Written by: Steve Stover
Date: November 3, 2017

The cheesy brisket crunch at the Service Bar at Middle West Sprits features an oak smoked brisket in Indian fry bread and a crispy corn tortilla with pepperjack queso and salsa. Photo: Steve Stover

The cheesy brisket crunch at the Service Bar at Middle West Sprits features an oak smoked brisket in Indian fry bread and a crispy corn tortilla with pepperjack queso and salsa. Photo: Steve Stover

The Service Bar at Middle West Spirits in the Short North opened October 5 and it was well worth the wait. Middle West, known for OYO vodka and a wide range of spirits, recently expanded with a five-story addition.

The Chef is Avishar Barua, the creative former opening chef of Veritas in Delaware, which was ranked as the region’s top restaurant by Columbus Monthly in 2016. Chef Barua describes the food at the Service Bar as “humbly innovative,” which is a real understatement.

The restaurant centers on the incredible floor-to ceiling, late-1800’s Brunswick bar, saved from a Cincinnati restaurant, with seven kinds of wood, a base of Craftsman doors, and a new white marble top — it is stunning!

We had a comfortable booth with a view of the room. The bar was busy all evening. Communal tables are available in the center of the room, with doors opening to a small patio out front. Parking is available.

The one-bite, chicken liver mousse in a puff pastry egg at The Service Bar at Middle West Spirits. Photo: Steve Stover.

The one-bite, chicken liver mousse in a puff pastry egg at The Service Bar at Middle West Spirits. Photo: Steve Stover.

We shared a 2015 Domaine de Cristia Cotes du Rhone ($42) but, not surprisingly, most guests were enjoying cocktails from the spirits-friendly menu.

The Chef’s amuse bouche was a one-bite, chicken liver mousse in a puff pastry “egg” — flavorful with zip, wonderful.

We shared three “Beginnings” cheese & poof, fire roasted pimento dip, pork rinds in the manner of rice crisps and barrel-aged hot sauce ($11);, “bread & butter,” a rich bun with pepperoni butter ($6); and the “Caesar” of red cabbage, tahini, buckwheat and roasted sesame ($7).

Our entrees included “cheesy brisket crunch,” an oak smoked brisket in Indian fry bread and a crispy corn tortilla with pepperjack queso, and salsa ($16), Scottish salmon with hot potato salad and nasturium flowers ($21) and the excellent MWS burger made of beef, bone marrow and bacon, with special sauce and all the trimmings on a custom potato roll (the only menu item not made entirely from scratch in-house) with the fabulous SB fries (triple fried, best in town) ($15).

The Scottish salmon with hot potato salad and nasturium flowers at the Service Bar at Middle West Spirits. Photo: Steve Stover

The Scottish salmon with hot potato salad and nasturium flowers at the Service Bar at Middle West Spirits. Photo: Steve Stover

The MWS burger at the Service Bar at Middle West Spirits is made of beef, bone marrow, and bacon, with special sauce on a custom potato roll. Photo: Steve Stover

The MWS burger at the Service Bar at Middle West Spirits is made of beef, bone marrow, and bacon, with special sauce on a custom potato roll. Photo: Steve Stover

For dessert, we shared “cookies & cream” in a cute flower pot and cinco leches cake, with dulce de leche (both $7).

Desserts at the Service Bar at Middle West Spirits include a cookies and cream treat in a flower pot and cinco leches cake with dulce de leche. Photo: Steve Stover

Desserts at the Service Bar at Middle West Spirits include a cookies and cream treat in a flower pot and cinco leches cake with dulce de leche. Photo: Steve Stover

Other popular entrees include the crispy ribs, gnocchi, and a riff on Johnny Marzetti. All of the food was made with passion and attention to detail.

We cannot wait to return to the Service Bar to taste the rest of the menu and more exciting dishes to come.

If You Go
Middle West Spirits Service Bar
1230 Courtland Ave, 43201
614-947-1231
middlewestspirits/servicebar

Hours
Open Wednesday through Sunday for dinner


  • shrimlock

    The Silent Woman Bar was i believe on East Main, just east of James.
    The signage in neon or lit up from behind maybe, was extremely provocative.
    It showed an image of a female with her, holding her own head or her head somehow detached.
    Depicting the female as presumably silent. And even holding the knife?
    pretty grisly, and disturbing and was evident to anyone driving around there up till the 90’s, it seems.

  • shrimlock

    The other one that was near the Motel Greg Lashutka got in trouble win he was prosecutor, And i think that was on East Broad, that was the Pink Elephant.

  • Barbara Cruz

    what about hanleys steak house sullivant ave Columbus ohio

  • Barbara Cruz

    does anyone have a copy of the menu or pictures

  • Mr.Gale.B

    I need an exact and correct answer:
    Where was “Top of the Center” located? In WHAT building?

  • Otto Gronkowski

    Slow hipster service and slow kitchen. Expensive prices. Don’t visit if you want to see food on your table in under 45 minutes. However the food quality, taste and presentation is very good! Ambiance is contemporary cool inside, very different from what you may have the impression of from the exterior of this old Tim Horton’s location. Good bar and drink selection. Overpriced menu. On the west coast you can find this style of filipino restaurant serving same dishes for $7.50. Here they will set you back $12-$18. You can’t even get into appetizers for less than $10 unless you want a bowl of rice. Don’t know if they’ll survive, table turnover is way too slow, even though they’re making large profit margin per dish, it’s just way too slow. If you have an evening to kill, this would be a good hangout. Don’t attempt a weekday lunch or dinner. You’ll see a good hipster millinial crowd here.

