697 N. 4th St.
Columbus, OH 43215
For all of its many bars in Arena District and Short North, Columbus seems to have a bar hidden on every corner just north of downtown. And so it is with the City Tavern, nestled in an industrial building along 4th Street which is often traveled on the way out of the city center. The expansive sports bar has an appeal for the neighborhood, which is quickly developing with high-end rentals and a younger crowd. So the food is classic pub grub with a modern American bent. Not bad at all.
Of course the menu is now-familiar to anyone who hangs out in sports bars, but a few notable things to try:
- French dip: Don’t let its size food you, this sandwich is really quite filling. A nice, fresh French loaf served with sliced beef and an au jus that is just stunning. Beefy but not too salty, a little bit goes a long way, but don’t worry, you get a lot.
- Salads: The standard veggie heavy salad but well balanced. The bar has a house vinaigrette which is very pleasant. I prefer it to one of the heavier ranch or other kinds of dressing.
- Hummus and pita: A good appetizer option if you’re inclined to a simple and sweet kind of dip. The hummus isn’t too oily and that’s a big deal. It’s served with these swell lightly-toasted pita chips and veggies for dipping, but even with that you’ll have some extra. It’s good by itself, too.
The bar is relatively lively on the weekends, but a great majority of the people who are here are usually interested in the sports. So in that sense it’s kind of a hybrid between the generic-focused American bars and the more hip, urban vibe-bars. Which is just fine, Columbus has plenty of both of those archetypes, and sometimes you’re just in the mood for something else.
All in all, not a bad hang-out spot and I can understand where this bar appeals to the Italian Village crowd; it’s got a wider appeal and like many of the other dives in this part of town, it has found a captive audience among the younger people flocking to Columbus’ core. The food comes quickly, the prices are reasonable and the bar is an all-around good time.
- Definitely a baseball bar in the summer seasons. If you’re not in the mood for that, then maybe that patio is appealing.
- I like the sandwiches and foods beyond the normal burger/wings/pizza kind of stuff. This bar does some other things better.
- Plenty of parking here, which is easier than many other stops in Italian Village.