Know Your Neighborhood: Things to Do in the Brewery District
The Brewery District neighborhood, just south of Downtown and parallel to German Village, earned its name well before the establishment of the modern businesses we know of today.
The district’s first brewery, City Brewery, opened in 1836. By the late 1850s to early 1860s, there were five breweries located in the area inhabited by mostly working-class families. Architecture from this time still remains, leading to the distinction of the Brewery District as a historic district in 1993.
Today’s businesses, of course, feature breweries and restaurants, but there are also some lesser-known gems to get to know as well. Continue on for things to do in the Brewery District:
Start the Day Off at Highly Rated Restaurants
The Brewery District is home to some of the highest reviewed restaurants in Columbus, from breakfast on. Patrons rave about the traditional German food at Valter’s at the Maennerchor, citing high points like the schnitzel, sauerkraut balls and the breakfast skillet—a cast-iron skillet filled with eggs, smoked sausage and home fries.
Also worth trying for breakfast is the Kolache Republic, a corner cafe specializing in traditional Czech kolache—a type of pastry that holds fruit or cheese. Kolache Republic fills its kolaches with seasonal flavors; for the fall, expect flavors like maple pecan, pumpkin cheesecake, s’mores, Butterfinger and caramel corn.
Lastly, Copious doubles as a venue for live music and dancing, and is a top brunch pick in the Brewery District. The menu is largely locally sourced and includes chicken and waffles, a tofu scramble, and shrimp and cheddar grits.
Grab a Beer at the Gastropubs and Dive Bars
Though the name evokes a higher end kind of establishment, Westies Gastropub is honestly pretty casual. Its laid-back atmosphere is in company with a few of its laid-back menu items — nachos, pierogies and the Westies Wings — but the wide selection of drafts, well liquors and seasonal cocktails serve as a reminder that this is a gastropub after all.
Also on the list of gastropubs is Rockmill Tavern, opened in 2016. The pub is equally as notable for its wide drink selection including dark, Saison and Belgian beers, which can all be combined on custom beer flights.
Lastly, High Beck Tavern represents the classic hole-in-the-wall dive bar. The bar has ping pong, darts and a pool table, the beer selection is decent, and the atmosphere is comfortably “divey.”
Hear Live Music
At bar and music venue Big Room Bar, patrons can play music trivia on Tuesdays, sing karaoke on Wednesdays, and hear live music from local and national acts every weekend, Thursday through Saturday.
Found below the aforementioned Copious, Notes is quite the venue for live jazz music. Thursday through Sunday expect folk, blues and jazz performances, including a weekly performance by the beloved Bobby Floyd Trio and a featured guest musician.
Rounding out the list is Shadowbox Live, more so known for theatrical and comedy performances, but with its share of live music all the same. If you’re lucky, you may catch any combination of these; fall performances of “Hellraiser” feature original sketch comedy and rock music, while the long-running “Holiday Hoopla” mixes sketch comedy with festive music.
Escape the Nightlife
Everything in the Brewery District isn’t bar and venue related.
Scioto Audubon Metro Park has rock climbing, bike paths, an obstacle course, dog park, and sand volleyball courts. The view of Downtown from the park’s water tower has spurred beautiful photos, but the sight of wildlife on the Scioto River trails could make for a good photo as well.
Experience Columbus presents Know Your Neighborhood: A series of articles highlighting things to do in Columbus neighborhoods. Looking to explore more neighborhoods in Columbus? Experience Columbus’ Neighborhoods first hand!
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