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Pour-your-own concept on tap for Arena District

Mike Thomas

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Ever wanted to be your own bartender? A Youngstown based concept wants to put the tap handle in your hands.

Whistle & Keg, a self-service craft beer taproom, is planned to open this summer at 343 N. Front Street in the Arena District.

A unique “pour-your-own” concept which originated in Youngstown in 2017, Whistle & Keg is the brainchild of brothers and co-owners Joe and Mike Thomas (no relation to yours truly). A second location is already open in Cleveland.

“The spotlight on the Arena District keeps getting brighter, and we’re excited to be a part of it,” said the Thomases via a press release. “Whistle & Keg is a true tasting room, where people have the freedom to pour wine and mead and beer and cider from 50 different self-serve taps. Sports fans, concert goers, happy hour drinkers alike are going to love this concept. You pay for what you pour – try an ounce or pour a pint.”

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The 2,500 square-foot taproom will showcase the original architectural features of the Moline Plow building built in 1913, which is now listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The interior features 12-foot-high ceilings with large bell-shaped columns throughout and an expansive outdoor patio overlooking Battelle Plaza and the arena.

When open, Whistle & Keg: Whistle & Keg will feature 50 self-serve taps. The taproom will also have an open food policy, allowing patrons to bring their own food or get food delivered direct to the taproom.

According to the Thomas brothers, their taprooms are the first in the Ohio to adopt the pour-your-own model, which is already a hit in other states.

“The pour-your-own technology used by Whistle & Keg is fun and simple for patrons to use,” they said. “It’s very popular in some of the country’s hottest beer markets like Phoenix, Denver, Miami, and Tennessee. It will be impossible to resist in a market like Columbus.”

Be bartender for a day when Whistle and Keg opens this summer. To learn more, visit www.whistlekeg.com.

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Food & Drink

Rye In July: The Ward 8

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We partnered with Brown-Forman, Jack Daniels Rye Whiskey, and local bartender Ben Griest from Giuseppe’s Ritrovo to bring a fun twist to your summer cocktails. Rye in July is your go-to weekly drink feature to make while stuck at home for ideas of cocktails. We are featuring The Ward 8 in today's video! This thirst-quenching, summer-ready fresh cocktail is what you need on a hot day like today!

The Ward 8

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Food & Drink

Barrels, get your whiskey barrels here!

Julian Foglietti

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Middle West Spirits has just announced a new sale program to unload their growing surplus of whiskey barrels. Barrels will be available for pickup and sale from their warehouse, 470 E. Starr Ave., Sat., July 18,  8 a.m. to noon.

Middle West will sell 30-gallon and 53-gallon barrels for $50 and $75 respectively. You may also pick up barrel staves for $3. 

The barrels for sale were used for either bourbon, rye, or wheat whiskey, and the barrel type can be specified upon purchase. 

Whiskey barrels, and bourbon barrels, in particular, have a long history of reuse in spirit aging internationally. This is a wonderful opportunity for home distillers to snag a barrel for their own experimentation. 

And if your skills lie outside of the world of homebrewing, there are more than enough craft possibilities in one of these recycled barrels.. With projects ranging from bars, to chairs and tables, the DIY-er will have endless options for creativity. 

Barrels will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and can also be reserved by emailing the barrel size and whiskey type to [email protected]

Barrel Bar

Barrel Chair

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Westerville’s Wine Bistro has a new name—reopens Thursday with makeover

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Even though City Brands announced that the Wine Bistro in Worthington wouldn’t be returning, there were initial rumors that the Westerville location also wouldn’t be making a comeback.

Original reports were wrong, and City Brands announced the return of the Westerville Wine Bistro, 925 N. State St.,on July 9 after a light remodel. You can find the (614) report on the City Brands reopenings and closings here.

The remodeling isn’t the only thing that’s going to be new about the Wine Bistro in Westerville, though. Or as we should we say now, NAPA Kitchen + Bar. With locations  in Westerville, Dublin, and Montgomery, Ohio,  NAPA Kitchen + Bar is a sister concept to The Wine Bistro.

“We feel the NAPA Kitchen + Bar concept will really appeal to a wide range of guests in Westerville. We wanted to undertake this conversion for quite a while but never found the right time to close down for the renovations,” Tim Rollins, President of The Metropolitan Companies and owner of NAPA kitchen + bar, said in a press release on Thursday.

The restaurant will be open Monday through Thursday, 4 to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 4 to 10 p.m., and Sunday, 4 to 8 p.m.

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