Photo by Collins Laatsch

New View

Not sure if ya’ll have noticed or not, but the look of Columbus is changing—sometimes, seemingly from week to week. You know what hasn’t changed?

Our love of the patio.

Which means there’s a constant arms race with bars and restaurants competing for the best open-air experience for diners and drinkers.

This summer, pay a visit to a few of the recently established outdoor spots that will give you a new view of the city.

Photo by Collins Laatsch

Pins Mechanical Co.

141 N Fourth St.

It’s no surprise that Pins was recently voted Best Overall Bar and Best Drinking Patio by (614) Magazine readers.

The massive entertainment complex contained within its walls—filled to the brim with pinball, ping-pong, and duckpin bowling—is certainly impressive.

But their outdoor areas alone are enough to rank it among the city’s best drinking spaces.

Wanna play some outdoor Jenga by the fire pit? Chill on the edge of the wood retaining wall? Sit with friends shaded from the sun or rain? There’s space for groups with different plans for the night to enjoy the open air on the bar’s Fourth Street side.

On the smaller Long Street patio, dig your feet into the sand, under trees and strung lights—all while soaking up food from the permanent Porketta food truck.

You never even have to go inside to enjoy Pins. But, we know you’re going to.

Photo by Collins Laatsch

Black Brick Bar

920 N High St.

We can admit being a little skeptical of the cool factor involved with renovating the Short North Donato’s when the plans were announced a few years back. I mean, how fancy can you make our stalwart local pizza place? Well, color us surprised, because in addition to Ram Brewing sharing the building, the Black Brick space upstairs has made a quick impression on the High Street scape with its appealing outdoor-indoor rooftop patio. Sure, there’s a small open space on the first floor, but it’s the upstairs that pulls you in. The full-scale bar and flat screens that anchor the open-air space are inviting enough as an escape from the ground floor, but just outside those doors, the breezy area that overlooks High Street is stunning. A little imagination and you’d swear you were in Nashville—only to come down to Earth when you realize it’s even cheaper to drink there than on Broadway. Oh, and you know you love the pizza, too. You can’t lose.

Photo by Collins Laatsch

Little Rock Bar

944 N Fourth St.

Positioned in the class of new-ish bars, Little Rock sports far fewer bells and whistles than its counterparts. Those seeking a rotating draft list and a handful of solid cocktails can share a simple space with the shot-and-a-beer crowd. For the last four years, the modest patio facing Second Avenue was the bar’s only real street appeal. That’s all changed with the completion of the bar’s rooftop patio, which sports its own small covered bar and a sprawling view of Italian Village, Short North, and Downtown. Keeping with LR’s workmanlike ethos: you can sip pounder cans of Four String’s new Hilltop lager, brewed by owner Quinn Fallon’s old rock and roll pal Dan Cochran.

Photo by Collins Laatsch

Grandview Cafe

1455 W Third Ave.

We’ll admit that opening of the new Grandview Cafe took a little longer than we expected. But owner Brian Swanson likely wasn’t worried, considering what he recently unveiled. What used to be more enclosed, industrial outdoor spaces on the ground and second floors now have an extended mixed-use feel. From happy hour to late into the evening, you can catch folks lounging on the second floor, just above patrons enjoying the outdoor bar and patio seating below. This is next-level relaxation, kids.


De Novo on the Park

150 S High St.

Construction intercedes on your street-front space? Don’t get mad—go across the street and create one of the most unique open-air drinking spots in the city. That’s exactly what the savvy folks at DeNovo did, now boasting their On the Park space with a cozy, confined view of Columbus Commons. Whether a bustling Friday concert or a tranquil weeknight, it’s one of those spots that more people should know about. Consider this your insider tip. •