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The Bottle Shop Bar and Market Opens on King Avenue

Rebecca Wagner Rebecca Wagner The Bottle Shop Bar and Market Opens on King AvenuePhotos by Rebecca Wagner.
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A new craft beer destination has opened in the University District.

The Bottle Shop Bar and Market has opened at 237 King Avenue in place of former carryout Viking Growl and Taproom.

Owners Barbara Reynolds and boyfriend German Vasquez moved to Columbus from Miami with plans of opening a business. After an extensive state-spanning search for a location, they landed on Viking Growl and Taproom’s for-sale space. The space was exactly what they were looking for, and the duo signed a lease in August.

Reynolds and Vasquez renovated the space in a whirlwind two months. Renovations were mostly aesthetic. The ceiling was replaced with acoustic theater tiles, while the bar was rebuilt into a cozy corner space. The interior seats 40, with the patio seating an additional 20.

A cheerfully lit market occupies the right section of The Bottle Shop. To the left, a laid-back lounge area surrounds a penny-inlaid bar, tucked back comfortably in the corner. A large projection screen flickers on the wall, playing old black and white movies.

The bar, headed by manager Brian Maxwell, offers traditional cocktails alongside a seasonal drink menu. The current list is laid out by time period, from 1783 to present. The listing is meant to take you through the evolution of the cocktail, as an interesting conversation starter.

“I geek out with history stuff, and with my experience bartending, a lot of other people do too,” said Maxwell.

The store will offer beer, wine, tobacco, grocery, and snack items, with a focus on craft beer. The shop has 160 bottled beers in a build-your-own-six-pack cooler that can be taken to go, or enjoyed at the bar. They also have a selection of large format bomber beers. The beer cave carries 250 craft six-packs, conveniently organized by state. There’s also a dry-erase board near the register where customers can request beers they’d like to see in the store.

“The weirder stuff you bring in, the quicker it sells. I really have to give credit to the people in the area, they’re so interested in trying things, really curious,” said Reynolds. “It’s exciting for me because I can kind of take my foot off the brakes and get into the really fun, geeky stuff you don’t see all over the place.”

Reynolds and Vasquez hope to transition their grocery selection into being more locally driven, eclectic and healthier — less convenience store snack food, and more market-style essentials. They’re also working on providing a more extensive wine selection, with plans to sell eclectic and old-world wines that are still affordable.

The Bottle Shop will soon have a food truck out front. They’re in the process of refitting a food truck, with plans to serve Latin empanadas in the future.

“Our biggest goal with this place is to have it be a place where people come and interact. We want to create an engaging, comfortable neighborhood spot,” said Reynolds.

The Bottle Shop Bar and Market is open noon – 2:30 a.m. every day.

For more information, visit www.thebottleshopcolumbus.com.

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