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First Look: Vine + Forge

Susan Post Susan Post First Look: Vine + ForgeAll Photos by Susan Post
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Raise a glass to Vine + Forge, the new bar and restaurant situated on the ground floor of the Crowne Plaza Downtown at 33 E. Nationwide Blvd.

The new concept celebrates its soft opening today, Thursday, October 10 at 4 p.m.

For the cocktail connoisseurs and wine enthusiasts, Vine + Forge has some tricks up its sleeve. The bar features two eight-tap enomatic wine machines pouring premium wines other bars typically don’t offer by the glass. For those that have always wanted to try the really expensive wine but not splurge on the whole glass, the eight red and and eight white wines are available in 1.5 oz, 3 oz, 6 oz and 9 oz pours.

Mixologist Shawn Ford is responsible for Vine & Forge’s cocktail program. The master mixologist from Paramount Network TV show Bar Rescue, Ford has 25 plus years of hands-on industry experience working with hundreds of bars across the world.

Ford calls Vine & Forge’s cocktail menu upscale but approachable. The menu plays off the bar’s wine offerings, with cocktails featuring wine or wine essence. Spirits from local distillers are also heavily featured, with cocktails like the Fire + Brimstone with Middle West Spirits’ Pumpernickel Rye, or the War + Peace with Watershed Distillery’s Four Peel Gin.

Shawn Ford shows CU how the War + Peace is made.

Vine + Forge will keep the focus on Ohio for its beer selection, too, providing travelers more local flavor. The drafts include Ohio beers, with a mostly local lineup.

Of the 300 plus bars Ford has helped develop, “This has the potential to be one of the top five,” he says. He also credits the high ranking to the team Vine + Forge has assembled.

As for the eats, Vine + Forge will launch with a limited food menu featuring flatbreads, charcuterie, hummus and more. A full menu will rollout likely sometime in November as construction on the restaurant’s kitchen wraps up.

Vine + Forge will open at 4 p.m. today and serve until 2 a.m. For the next few weeks, daily hours will be 11 a.m. – 2 a.m. As the restaurant menu rounds out, Vine + Forge will open for breakfast, with bar hours until 2 a.m.

For more information, visit Vine + Forge’s Facebook Page.

All photos by Susan Post

The enomatic wine machine behind the bar.
Copper growlers that can become mini enomatic machines and allow winer, beer or cocktails to be served tableside.
Ford demonstrates the liquid CO2 glass chiller, which with a few pumps produces a perfectly frosted glass.
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