Interior of Middle West Spirits’ Service Bar in Columbus (photo by Rachel Barehl)
Food + Drink

Middle West Spirits’ Service Bar, Columbus

This Ohio distillery’s bar offers a welcoming environment to enjoy incredible cocktails complemented by a lineup of great fare.

While Middle West Spirits has distinguished itself on the national stage with its portfolio of vodka, gin, bourbon and rye whiskey, its in-house restaurant, Service Bar, has proven itself to be equally accomplished. Chef James Tuckey’s focused menu of small and large plates is complemented by a bar menu that, not surprisingly, puts house spirits center stage.

Located on the north end of Columbus’ Short North Arts District, Service Bar is flooded with natural light thanks to its tall windows, and the gorgeous wood-back bar with a long, polished marble top provides the perfect spot to sample Tuckey’s menu while watching the mixologists at work.

“The menu is a split between Service Bar’s take on the classics as well as some cocktails that are pushing the boundaries,” says Josh Daily, general manager for Middle West Spirits. “The barrel-aged Old Fashioned uses a blend of our whiskeys and is stored in spent maple syrup barrels, so it has a lot of great flavor to it. That’s one that people gravitate toward.”

Daily also recommends first-timers try the draft espresso martini, which combines the house OYO vodka or honey vanilla bean vodka with coffee liqueur, simple syrup and cold brew from local roaster Thunderkiss Coffee.

For a more adventurous libation, Melissa Rice, front of house manager for Service Bar, suggests the House of the Rising Banana.

“My bartender made a miso mix and made an amazing cocktail out of it,” she says. “It has great flavor. We also have the Chef James Bond. We have a chef named James in the kitchen, so we had to pay homage to him. It’s our take on a Vesper with a new twist.”

Guests who want to explore Middle West Spirits’ portfolio can also order single pours or flights of their signature whiskeys.

Chef Tuckey, who joined Service Bar in September 2023, has designed a menu that complements the cocktails while also standing on its own. It rotates from time to time, but he recommends the quail stuffed with prosciutto and fontina cheese cornbread pudding.

“It’s my favorite thing on the menu, but it’s maybe a little less approachable,” he adds. “The bourbon-glazed pork chop is a fan favorite and definitely has more approachable flavors. Every plate comes back looking like they chewed it off bone.”

1230 Courtland Ave., Columbus, OH 43201, 614/947-1231,