This is a guest post by PJ Bumstead
In a way Park Street Tavern is the embodiment of the craft beer movement in the U.S. On the corner of Park and Spruce Streets in the Big 3 Breweries-dominated Arena District, the Tavern doesn’t employ the glitzy, bright, neon lights of its District brethren, unassumingly taking its place and forsaking any 21st century encroachment upon its façade. Like a mosquito, many a Friday night socialite attracted to the lights of “Mass of Humanity” (or MoH) bars such as Park Street Patio, GasWerks, Bar Louie, or Brothers would likely walk right past without even realizing there is another bar with Park Street in its name. In doing so, their taste buds miss out on stimulation they won’t find anywhere else in the area.
From the outside, Park Street Tavern is a brick building straight out of the Roaring Twenties. They are a little deceptive with their entrance because there is a door on the Park Street side of the building that occasionally serves as the entrance, but the actual entrance is around the corner on Spruce. When in Park Street Tavern you are surrounded by what I am finding to be a very common interior feature with our bars here in Columbus: exposed brick. Upon entering you will find to your right an exposed brick arch, a pool table, and a high-top table against the front wall toward the right corner.
Directly in front of you as you come in is the cooler Park Street uses to house its rather extensive bottled craft beer selection where you will find selections from Bell’s (MI), North Coast (CA), Columbus Brewing Co. (OH), Founder’s (MI), Troegs (PA), Boulder (CO), Stone (CA), New Holland (MI), Avery (CO), and Dogfish Head (DE).
The English-Style bar can seat between 10 and 15 patrons who can choose from the two six-tap towers containing Left Hand (CO), Bell’s (MI), Sierra Nevada (CA), Columbus Brewing Co. (OH) and Goose Island (IL), and then behind the bar is their above-average liquor selection. Across from the bar are multiple high-top tables and regular-height tables for you to sit down, enjoy your Left Hand Milk Stout or Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, and either talk with your friends or enjoy the live music playing every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
In the grand scheme of the Columbus craft beer scene Park Street Tavern may not measure up to the likes of a Bodega, Bob’s Bar, or Brews (all start with “B” and are great craft beer bars, coincidence?) However, when looking at it solely from the perspective of the Arena District, Park Street Tavern allows you to enjoy the nightlife of the neighborhood while also being able to take pleasure in the beer you are drinking. I can honestly say that before I found Park Street Tavern I avoided the Arena District as much as possible because of the MoH bars and the lack of a quality beer selection (oh, and the drunk guys trying to prove their manliness). Now that I know of this establishment, I can enjoy the Arena District much more, puffed-chest dudes notwithstanding.
Why Park Street Tavern Gets Bonus Points
Plain and simple here folks, Park Street Tavern is the Spartan Army at the Battle of Thermopylae while MoH bars are the Persian horde bearing down on them. While the MoH bars may have more beer by volume than Park Street Tavern, the saying, “It’s not quantity, it’s quality” applies here perfectly.