The List: 12 Great Columbus Patios to Try this Summer
Yesterday was the first day of summer, which means it’s time for the big Ps: pools, parties, and patios. Whether going out to make friends, or hanging with the ones you already have, these patios are the spots to make the most of our favorite months:
Located right on busy High Street at 782 North High Street, the patio at Union Café is notorious for strong drinks, outlandish characters, and extreme people watching. The semi-covered space seats about 40 people, and has its own bar to serve the hot-weather lovers. Join them for their famous all-you-can-eat brunch buffet on Sundays from 10-2, where you can make your own Omelets and Bloody Marys while you enjoy dance videos shown on two large televisions. Union Bar and Cafe also has daily happy hour specials, so check them out, and for more, follow them at www.facebook.com/UnionCafe.
Tucked away at the rear of The Tavern, Olde Towne East’s popular haunt located at 889 Oak Street, is an open patio space designed to hold around 30 hungry and thirsty patrons. Most of the tables have umbrellas for the perfect mix of sun and shade, and when the sun goes down, patrons can crowd around the open fire pit to keep the party going. Join them on Thursdays for Tap Takeover, where one brewery’s beers are featured for the evening. It’s the perfect opportunity to do what summer wants you to do: sit, sip, and savor. For the weekly lineup and more, friend them at www.facebook.com/TavernOldeTowne.
Michael’s Goody Boy
Several changes were made when the Jimmy V. brand bought the Michael’s Goody Boy, a Short North staple at 1144 North High Street. One of the best of them, the installation of a patio that sits right at the corners of North High and Fourth Streets. The outdoor space seats close to 50 comfortably, and offers a great view of the length of the Short North. There are also televisions on the patio, making it the perfect spot to spend game night. Stop by for their new menu featuring daily $5 specials, like Cheeseburger & Fries Wednesday, or Chicken Salad BLT & Fries Saturday. For more on Michael’s Goody Boy’s menu, follow them at www.facebook.com/Michaels-Goody-Boy-Diner.
Grandview is surely becoming one of the coolest parts of town in the city, with an ever-growing list of restaurants and bars joining the scene every day. Woodlands Tavern, which stands at 1200 West Third Avenue, can now be considered a pioneer in the area. They’ve been there for almost three years, and in that time, has become one of the premiere intimate venues for live music, which is best enjoyed on their patio – a sweet, sun-friendly spot overlooking Third Avenue. About 40 can sit comfortably on the patio, which does not include the many who prefer to mill around the fire pit, but a lot more pack in there for the many local and regional shows that play at Woodlands. Find a show you dig, and make a date with one of Grandview’s best spots for summer relaxing by visiting www.facebook.com/woodlandstavern.
Frezno Bar & Grill
If you haven’t yet made it to the Brewery District to witness the revitalization going on, then a visit to one of Frezno’s two massive patios is the ideal moment to do so. Boasting a covered terrace patio and an open outdoor space that both hold 50 patrons, Frezno Bar & Grill, situated at 460 South Front Street, is brand new to the area, even though the concept migrated from the Short North. The restaurant is located more or less in Brewer’s Alley, so the terrace is located in the alley, while the patio sweeps around in the other direction. The menu has a distinct international flair, so come in for Short Rib Tacos, Pierogis, and Fried Chicken. For more as Frezno Bar & Grill continues to grow, follow them at www.facebook.com/Frezno-Bar-and-Grill.
There’s nothing quite like having your favorite iced coffee, or iced cocktail, while enjoying a good book at lunch (yes, lunch time cocktails) or unwinding at the end of the day on an awesome patio. The potential combination of caffeine, alcohol, and sunshine is the essence of summer chilling, and at three MoJoe Lounges around town, you can do just that. During the work day, you can head to 149 South High Street for a sandwich and iced mocha from their downtown branch, which seats about 16-18, and offers the chance to watch the bustle of midday go by. Happy hour is the time to head to the 600 North High Street store, whose patio seats about 40-44, and with its proximity to both the Short North and Arena District, is a choice pregame spot. Relax at the end of the day in the German Village, where the 672 South Third Street installation, which seats 30-34 comfortably, features a beautiful patio canopied by large trees that set just the right mood. Any one of these patios is great for summer time relaxing. Learn more at www.mojoe-lounge.com.
