While I regret not making it to Phillips Coney Island before its revamp, I regret even more waiting so long to check out Philco Bar + Diner. I spent as much time fawning over the beauty and wonderful mood of the space as I did devouring the delicious food and beer offerings.
Phillips Coney Island was a Short North mainstay for years, and in June the owners of Club 185, Little Palace and El Camino Inn opened a revamp Philco Bar + Diner. And it’s an absolute shame that it took me months to check out this modern, comfortable, upscale diner.
I immediately loved the avocado barstools and booths paired with the shiny stainless steel bar and fixtures. Deep wood accents along with diner classics make this space absolutely beautiful and a perfectly comfortable place to wile away a cold Saturday afternoon.
Ohio craft beer is well represented on tap with Actual Brewing Company, Jackie O’s Brewing and Seventh Son Brewing on tap along with several other good craft beers from around the country. Cans and bottles range from Oskar Blues to Bud Light to squat bottles of High Life. The friendly bartender suggested I try the Lava Lake Wit brewed with chamomile by Crazy Mountain Brewing Company in Colorado. Both the brewery and the beer were new to me, and I absolutely loved the taste of the beer. Imagine the relaxing taste of chamomile infused with alcohol–the perfect Saturday afternoon late brunch beer.
Our server was both knowledgeable and friendly, and the service was prompt. She actually had to come back three times before we ordered our food because I was too busy admiring all of the gorgeous details inside Philco.
The brunch menu included many breakfast options, coney dogs and a few sandwiches; while the menu isn’t huge, it offers a nice variety of appealing choices. My husband went with the coney dogs to call on the history of Phillips Coney Island, and I went with the breakfast risotto. Both were absolutely fantastic. While I’d never had a breakfast risotto before, it was perfect. A nice creamy risotto with roasted pecans and fresh fruit offered the perfect breakfast punctuation with my relaxing chamomile beer.
Philco was deservedly packed our entire time there, and it seemed like a good mix of those enjoying drinks or eating lunch. The barstools are incredibly comfortable, and one television up in the corner is high enough to ignore if you choose to focus on the space rather than football.
The energy at Philco was wonderful with a mix of all ages, and the Saturday buzz was a perfect complement to the art galleries surrounding the bar + diner, one of which was featuring a Garbage Pail Kids painting.
The details that make Philco great are the tiny bits that call on a classic diner. I loved the diner menu board (black with replaceable white letters) featuring the daily jam and pie specials as well as featured draft beers. The full line of Boylon sodas are a great offering for the younger crowd, and the music was a nice background to the energy of Philco.
Philco makes a nice pit stop for a day of shopping in the Short North or a perfect destination on its own. We enjoyed our beers, coney dogs, french fries, breakfast risotto and hush puppies in a comfortable atmosphere and were never rushed. I appreciated the server dealing with my obsession with the menu’s design and the overall interior. Bless any server who can deal with my attention issues, especially on an incredibly packed Saturday.
Philco Bar + Diner is a great spot for drinks, food and any combination of the two. They’ve perfected the idea of an upscale yet comfortable diner, and I can’t wait to visit again soon.