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Highly-anticipated High St. restaurant & bar announces they’re opening next week

Highly-anticipated High St. restaurant & bar announces they’re opening next week

Sav McKee

You may have noticed an addition to South High Street, either by driving by or seeing posts circulating on social media of an enormous yellow and black sign, adorned with a snake bearing its fangs, and the words “COBRA – A Good Night Bar,” in the space that once held a Panera Bread sign.

The hype around Cobra’s opening is all for a good reason – Asian-American bar fare offered late at night, made by experienced, respected chefs, cocktails crafted by some of the best bartenders in the city, all in a laid-back, cool, hip setting, curated by four friends who have a long history in the industry.

This highly-anticipated Brewery District restaurant and bar has been in the works for the past four years. First, as a pop-up concept around Ohio, called “All Due Respect,” then at a more permanent collaboration space in Woodhouse Cafe, and now – in a space all of its own, centered around us, the Columbus community, finally open to the public on Wednesday, October 18th.


Cobra owners Alex Chien, Jack Dale Bennett Jr., Josh Spiers, and David Yee, all bounced ideas off of each other for years, knowing they wanted to open a bar & restaurant together after working in the industry world for so long. They all had different concepts of what they thought would be cool, but they eventually settled on an Asian-American neighborhood bar, with an emphasis on the “neighborhood” aspect.

“The South High Corridor is exactly where we want to be in terms of a neighborhood,” said Jack Dale Bennett Jr. “The location is killer…this space has everything we need…plus, we have awesome neighbors, like Agni, Lawbird, and Chapman’s right down the street.”

Not only is their location killer, but their menu offerings and craft cocktail selections are, too. “What we want to do as a whole is to be able to provide top-level food and drink, but affordable and accessible,” emphasized Bennett. “This will be somewhere that someone can come several nights a week and where someone can be as adventurous as they want to be. Come get a plate of noodles one night, and then a beer and fries another. There are so many restaurants that have a price barrier that doesn’t allow people to come often or come at all, and we want to be different.”

Their menu features fresh, hand-pulled noodle dishes, like a Cacio de Szechuan, which is a pasta dish that’s a combination of Italian comfort food made with a Taiwanese pantry. They  also have a tavern menu that features a Shanghai Noon Burger (their take on a Western-style cheeseburger), Crab Rangoon Dip, Chicken Patty Katsu Sandwich, Cobra Coney, Popcorn Chicken, and even a few salads. Then, there’s the pickles and vegetable section, and even a Yakitori Grill portion of their menu. With accessibility at the forefront, the team at Cobra mentioned there’s plenty of vegan and vegetarian options, too, especially in the “Noodle” section of their menu.  

Hand-made noodles featured in the Cacio de Szechuan dish; photo via Instagram

One of the best parts about Cobra, for many, is that they’re one of the few bars and restaurants that will offer an incredible, late-night food menu until 1:45am. “It’s an industry owned bar – we all spent 10 years in the industry – we’ve all been there, where we got off work and didn’t have a hot, fresh food option that late,” explained Bennett. “We want to be very dependable. When in doubt, someone can come in late to Cobra and grab some noodles.”

And, of course, there’s the colorful, unique cocktails, curated by award-winning mixologists. Spiers and Yee both have a history of bartending at Oddfellows Liquor Bar, and Chien and Yee both served as beverage directors at Watershed Distillery. Chien and Yee were also both national finalists in Bombay Saphire’s Most Imaginative Bartender Competition. All this to say – the cocktails are going to be outstanding, and at a more affordable price-point than a lot of other craft drinks. If you’re not a cocktail person, they’re offering Taiwanese lagers, draft beers, and a shot menu, too, alongside a wine list that features some select natural wines.

Photo of a past po-up via Cobra’s Instagram

An eatery and bar that’s owned by award-winning bartenders and chefs with a plethora of high-end experience could sound a little pretentious, but Cobra is anything but. “We want to be a casual neighborhood bar – not stuffy. We’re stripping away any pretension from the food and drink scene, while still offering very intentional dishes and cocktails,” said Bennett.

“All in all, it’s a community space that functions as to what the community wants it to be. Come after work and get some food and drinks, or just come in early on a Saturday and hang out on the patio,” Bennett said. “This is your neighborhood bar.”

I really hope Jack means that, because I have a hunch I’ll be here every weekend eating Cacio de Szechuan noodles and Mama Chien’s Dumplings with an Espresso Martini on the side.

Cobra will be open from 4pm – 2am, every day besides Tuesdays, starting October 18th at 684 S. High St. They have a full indoor restaurant and bar, plus a spacious patio too.

Want to read more? Check out our print publications, (614) Magazine and Stock & Barrel. Learn where you can find free copies of our newest issues here!


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