Consistently voted one of Columbus’ best happy hours, Bodega’s patio has recently undergone a face lift to accommodate the growing number of fans and reflect the spirit of the joint. A Short North destination at 1044 North High Street, Bodega is a community bar, and the revamped seating proves this. The old iron tables have been replaced with cafeteria-style tables and benches, with a long bar along the rail for those whose favorite pastime there is meter-maid watching. All of their over 50 beer taps (mostly micro and craft brew) are half-priced during their daily 4pm-8pm happy hour, and with a new menu on deck, Bodega’s patio is still the place to see and be seen. For more on their menus, visit www.columbusbodega.com.
Flatiron Bar & Diner
A downtown landmark, Flatiron Bar & Diner, located at 129 E. Nationwide Blvd., is known for great barbecue and cajun-inspired fare, and one of the most uniquely located patios in the city. Sitting at the corners of Nationwide Blvd and Fourth Avenue, the patio, which seats roughly 30, is adjacent to the Convention Center, which means that during the summer, it’s the perfect spot to gawk at the best that visits Columbus for conferences, events, and shows. It’s also a great place to grab dinner before a concert at the Arena, and with a new summer drink menu rearing to go, Flatiron Bar & Grill is your downtown go-to for those long summer nights. For daily specials and more, check out their website at www.flatironcolumbus.com.
Grass Skirt Tiki Room/The Hills Downtown
Leading the way for the new Discovery District are two standout businesses who essentially share a patio space. The Hills Market Downtown and Grass Skirt Tiki Lounge, at 95 North Grant and 105 North Grant respectively, have both created small patios which seat about 16 people per, and the effect together is fun and engaging. Each patio is gated off from the parking lot as well as each other, but the proximity to each other allows for crossover events. So whether you’re stopping in for a salad from The Little Eater in The Hills, or a Shark Attack from Grass Skirt Tiki Lounge, enjoy it on the patio as you enjoy the electric peace of the Discovery. For more specials, visit www.thehillsmarket.com/downtown/ and www.grassskirttiki.com.
La Fogata Grill
Arguably, Mexican food is the ideal summer food. It’s quick to prepare, spiked with flavor, and easy to eat. In fact, there may be no better food to chow on as you also grip a margarita or an ice cold beer in the palm of your hand. La Fogata Grill, located at 790 North High Street, combines both of these summer-must experiences with one of the most frequented patios in the Short North. It’s a large, open space, gated off from High Street, and littered with enough tables, with umbrellas and without, to hold 128 people, making it the largest patio on the main North High drag. Stop in and enjoy $0.99 tacos every Tuesday, and great people-ogling every day. For a complete menu and daily updates, follow them at www.facebook.com/La-Fogata-Grill-Short-North.
The Crest Gastropub
Clintonville’s newest hot spot is The Crest Gastropub, situated at the corners of Indianola Avenue and Crestview Road at 2855 Indianola Avenue. In its short time, it’s garnered a following that swears by its extensive beer-on-tap collection, locally-inspired menu, and outrageous patio. Running the length of the eatery along Crestview, the patio is set slightly from the street, fenced in, and scattered with comfortable chairs and tables that seat roughly 40. The area is quiet enough that an evening chatting with friends is totally appropriate, but turns energetic with weekends, sporting events, and warm summer evenings. Stop in to try their new Bison Burger with your favorite Ohio brew. You won’t regret, or forget, the trip. For more on events and menu offerings, follow them at www.facebook.com/TheCrestGastropub.
There aren’t a lot of rooftop patios in the city, which makes the patio at Callahan’s a must-visit before the summer’s out. Located at 520 Park Street, Callahan’s Bar is more or less a nightclub, with large indoor rooms perfect for dancing. The recently renovated rooftop patio is the true gem of the spot though, an expansive area which accommodates roughly 40 around tables complete with their own umbrellas, and many more once they’re pushed to the side for the weekend crowd. There’s also a bar on Callahan’s patio where an additional 8-10 can be seated. Try having ladies’ or boys’ night there on Saturday, when the party really gets going as the deejay spins and crisp summer air lightly bites the skin. For more on Callahan’s, follow them at www.facebook.com/CallahansColumbus.
All too quickly, summer will be gone, as will the days of halter tops, shorts, and sandals. So make plans now to revel in the scorching days and sultry nights at your favorite watering hole patio before they become nothing more the backdrop for somebody else’s great story.
For a more intimate setting, CLICK HERE for our list of 12 Romantic Patios in Columbus.
Photo by Logan Miller of www.LCMphoto.org.