Are you “sober curious”? Maybe you’re taking a break from drinking for personal, health, medical or religious reasons – or you’re observing Sober October or Dry January. Whether you’re calling it quits from alcohol for good or going AF just for a few weeks, you aren’t alone! More and more people are hunting for ways to enjoy the unique community vibe that’s offered by bars, but without the alcohol. Columbus restaurants have begun adding delicious, zero-proof drinks to their menus, and in February of 2022, Columbus will celebrate the opening of its first-ever sober bar: The Dry Mill of Columbus.
Read on to learn about a few of the restaurants and bars where you can enjoy happy hours and meals with friends, family, and coworkers – sans alcohol.
This is not an exhaustive list of dry options in Columbus; also, please note that the menu URLs below may link out to each restaurant's full beverage menus, not only their non-alcoholic options.
The Dry Mill of Columbus
From Kickstarter to its soon-to-open brick-and-mortar space, The Dry Mill has been generating excitement since its inception. When it launches, Columbus will be able to boast its first sober bar!
The Hills Market Downtown
While The Hills Market Downtown has postponed their dry happy hours due to COVID, you can still shop their inventory for a variety of zero-proof beverages (and stay tuned to their website and Facebook page for info on the happy hours). Alcohol-free products available for purchase include dry soda, gin and gin & tonics, cocktails, whiskey, tequila and rum, and beer and fruit juices. Non-alcoholic sparkling wine coming soon!
Zero proof inventory at The Hills Market Downtown
Headed to Strongwater? They're proud to offer 4 - 5 unique, zero-proof cocktails. Options include the Pineapple Smash, a Mango Shrub (they can also add Seedlip Spice 94 to create a Seed and Shrub), and house-made ginger ale or lemonade. Finally, you can enjoy a root beer on draft from Warped Wing Brewing Co. in Dayton.
Lumin Sky Bar
If you find yourself at Lumin Sky Bar looking out over the city, indulge in the Garden Gimlet (Seedlip Garden 108, lime, sugar and thyme) or their Spritz Free cocktail (Giffard Aperitif, Q Grapefruit Soda, club soda and citrus). Menu available here.
At Watershed Distillery, peruse their existing cocktail menu for drinks that are marked with a star, and then ask for an AF version of your pick – easy and delicious.
The Guild House has created three zero-proof menu options for when you’re headed to happy hour with your friends or coworkers. Choose from a lemon tonic, cherry ginger, or their Blackberry Smash.
The Guild House
Settling in for the evening at Vaso Dublin? Check out the zero-proof G&T or try their zesty Spice Orange. The menu can be viewed here.
While what’s on tap in each BrewDog restaurant will vary, you can always purchase their AF drinks online at brewdog.com! They have four different non-alcoholic IPAs to pick from – Hazy, Elvis, Nanny State, and Punk.
Blueberry Basil Lemonade? Yes, please. If you’re going AF, you can’t go wrong with a delightful drink like this one (served at both the Short North and Dublin locations). Visit The Pearl's menu here.
The Pearl (Short North location)
The Olive Tree
The Olive Tree has created some truly unique menu options for those looking for zero-proof drinks. Pick a fruit juice (orange, pomegranate, or carrot) or try some Batrounyeh, which is traditional Lebanese lemonade. If you want to try something really fresh and different, go for the Sweet Beirut – it’s made with Jallab-rosewater, date syrup and pine nuts!
Even though High Bank Distillery is famous for its whiskey, you really can’t go wrong with their zero-proof drinks, either. They offer four creative mocktail menu options – a seasonal mule with apple cider syrup and ginger beer, their blackberry puree Berry Burlesque, Beachside Coffee (a blend between cold brew, honey syrup, blood orange puree, and fresh citrus), and the Lost Jewel, which is a cranberry vanilla, mint and citrus creation.
If you want to stick with non-alcoholic beverages at Lincoln Social, ask for a zero-proof “bartender roulette” to switch things up! Or, keep it classic and sip on some cold brew or sparkling water. Lincoln Social also offers seasonal chef soda (syrup over crushed ice with soda water), cucumber lemonade, Red Bull, and strawberry almond limeade. View menu here.
Wolf’s Ridge offers an array of AF menu choices – enjoy their Zesty Green Iced Tea, some Berghoff Diet Root Beer, Maine Mexicane Cola, or Maine Root Root Beer.
Enjoying the tropical menu at Huli Huli? Sip on AF versions of their Blue Hawaii, Honolulu Mule, or Baby Aspirin.
We encourage you to try these drinks and more at restaurants and bars around Columbus! Share your discoveries with us using #LiveForwardCbus and @experiencecolumbus.