The Columbus dive bar scene is robust, with the hardworking roots of the city merging with the world class amenities that come with being the fastest growing major city in the state. Columbus is a city of neighborhoods, ranging from the old school cool of the south-of-downtown German Village (home of Beck Tavern
, among others) to Ohio State University's campus (worth a visit to the Bier Stube
) to the semi-suburbs like Grandview Heights (home of Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill
) that ring downtown without venturing too far away.
The built in, continuously replenished supply of students turned young professionals courtesy of Ohio State keeps the dive bar scene vibrant, supporting a variety of classic Midwestern dive-bars-in-the-middle-of-a-neighborhood. The age that hangs on some of the long-standing pockets of the city is reflected in their local dives, from the self-proclaimed Cultural Hub of the Midwest (Bob's Bar
) to the actually Irish Byrne's Pub
But the scene is not without its peril, as the sweeping growth of the city has started to encroach on previously affordable real estate, nipping at the heels of great dives like Hey Hey Bar & Grill
, bordering on a swanky stretch of German Village, and perhaps the best example, Betty's Bar
, a tiny dot in a piece of downtown revitalized by a series of new sports arenas, with a new soccer stadium being erected just a few feet away.
Columbus is the kind of town built for eating, drinking and doing both in bulk, experiencing some of the great hole-in-the-wall restaurants and long-standing dive bars that have stood through every phase of the city's upward trajectory.