer Co. • 408 N Sixth St.

Just like their Cleveland birthplace, Platform is the blue-collar lunch pale 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).

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 lounger that complements the main floor’s beer-and-shot simplicity. No smoking, no cover, and no worries overlooking Fourth Street’s busy buzz.

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. It’s open-air, two-story concept is imposing addition 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 westside, 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, having a Friday night surrounded from a fun standpoint.

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 year-round use, giving it adaptability for all seasons. It’s not the old Seventh Son, but it’s same vibe—even if it feels transporting taking an astroturfed elevator to get to it.

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Food & Drink

Restaurant Week Sneak Peek: Wolf’s Ridge Brewing

Regina Fox

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In less than 10 years at its natural sunlight-soaked digs on N 4th Street, Wolf's Ridge Brewing has managed to become a place revered not only for brewing some of the best beers the city has to offer, but also for serving some of the best food.

What better time to experience them both than Restaurant Week January 20-25?

We were lucky enough to get a sneak peek of Wolf's Ridge three-course menu before it was released to the public, and we think you're really going to like it.

First Course: Choice of baked brie, endive salad, or bread and butter

The endive salad offered depths with every bite: the brightness of the shaved pear, the fresh earthiness of the endive, the texture of the fennel, the crunch of the walnuts. But the star of this dish was certainly the pool of tangy, creamy blue cheese dressing hiding below the colorful mixture.

Second Course: Choice of salmon, grilled cauliflower, or pork tenderloin

Without a shadow of a doubt, I believe each one of the entrees offered during Restaurant week are slam dunks, but to me, the choice was obvious: pork tenderloin.

The three plump and pink cuts of pork were so tender, they could be easily cut with just a butter knife. The succulence of the meat played well with the sweet, nutty sunchoke puree, and rich smoked hazelnut butter. Like the french origin suggests, the demi-glace soaked into the tenderloin truly was the "icing" on top.

Third Course: Choice of cheesecake or fudge bar

If at the end of your meal you're feeling bright, light, and flirty, the cheesecake is for you. The toasted coconuts coating the mousse-like rum cheesecake, icy pineapple sorbet and orange marmalade will send your palate on an all-inclusive trip to the seaside.

Feeling a little more dense or moody? The punch of the espresso ice cream, thick chocolate bar, and sticky caramel crémeux will have you closing your eyes, and "mmm"ing through every bite.

At $40, the Wolf's Ridge Restaurant deal is quite possibly the best time to experience the creative, elevated menu. But, you and the other 900,000 residents of Columbus already know that, right? So, don't wait to make your reservation!

To learn more about Restaurant Week January 20-25, visit eat614.com.

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Restaurant Week Sneak Peek: Pig out on amazing deal from Hoggy’s

Mike Thomas

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Longtime fans of barbecue in Central Ohio will remember Hoggy's, the family-owned local barbecue chain which originally opened in 1991. Recent history saw Hoggy's step away from the restaurant game in favor of a thriving catering business. With a newly-renovated store on Bethel road, this OG Columbus BBQ joint is getting back in the retail mix.

Scroll down for an exclusive giveaway

We recently stopped by Hoggy's to preview all the delicious goodness they've cooked up for Restaurant Week. With a deal this sweet, it's time you got reacquainted with this awesome, homegrown barbecue spot!

Restaurant Week Deal: Choose three meats, two sides, and your choice of cobbler or banana pudding, all for $15.

You read that right: THREE meats. While Hoggy's brisket, pulled pork, or pulled chicken are all solid choices, be sure that one of your trifecta of picks is the baby back ribs. These are truly some of the best ribs we've tried in town.

Bonus sleeper pick: we found Hoggy's wings to be exceptionally crispy and flavorful, serving as the perfect delivery method for their great BBQ sauces.

When it comes to sides, you really can't go wrong at Hoggy's. From the potato salad to the "cowboy style" baked beans, each side has the same home cooked flavor that you'd hope to find at a family cookout.

As long as you're treating yourself, don't be afraid to go double-starch in the sides department. The mac and cheese (with both penne and elbow macaroni) is a can't-miss, but then who in their right mind can can pass on cheesy potatoes?

If you have any room left for dessert, either of the available options will be sure to send you over the edge into a food coma. Hoggy's satisfying cobbler is served oven-hot, just like grandma used to make. Likewise, the decadent banana pudding is everything it should be and more, with a fluffy, creamy texture that is unlike anything we've seen elsewhere.

When it comes to Restaurant Week, Hoggy's isn't playing around. For $15, this is one of the best bang-for-the-buck deals on the entire RW lineup. Don't sleep—there will be time for that after you've stuffed yourself with sides, dessert, and all the delicious smoked meats you can handle!

To learn more about Restaurant Week January 20-25, visit eat614.com.

Comment your favorite BBQ side dish to be entered to win dinner for two at Hoggy's!

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New plant-based diner takes root in Downtown

614now Staff

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From the people who brought us Eden burger comes a new plant-based diner sure to satisfy your hunger.

4th & State is a vegan cafe and diner located in the heart of downtown Columbus under the leadership of Chad Goodwin.

Click here to read more about Eden Burger

Featuring fare aimed at both breakfast and lunch, hours will soon be expanded to cover dinner service to coincide with the launch of the restaurant's beer and wine program.

Below are pictures of a few of the most popular breakfast items thus far:

4th & State is located at 152 E State St. and is open Monday through Friday from 7am- 3pm, and Saturday through Sunday from 9am- 4pm. To learn more, check out their Instagram.

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