260 S. 4th St.
Columbus, OH 43215
Stepping into this bar in downtown Columbus, the first thing that will come to mind is “deliberate.” Hadley’s is dutifully placed in an area of downtown that is primed for some pretty significant growth and development, and so in a few years it will be much more of a neighborhood bar. But for now it’s a destination, a bar where the food is intensely thought out and the cocktails are creative. This bar evokes some sense of comfort foods but with the feel of a modern bar.
Burgers, sandwiches, pub grub and…milkshakes. That’s what this bar is about. Some of the things worth trying:
- S’Mores Milk Shake: A boozy milkshake, stacked tall with whipped cream and drizzled with chocolate and topped with, yes, an actual s’more. An extra thick milkshake doesn’t come to mind first as the most efficient alcohol delivery mechanism. But actually, it’s pretty good.
- Key Lime Pie Milk Shake: Absolut lime and Licor 43 are the heart of this boozy shake, with a strong lime flavor not drowned out by the sweet ice cream. Another good one from Hadley’s.
- Hadley’s Diner Burger: A double-decker burger with each patty topped with cheese, house-made pickles, “dijonaisse” and served on a brioche. I suggest you get this one with a side dish, but that burger is a dense one. Bring an appetite.
- Pork Belly Cuban: Pork, ham and Swiss cheese form the core of this dense sandwich. Served on a soft roll. This one has that strong bite with the combination of ingredients, but it’s not too over-the-top.
- Fish sandwich: A huge cod fillet breaded and served on a bun with a spicy mayo that gives just a bit of heat to the thing. Sometimes the sandwiches are really best with a side. Not in this case, you have a massive filling meal.
- Cole Slaw: Made entirely of red cabbage, this cole slaw has a wonderful acidity but also has a bit of a bite from what seems to be chipotle.
While this spot has a sports bar-like feel, it’s not to be underestimated as the same level of drudgery of the many interchangeable bars of this niche that can be found in the suburbs. In fact, the cocktails and the food here are all well thought out and so is the environment; there are tables and bar areas for groups, but it’s not a massive bar that necessarily lends itself to big groups.
It’s really kind of easy to let the bars around this city run together once you’ve been to enough of them; there’s always another burger to try, always another cocktail, always another gimmick. So it’s kind of refreshing when you feel like you have spotted a fresh take on the idea. Downtown has allowed a lot of new and creative ideas to thrive, and a growing Columbus is drawing more people from the outside too.
Give this one a try.
- The burger is excellent, and easily one of the more delicious takes in downtown.
- Boozy milkshakes are delicious but thick and very strong! I might recommend unless you’re super hungry to order one to share.
- Probably best to enjoy this bar in small groups.