Nightlife Review: Dahlia Bar & Lounge
Electric low tempo tunes, crafted Grey Goose cocktails and a crowd full of fashionably dressed 30-somethings can help one to paint what was opening night at Dahlia Bar & Lounge. The former Bucks & Pucks sports bar now houses a modern lounge for those looking to party a bit more maturely in the Arena District. In order to achieve this goal, the Peerless Culinary & Nightlife Management Group has seated the black marbled bar with plush white leather seats, an elevated VIP sectioned off by glass railings that glow under the signature blue lighting creating a perfect vibe for the laid back crowd.
Dahlia houses two bars, one indoors and the other spills into an open outdoor patio which will likely come into greater use as Columbus weather warms up. Dahlia wishes to become a venue in which live music is performed, dancing encouraged, and sports are rejoiced from large flat screens. But I can’t help but to wonder how all three will neatly tie into one another, or where exactly the dancing will occur in a venue where the dance floor tends to disappear as the club grows more crowded. Though as chill as things were, I don’t think customers came with the intentions of busting out their best moves for all to see.
The bar staff here are all skilled, not only in bartending but also in drunken customer service — aka, sober employees cooperating with not-so-sober customers. Drink orders generally took no longer than five minutes to attend to, though as the night progressed and breathing room became scarce, it became a different story. Of course, this is only natural on a first night.
The opening night drink docket consisted of six Grey Goose infused cocktails, most notably a ‘Bye Bye Winter Blues’ that was strong enough to speak to its name despite the flatness in flavor. The Cucumber Fizz presented an aloe flavor, although the drink was garnished with a fresh cucumber. The bar’s jars of fresh herbs and fruits were well stocked, but there was still a heavy presence of commercial brand beers, spirits and syrupy liqueurs — a quality that’s abundant in bars throughout entertainment districts. Food items consisted of shareables that were appeasing to the eye, plated on trendy stone slabs and carefully decorated. The menu is slated to be offered Tuesday-Saturday from 4pm to 10pm, and there will be daily specials on Stella Artois and Bulleit.
Dahlia should continue to focus on how it will differentiate itself from the saturated nightlife scene that is the Arena District. They’ve created an atmosphere that allows for distinction and multi-function, but in doing so they left behind a full commitment to craft and a character that is somewhat reminiscent of its’ sister bar BBR. Dahlia is open Tuesday-Saturday and has already booked several live music events and special guest DJ’s.
For more information, visit dahliacolumbus.com.
All photos by Caleb Goodreau, provided by Dahlia Bar & Lounge.