    • lettuce dolphin

      hello, I have worked at a Bibibop for 2 years now, the price for a chicken (spicy or regular) bowl currently is 6.75$, steak bowl is 7.25$, and a tofu bowl is 6.65$. Along with that the appetizers are 1$ for pineapple, 1.50$ for edamame and kimchi. Also drinks are 1.75$ but come out to 1.88$ after tax.
      A chicken bowl with a drink is 9.14$ if you eat in and 8.63$ if you take it to go.
      Also the service is incredibly fast, if there is no line we can usually get someone to make an entire bowl in about 1-2 minutes. The only time service is slow is when there is a rush, around 11am-1pm and 5pm-7pm, and even slow is an understatement, once you get to the line it usually takes about 2 1/2 – 3 minutes to get through. Also the line length and time depends on the store, i have worked at several Bibibop’s and some attract a larger crowd than others. The most visited age demographic in my opinion is about 20-25 and 40-50.

      The reason i started working at a Bibibop is because of the low prices for such a delicious and large amount of food, the bowls are about the size of two softballs, i do not know how many fluid ounces off hand though, i believe around 48 fluid ounces.
      If you have any other questions or anything about Bibibop i got you, i’m not being paid to do this, i just came across it while on the internet and saw a lot of inflated prices and felt like sharing the exact price.

      I hope you all have a great day, Take care always!

      • lettuce dolphin

        Also a lot of the prices on the op post are not correct and we do not carry some items anymore, such as the Pellegrino.

        Take care always!

      • Otto Gronkowski

        Bibbiop is nice KoreanAmerican hybrid chain started by Charlie, of Charlie’s Steakery (He’s Korean). My comment was about Bonifacio PhillipinoAmerican restaurant near Grandview

  • Laurie Wickline

    Didn’t see Milanos. Used to go there all the time! Loved the lasagna!!!

  • Denise Lafferty

    Bill Knapps

    • Jim Early

      looks like they closed in 2001:
      Bill Knapps 2100 Bethel Road Columbus
      Bill Knapps 6851 N High St Worthington
      Bill Knapps 2199 Riverside Dr Columbus
      Bill Knapps 12995 Stonecreek Dr Pickerington

  • Carol Francis

    Knights Ice Cream has been closed since 2015!

  • Judith Swanson

    I have a few random comments. There was a restaurant in the early 80’s on Main (downtown) called Numbers which was run by Steven Bimbo (King of the Gypsies). Siam (both the original restaurant on Bethel and a branch in German Village (where Bavaria House used to be). John’s Village Junction on High in German Village. Many restaurants opened and closed in Brewery District. Butchie’s (east) had a couple of other names which were more Italian sounding. Columbus Steak House was in a shopping center at east of 71 on 161. We went there a lot in the 1980’s.

    • Butches started out as a Dog N Suds in the 1960’s then was Joseppi’s for a number of years, then Armondo’s for a while then Butches

    • Dean Congin

      Loved Siam. I lived at Olentangy Commons and ate there all the time. You’re right about Brewery Dist, lots of turnover in Brewery District. I used to play in a popular 80s band and we would play most of the German Village bars. Good times.

  • Sara Davis

    The Silent Woman was locared on Main St in Whitehall, a couple blocks East of Yearling Rd

  • Sandy B

    This is one of my favorite restaurants and I always recommend it to friends who want good seafood, but don’t want to take out a loan to get it. The service is terrific, the food is great, the prices are beyond reasonable, and parking is easy. I do wish the Gaslight were still at the other end of this shopping center!

    • Pamela Sam Edwards

      I went there for my senior prom. First fancy restaurant I had ever been to. Great food bad date.

  • Ben Huntoon

    How about Shakey’s Pizza in Whitehall. Don’s Drive-In in Reynoldsburg.

  • Lynne Groban

    There used to be a restaurant on E. Main Street next to Norwood’s amusement park . The neon sign showed a chicken. It was on the west side of the amusement park toward Nelson Rd. Does anyone remember the name of the restaurant and was it any good?

    Also, there was the Berwick Grill on College Avenue.

  • Mike Poliseno

    Pete’s Red Pig at Hamilton and Main or Emils

  • Dean Congin

    Farrell’s Ice Cream, Cadillac Cafe, Rockys

  • Galata Mediterranean Cuisine

    In NYC, for Turkish food, you should visit Galata. Here you can get a modern selection of most popular and most loved dishes of Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine as well as the mouth watering desserts.

  • Teri Gallagan-Horning

    There was a place on the West side called Sir Loin that served…well…sirloin steak dinners. There was also a place called the Fireside Inn that was owned by Bob Marvin (a.k.a. Flippo the Clown) that was also on the West side.

  • ubu62001

    Cockerells in Westerville.

  • The Silent woman was a bar in Whitehall on E Main between Hamilton and Yearling, South side of the street.

  • Pamela Sam Edwards

    Anyone remember a restaurant on either morse road or 161. It was an Italian restaurant and on the weekends there was Donna Marie on the piano. My husband and I were in our mid 20’s and the rest of the clientele were, let’s say seniors. They were all dressed up and dancing to the music. What a fun place to have dinner.
    I think it was called Lombardi’s.

  • Cindi Clark-Gillotte

    Fabulous food here and good people!!!!! Mouth watering delicious hummus!!! Yum Yum.

  • Judy Edmister Gaines

    Does anyone remember YEARLING ROAD PIZZA from 1960’s?? It was really one of the best small pizza places for Whitehall /Columbus ….. miss their pizzas but their Subs were … just SOOOO GOOOOD!!!

  • Lynne Groban

    Thanks for the tip and for researchimg the restaurant. Have a lovely day.

  • Otto Gronkowski

    Bonifacio at intersection of King and North Star rd