By Columbus CEO's count, Kevin and Lori Ames have graced the city with nearly 20 restaurants, including the Press Grill and Cafe Lola. These days, they own and operate Front Street Bar & Grill, which elevates classic pub and comfort foods to gourmet stat. Case in point: the aptly named "fancy grilled cheese," whose muenster, provolone, and aged cheddar trio joins oven-roasted tomatoes, basil pesto, and bacon between its locally-made slices of bread. Housemade chips, meanwhile, complement homemade salsa or guacamole, and braised short ribs lend some upscale flavor to poutine topped with fried egg and white cheddar cheese curds. Guests can, of course, pair these edibles with refreshments from Front Street's bar, which is lined with wine, craft beer, and fixings for cocktails such as ginger mojitos and various margaritas.
Feasts unfold amid the eatery's exposed brick walls or on its covered outdoor terrace, Lola's Backdoor Cantina, which offers modern Mexican fare. In between bites and sips, visitors can play rounds of pool and ski ball, or pick a tune on the jukebox, which is a preferable alternative to begging the bartender for a serenade.
As dusk turns to darkness, Sway transforms from an upscale tapas restaurant to a raucous nightclub. In the hours before the switch, tapas are the main attraction. Chefs meticulously season and garnish each small plate. To make lobster flatbread, they layer chunks of meat and shiitake mushrooms atop super-thin crusts. They prepare scallops one by one, flavoring each morsel with sesame seeds, cilantro rémoulade, or ancho mole. Signature drinks, including the key-lime-pie martini, fuel the switch to club-mode. On most weekend evenings, neon lights crisscross young crowds, spotlighting live DJs and all the dust that's floating in the air.
Izzee's BareFoot Bar is stationed along the sand at The VolleyPark next to Sequoia Pro Bowl. The island-themed eatery refuels athletes fresh from a game of volleyball as well as spectators catching some sun. Underneath thatched tiki roofs and bright-yellow umbrellas, patrons can abide by the laid-back eatery's philosophy of "No shirt, no shoes, no problem" while noshing on bar food. The menu features quick snacks such as nachos and chicken tenders as well as bigger meals including pizzas and half-pound Angus burgers. Izzee's BareFoot Bar at The VolleyPark is open Sunday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and on Friday nights customers can partake in open volleyball at no additional charge from 5 p.m. to midnight.
The energy rarely dies down at Trabue Tavern. When the seven high-definition televisions aren't drawing attention with their broadcasts of the day's biggest sporting match, the upbeat neighborhood tavern finds other ways to keep patrons entertained and occupied, whether it involves a quick game of pool or live music. Karaoke nights allow guests to croon their favorite hits, although bands also appear from time to time and perform for the crowds. While the bartenders keep busy pouring beers and mixing cocktails, the cooks dedicate themselves to preparing a variety of appetite-sating comfort foods, including hefty sub sandwiches and burgers.
The Daily Growler is a celebration of fresh craft beers. They have 60 beers on draft, all available for on-site enjoyment or to take home in one of their glass Growlers. They have made a commitment to their customers to serve only the best and freshest beer available, with a focus on Ohio and California microbreweries. Each day they feature a different beer significantly discounted in a Daily Growler to go along with their 7 day a week happy hour.