Barrel 44 is undeniably one of the best whiskey bars in the city. Despite being billed as a drinking hole, the food at Barrel 44 makes it a destination spot at virtually every hour of the day and night. It’s for this reason that the Short North staple is expanding, filling the empty space next door where Maotef Gifts once stood.
A heavy wooden door now separates the main dining area in Barrel 44 from the newly-purchased space. On most days, the door will be open, adding 30 much needed seats to the restaurant. The current dining room will be refurnished to include more bar tops, hence more space for the drinking customer.
“We realized that on weekend nights especially, there would be an hour wait for a seat,” manager Shawn Korn shares. “No one wants to wait that long for a seat or service, so when we could finally buy the space next door, we jumped on it.”
A plan for expansion had already been in the making for years, so the opening of the new space will happen in just three weeks. The paneling has already been moved from the current dining room thereby connecting it to the existing bar area, and creating more open space for happy hour and late night patrons.
The new room will have the same kind of dark, architectural murals and plush seating found throughout the restaurant, and will be available for private events. There will also be the occasional whiskey tasting held there, and the potential for live music exists.
In addition, Barrel 44 will be remodeling their kitchen and menu to fit the new numbers. Instead of the multi-paged menu they currently use, they will be streamlining to a large placard filled with the small plates and sandwiches customers crave, as well as 4-5 entrées the kitchen at Barrel 44 really want you to try.
Barrel 44 is located at 1120, North High Street. Their hours of operation are Monday-Friday and Sunday 4 pm – 2:30 am, Saturday, 11:30 am – 2:30 am. For a complete menu, visit www.barrel44.com.
Photo by Walker Evans.