Villa Southside attracts diners and dancers alike with its two-floor layout, happy-hour specials on drinks and small plates, and minimalist décor. Chefs craft small-plate dioramas showing crisp fresh-cut fries searching for their reflections in malt vinegar ($4), Villa wings pursued by an angry mob of hot sauces ($8), and lightly breaded calamari ($10) dancing on the edge of a marinara volcano. An extensive drink list includes Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, Sam Adams' seasonal selection on draft, and eight wines by the glass. Specialty cocktails include the banana-cream-pie martini, which melds the abandon of drive-by pie-tossing with the elegance of a sippable dessert ($9–$14).
The dessert-inspired martini list at Olive or Twist hosts a range of sweet digestifs including the cake-batter cocktail, the tiramisu martini, the chocolate-covered-pretzel martini with a salted rim, and the key-lime-pie martini. In addition to inventive mixes, Olive or Twist hosts a wide selection of craft beers, ensuring guests find the ideal beverage to compliment upscale American fare from the full kitchen. Its range of appetizers and entrees sate any size of appetite, with options such as truffle fries, housemade crab cakes, and filet mignon with peppercorn sauce. While they dine, patrons can feast eyes on the dark-mocha wood accents that lace the bar and lounge areas at Olive or Twist, offsetting the cream-hued plush seats.
Hookah Bookah wafts the gentle aromas of its tobacco arsenal, allowing patrons to customize their hookahs with various flavors, a number of bowls and hoses, and an appetizing menu of munchables. A single bowl ($9.95) can brim with one of 22 premium, flavored tobaccos, such as mango, jasmine, or honey ($1 for single flavor), or with a heaping of 1 of 14 exotic tobaccos from a list that includes banana split and pomegranate ($3 for single flavor). Lung-powered fog machines can arrive sporting up to three distinct hoses ($4), although Hookah Bookah's policies foster sanitary smoke-ring creation by mandating that no more than three guests may share a multihose hookah and only one person may use a single-hose hookah. Patrons can accessorize their mini-cloud generators with natural coals, ice in the base, or political bumper stickers for additional fees.
Sometimes, one person can single-handedly inspire another person’s path in life. For Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild founder and owner Bill Strickland, that person was his childhood pottery teacher, Frank Ross. Ross’ deep appreciation for art was all encompassing: he often brought jazz music to class for students to listen to, hosted dinners at his home––which was decorated in handwoven tapestries––and encouraged Strickland to continue building his art skills at the University of Pittsburgh.
The social inequities that troubled Strickland’s native North Side neighborhood motivated him to form the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild as a way to inspire underprivileged kids to overcome trying times through art, the same way Ross did many years before. Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild began in a small space in a residential row house before growing to encompass a 62,000-square-foot art emporium with an array of studios and classrooms, and a large auditorium where commissioned bowls of fruit strike poses for still-life portraits. The award-winning center lives up to its mission “to educate and inspire urban youth through the arts” with a bevy of after-school arts programs that teach critical thinking and help prepare students for futures in the art world.
Colors & Bottles' founder Jessica Burley and her band of talented local artists are dedicated to supporting local emerging talent and businesses through art instruction held at nearby venues. Their resident artists travel to local eateries and art galleries, where they teach students of all skill levels to fashion dimensional masterpieces through step-by-step instruction. They also kindle creativity during private parties held at the location of your choice, asking only that the destination be outfitted with enough tables, chairs, and paint-by-numbers templates of the Sistine Chapel ceiling for all invitees. Colors & Bottles has received a nod for their engagingly creative events on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and within the pages of the Columbus Dispatch.
Firehouse Lounge serves up a savory menu of small bites, sliders, and burgers, impeccably paired with handcrafted specialty cocktails to fill any hour with happiness and gummy grin exposure. Enjoy a baby plate of fried zucchini ($6) or crab and bacon flautas ($9.50) to properly prepare your palate, or treat your tablemates to a round of throw-backable beef, salmon, veggie, or crab sliders to quickly gain supporters for the upcoming table mayor election. For dinner, enjoy a protein-packed BLT burger with sun-dried tomato puree, chiffonade of romaine, and bacon aioli; a succulent salmon burger topped with lettuce, tomato, and caper tartar sauce; or a veggie burger sourced from green protein with goat cheese, dijonaise, lettuce, and tomato—all burgers served with your choice of fries or salad ($8.95).