The Bottle Shop (Facebook / IG: @thebottleshopcolumbus)
237 King Ave. (map it!)
Columbus, OH 43201
Open Mon-Sat, 12p-2a (brunch hours only occasional)
Visited: Monday, July 4, 2016 at 11:30 a.m.
Okay, quick disclaimer: as of this writing, the Bottle Shop and its companion The Truck have only served brunch once on the Fourth of July. So, a.) I broke a rule by visiting on the first day, but b.) even if they never offer brunch again, I want The Bottle Shop on your radar because it’s become a favorite little hangout for us, and it deserves the attention.
The Bottle Shop’s location used to be Viking Premium Beverage. I remember visiting it for their crowded rows of bottled craft beer; it was a true corner carryout those days, and half of the space is dedicated to a similar (albeit less dusty) convenience store with toiletries, beer, wine, etc.
The other half is this kitschy, mis-matched cocktail bar. We first visited when I was assigned to write about the bar for Columbus Monthly. It was back in the winter, during one of those chilly evenings when the snow came down in thick flakes. The Bottle Shop felt like the coziest, quietest little haven, the type of place where you just want to hole up with a warm drink.
Since that visit, that feeling has never left. The Bottle Shop has become a default stop on date nights, a place to grab one of the plush chairs and watch the old movies running on the screen. And the owners Barbara and German are very sweet and welcoming.
The Bottle Shop focuses on both classic and creative cocktails. If you’re new to cocktails, you’ll find them very approachable and interested in helping you find your taste. We once visited, wanting to compare different versions of Manhattans side-by-side, and Barbara very kindly made three types and let us sip while she explained the differences.
We’ve discovered it’s a great place to take friends, too.
They also feature 20 beers on draft, with half price growler fills available all day. They line-up is pretty diverse, ranging from stouts and IPAs to bocks, sours, ciders, and everything in between.
The Bottle Shop also runs a food truck called… wait for it… The Truck.
On Fourth of July they ran brunch at The Truck, so we decided to stop by. Again, it was their first time doing it, and I’m not sure when they’re doing it again, but consider this encouragement to visit for dinner and drinks nonetheless.
The brunch menu was four items: hash, grits, a burrito, and French toast.
We supplemented with a couple drinks, including a sampler of beer for me.
We started with a taste of the chips and guacamole. Overall, the brunch was pretty solid, especially for a first go; we would have loved a bigger kick of seasoning all around.
The fun part about drinks at The Bottle Shop is that you can play it as safe or get as creative as you want.
One of our favorites from the meal was the grits with smoked corn, bacon, andouille, and a spicy Creole sauce.
Nicely done breakfast burrito; it’s a giant tortilla wrapped around pork, veggies, guacamole, rice, and cheese.
Challah French toast with caramelized pineapple on the side. Thumbs up from Will, our French toast expert.
Whether it’s brunch or dinner or drinks (or one of their sweet events like the N64 Mario Kart tournament), get yourself to The Bottle Shop!