Columbus, OH: A new jewel in my crown

I can honestly say I’ve never thought about going to Columbus, OH.  With no preconceptions Columbus has been one of those cities, to me, that just hover somewhere in the middle of cool, plain livable and boring.  Being from Kansas City, I know that feeling of misconception, when people arrive to the home town and say “Wow, I cant believe there’s so much going on here!”.  With this in mind I continue my goal to unearth cool in cities that usually don’t stick out to anyone else, other than those that live there.  Like Omaha and Oklahoma City before it, let this post prove that craft spirits, cocktails and the art of drinking is everywhere and it’s my pleasure to bring it to you.  Enter stage left,  Bar L’Etranger.  Located at 132 E 5th Ave, Jeff Mathes brings us a french-victorian inspired restaurant and cocktail lounge that leads the renaissance.  Note that this place stuck out to me none other that featuring the Vieux Carre on their menu.  As you all know by now, this deserves automatic mention.  Aside from that the entire cocktail menu is inviting and simple, offering drinks that appeal to many palates and to many walks of life.

Located on Fourth and High, I also had time to stop by Barrel 44 Whiskey Bar.  This century old building once housed a speakeasy that was apparently frequented by Wild Bill Hickock and former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.  With over 80 styles of rye, bourbon, scotch, irish and american whiskeys, this full menu restaurant is another columbus must see.  I’m confident thatd you’d agree with the locals, who voted this one of the best bars in Columbus!  (I agree with dave below)

With a brief visit behind me I left reminded.  Reminded that there’s more than they eye can see.  What the eye is drawn to in this city revolves around its college association, but, behind the sports and behind the frenzy that’s important to most is the art, culture, passion and love for the spirits.  Thank you Columbus.  You’ve made I-70 that much better of a drive.