The Columbus cocktail scene is actually a lot cooler than you’d imagine.
When it comes to Columbus nightlife it’s great to have a nice neighborhood dive within stumbling distance of your home. But let’s not forget, equally as important is finding the kind of place that’s a bit more upscale and can put together the perfect Pisco Punch or a mean Manhattan.
Cocktail bars aren’t just great for dates (although that goes without saying) they also exorcise that bit of fancy folk in all of us. It doesn’t matter what your job or walk of life is, it’s pretty dang important to indulge your senses once in a while and walk on the finer side of things.
So whether you want to treat yourself to a tasty adult beverage after work or go out for drinks with your girlfriends, this is a list of the very best places to get cocktails in the city. Also, let’s not be sexist, dudes can enjoy a nice muddled fruit drink with the best of them. So yeah, cheers bro.
This charming little cocktail corner sports large floor to ceiling windows facing the street. It’s perfect for settling in with a drink and watching the outside world unfold into the night around you. Their mixologists are well versed in their trade, perfectly willing to go off script and make something catered to your particular tastes. It definitely has a modern chic look but with a comforting and inviting sort of charm.
Where: 954 N High St, Columbus, OH 43201
Demark on High
This space has a lot of style and personality to it, and so does the service. It definitely conveys a sort of metropolitan business vibe, which makes sense because it’s certainly the kind of place to get drinks with friends after a hard day at the office. It can get a bit busy here at times but their bartenders do a fantastic job of keeping up and staying friendly. Got a friend coming in from out of town and you want to impress them with a place? This is exactly where you’d want to go.
Where: 463 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215
Website: Demark on High
With a focus on bourbon and cocktails, The Alibi is a great place to sneak a cheeky drink after work or meet up with friends for a fun night out. With its lounge atmpsphere and killer cocktail list, The Alibi is sure to impress even your fanciest friends. The bar is a hybrid prohibition-style bar with a focus on creating Prohibition-style craft cocktails.
Where: 843 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215 (Ground floor of the Dakota Building)
Website: The Alibi
Buckeye Bourbon House
Actual wooden barrels decorate this whiskey lounge and cocktail bar. Tall aged ceilings tower directly above as you enjoy your drink and listen to the low hum of conversations buzzing all around you. It’s hard not to marvel at the building’s interior while you sip casually with friends and co-workers. If you’re a whiskey fanatic then you’re in for a treat, they have a huge collection of bourbons and scotches that you can enjoy as a cocktail or just straight.
Where: 36 E Gay St, Columbus, OH 43215
The Citizens Trust
Of course, the cocktails at The Citizens Trust are divine, but the historic setting and the glamorous interiors are at least half of the fun. If you’re looking for a particularly awesome time of year to visit, stop by when they have their holiday pop-up bar. With themed drinks and decorations from floor to ceiling, you’ll be feeling the holiday spirit by the end of drink no. 1!
Where: 11 W Gay Street, Columbus, Oh 43215
Website: The Citizen’s Trust
The Bottle Shop
The Bottle Shop is exactly what you want out of a cocktail bar if you need something a bit more comfortable and low maintenance. Part of the business serves as a carryout, offering bottles of wine and the usual snacks you’d find in a convenience store. The bar side serves up some amazing cocktails without the expense you’d usually pay at a more upscale establishment. More than anything, the atmosphere is inviting and not stiff at all, perfect for letting your hair down and cutting loose.
Where: 237 King Ave, Columbus, OH 43201
Website: The Bottle Shop
Watershed Kitchen & Bar
Who better to create some killer cocktail concoctions than our very own hometown liquor distillery? Obviously, if they’re making their own booze they’re definitely going to know what they’re doing when making well crafted and delicious drinks. Not to mention their food menu is out of this world. If you don’t believe me just go to their website and check out their menu yourself. You just have to answer one question first: Were you born before the Fugees dropped the album The Score? It’s pretty much the perfect test for determining whether someone is in fact 21 or older (also an amazing album).
Where: 1145 Chesapeake Ave STE D, Columbus, OH 43212
Website: Watershed Kitchen & Bar
If you’re in need of a tropical getaway but leaving Columbus isn’t quite an option, plan an evening out to Sacred Palm. With tiki drinks and neon vibes, it’s the perfect place to end a long week.
Where: 457 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215 (basement of Mikey’s Late Night Slice)
Website: Sacred Palm Instagram
Service Bar has phenomenal cocktails (Made with Middlewest Spirits) and a delicious food menu to accompany it. It’s a one stop shop for post-work cocktails or dinner+drinks date nights. From bright, sweet cocktails, to new twists on old classics, Service Bar won’t let you down.
Where: 1230 Courtland Ave, Columbus, Ohio 43201
Website: Service Bar
Ginger Rabbit had made quite the debut here on Columbus. With live jazz performances, an interior full of glitz and glam, and a small plates menu that will leave you dreaming of the next time you come back, it’s easy to understand how it’s become a favorite. It might genuinely be the best date night spot in the entire city.
Where: 17 Buttles Ave, Columbus, OH 43215
Website: Ginger Rabbit