Oddfellows Liquor Bar will be a new Destination Dive in the Short North
Rumors have been circulating for months that the original Mikey’s Late Slice shack in the Short North would likely be expanding into the old 83 Gallery location next door at 1038 North High Street. Those rumors have turned out to be half true, as the new concept does hail from serial pizza-preneur Mikey Sorboro, but the new bar and restaurant will have its very own name and brand.
“We’ve always had this idea to make this a bar concept, but we didn’t think that Late Night Slice brand lent itself well to a bar,” explains Sorboro. “At the apex of this building you’ll see the abbreviation for the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, so the name of the new bar comes from the history of the building.”
The aptly named Oddfellows Liquor Bar is being described as a destination dive bar. The decor includes a historic back bar manufactured in Cincinnati in 1906 and a bottle cooler from the late 1930s.
“We want everything to tell its own story,” says Sorboro about the theme of the new space. “Not everything will be an antique, but we want to fill it with a lot of really cool pieces.”
The drink menu is being kept simple, with a decent selection of drafts and mixed drinks available at decent prices. The food menu will naturally feature pizzas from Late Night Slice with additional bar snacks that may include Pam’s Popcorn from the North Market, beef jerky from Thurn’s and Bread & Butter from Omega Artisan Baking.
Oddfellow’s pizza-slash-pub concept isn’t too different from Pies and Pints, which was announced in January as a tenant next door in the renovated Fireproof building. Sorboro isn’t too worried about the competition.
“My initial thought was that I wished they had thought through their concept through a little more,” he explains. “But I’m honestly not really worried at all. Anything that brings people to this end of the Short North is good for the neighborhood. We imagine that some people will go there for dinner and then to our bar for a drink afterwards or vice versa. That doesn’t bother me at all.”
An official opening date has not been set yet, but Oddfellows is slated for a mid-to-late June opening. If that seems fast, it’s because most of the hard work has already been completed.
“We started on this project around Thanksgiving of 2012, so it’s been a long time coming,” says Sorboro. “Every challenge that could have happened did happen, and we had many meetings with the Italian Village Society and Italian Village Commission, and I think it’s going to be a hell of a lot better of a bar than it would had been if we opened a year ago. And with Bodega re-opening soon, we think this is going to be a really exciting block in another month or so.”
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/oddfellowsliquorbar.