Hadley's Bar + Kitchen boozy milkshakes
Food + Drink

Hadley’s Bar + Kitchen’s Boozy Milkshakes

This Columbus spot brings upscale and playful ice cream creations to the city’s dining scene.

A giant chandelier fashioned out of brass instruments adorns the dining room, and a refurbished Frisch’s Big Boy statue sits in a corner. The menu spans truffle fries and burgers at lunch and dinner to doughnut French toast and burritos at brunch. But a glance at Hadley’s Bar + Kitchen’s Instagram feed reveals one of its true stars: boozy shakes.

“When we first opened in 2016, we really were more of a diner,” says Nicole Penn, a longtime shift leader at Hadley’s Bar + Kitchen. “We really wanted to do something homey and familiar. Our biggest things were burgers and milkshakes.”

Hadley’s over-the-top libations include three regular offerings and a rotating seasonal specialty. The standards include the Oreo Bonanza, an homage to the classic cookies and cream with vanilla vodka and Oreo crumbles; a strawberry shortcake with strawberry vodka, fresh strawberries and cookie crumbs; and the O’Hadley’s Irish coffee spiked with Baileys Irish Cream, Jameson whiskey and Kahlua liqueur, all topped with chocolate syrup and espresso beans. Every shake includes a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream and a cloud of whipped cream on top.

“The cookies and cream is a staple,” Penn says. “Irish coffee is a popular drink, and if you make it into ice cream form, people love it.”

There’s a theatrical flair to the shakes, too. Whipped cream towers over the edge of the glass, while chocolate syrups, caramel and other add-ons drizzle artfully down its sides. Seasonal variations include kitschy sides like candy canes in the eggnog shake or a tiny wedge of pie with the pumpkin shake.

“For the seasonal ones, we always try to think of the holidays,” Penn says. “We had the Christmas Carol: Rumple Minze, whipped cream and eggnog. ... For St. Patrick’s Day last year, we did the leprechaun shake with creme de menthe and a little rum. We try to think of something different every year.”  

260 S. Fourth St., Columbus 43215, 614/222-3022, hadleysbar.com