26 W. Olentangy St.
Powell, OH. 43065
Built as a bit of an escape from landlocked Ohio, Huli Huli Tiki Lounge is a Hawaiian-themed bar best known for its cocktails but with a few extra menu items here and there. Carefully decorated so as to not be a grass skirt parody, this spot isn’t something to be ignored; in fact, it’s a really cool place for Powell, a small town that kind of feels like a getaway from nearby Columbus and its many, many, many sports bars. This one is a perfect spot for someone who appreciates lighter and more colorful spirits.
Let’s talk cocktails. They’re first and foremost the reason to come to this bar.
- Mai Tai: A mixture of Appleton Estate Rum, Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, lime and orgeat, this one is served on the rocks and has this wonderful, sweet and spry fruity flavor without coming off too bubblegum.
- Port Light: A straightforward cocktail, this one features Wild Turkey Bourbon, Lemon, Passion Fruit and a very lemon-bourbon flavor. This one is smooth, not too sweet and wonderfully citrus.
- Gin & Tonic: The simpler cocktails too, merit a mention, not the least of which because they are customizable, but come generally at lower price points than the cocktails.
The bar is a very easygoing place, currently its hours are limited largely to the nighttime. I will say, the place has a very laid-back feel, on a Thursday visit it was relatively quiet but got a bit more interesting on a Saturday night visit, though the crowd is overwhelmingly local and relatively low-key.
Prices are elevated, given the uniqueness of the drinks. But the staff is friendly and very knowledgable about good drinks and had a knack, both during a busy and an easier visit, for telling your mood and acting appropriately with a drink you might like.
It’s funny to think a town as far away from the water (or any Islands) as Columbus could have a few different Hawaiian bars. But take advantage of them; it’s a chance to try some very good drinks and a little bit of unique food while you’re at it.
- This is a bar for cocktails. It’s only open in the evenings and while there are some small plates, it’s not really intended to be a place for a heavy meal.
- There are plenty of happy hour specials for a mid-week pick-me-up here.
- Also, remember the list of cocktails isn’t an end-all, there’s a full bar and very capable bartenders.