580 North Fourth Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
websiteOne of the cool new venues to pop up in the burgeoning Italian Village neighborhood in north Columbus, The Juniper is a rooftop bar built atop the historic Smith Bros. Hardware building. While the austere views of downtown and the Short North give it an air of luxury, it’s got a flapperesque, almost speakeasy-like feel. Taste from the lighter menu menu of finger foods and charcuterie while you sit on that expansive patio, but make no mistake, this is an unforgettable experience.
The menu is mostly small bites to enjoy while you sample from the cocktail menu. Some of the dishes worth trying:
- Charcuterie: The lineup on this sample board includes sausage, and some preserves and pickled vegetables. It’s a very discordant mix of different finger foods, some sweet, some salty, some crunchy and some umami. Not to say it’s a bad thing though, there are a lot of combinations you can try on this plate.
- Flatbreads: There are two options for the flatbreads, one is a vegetarian option and the other is a sausage-based variety. Both feature a light, flaky and crunchy crust. The sweet tomato sauce, cheese and roasted veggies are a delight and the added salty sausage even better. Best as a snack shared between a few people.
- Jerk Shrimp: Grilled and served with a nice pineapple relish-based slaw for a fresh extra burst of flavor. Just a tinge of sweetness on the end of it, but still juicy with the sear from that grill.
- Wings: These wings have a relatively simple dry rub, but what makes them so wonderful is the smokiness of them. The wings aren’t too big by themselves, so I would suggest they’re best when shared for a small group.
- Duck Tots: Tater tots, folded with duck confit, gruyere and bernaise for dipping. Lighter as an app for sure.
- Maple Manhattan: Watershed Distillery bourbon, sweet vermouth, maple syrup and some accentuating angostura bitters. The maple flavor is distinct but it’s actually not a sugary drink.
- Rosemary gimlet: Rosemary simple syrup, lime juice, soda float on the rocks. Not sweet, and more a spry freshness than a strong drink. Good when it’s warm.
As bars in Columbus go, this one is a bit more upscale. I would recommend it maybe it’s a place for a special occasion, probably best to dress at least in business casual and, if it can’t be helped, consider it more of an appetizer placed than a full meal place if you’re with a group of people. With a date, it might be perfect though.
That said, the service is wonderful and atmosphere of the bar is impeccable. This bar was made as a special occasion venue and it happens to be open to the public. All of the things that it offers are wonderful, and I highly suggest this stop for your next big occasion.
- Before you go, I highly suggest you check the online calendar for availability. The spot can be reserved for private events like weddings, and on weekends, it often is.
- The cocktails here are really great and should not be ignored.
- There’s limited parking, maybe this would be a good place to take a cab.