415 North Front St.
Columbus, OH 43215
An easy-going bar with a simple and straightforward purpose, The Half Paint is all about the beers, and that’s obvious from the moment you step in whether you’re looking at the mile-long line of taps or the brew-themed decorations. This is a stripped down version of The Pint Room, a bar largely built around a good menu of beer and burgers, and it’s a more to the point Columbus-focused chain with a few locations in high-traffic areas. All told, the menu’s not bad, it’s mostly about the drafts here.
Like its parent group, this one focuses on a simpler menu around the burgers. Some things to try:
- Classic Burger: As simple as it comes: lettuce, tomato, red onion, American cheese and a dijon mayo, cooked to order and best when medium rare. The plump, greasy patty falls apart in your mouth while the bun sops up all the best juices.
- Turkey Burger: Seems like a cop-out, but actually one of the best things on the menu! The turkey burger has some bacon to add a little more flavor but the turkey meat is seasoned and delicious.
- Hot Chicken: With an assertive and rising heat, this crispy chicken comes with a ranch sauce and some pickles to cool it.
- Harvest Salad: This fall salad throws together some unusual ideas, like slices of squash, apple and nuts atop a bed of mixed greens and served with a nice sweet and peppery vinaigrette. Probably best if you want a lot of flavor but not the resultant sluggishness.
- French Onion Soup: Deep, oniony flavor and a sharp cheese give this soup a ton of flavor and it’s served with lighter crostini. It’s all about the broth here and it shows.
The bars are especially busy during lunch hours because they tend to be near the business crowd. They’re busier on game days, too, but in large part for taprooms they tend to escape some of the business that others do. Which makes this a wonderful place to go many nights if you’re wanting a quieter place to enjoy a few new brews, especially rare and hyper-local varieties.
Bartenders tend to be knowledgable and the menu is pretty good with pairing certain burgers to certain beers. So there’s those things. But the relatively simple menu of sandwiches and a surprising brunch menu makes it a place that is also pretty good for a bite without necessarily getting a brew too. Simple and to the point, The Half Pint goes for a straightforward experience, and delivers on it.
- The burger menu is the first and best thing to try, but also don’t skip out on the turkey burger! A hidden menu item.
- Weeknights, this is one of the best places for a quiet beer.
- Lots of Ohio and hard-to-find beers on the rotating tap menu.