Food News: Law Bird, Watershed and Vaso score Tales of the Cocktail award nods

Restaurant openings, closings and more Central Ohio food and drink news

Erin Edwards
Craft cocktails from Watershed Kitchen & Bar

Openings & Announcements 

Today, the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation announced the regional finalists for its annual Spirited Awards, and three Central Ohio bars are among the nominees in the U.S. Central region. Watershed Kitchen & Bar (1145 Chesapeake Ave,) has been nominated in the Best U.S. Restaurant Bar category. Law Bird (740 S. High St.) earned a nod for the Best New U.S. Cocktail Bar. And Vaso Rooftop Lounge, which sits atop AC Hotel Columbus Dublin at 6540 Riverside Drive, has been nominated for Best U.S. Hotel Bar. The Tales of the Cocktail Foundation’s Spirited Awards is one of the cocktail industry’s most sought-after honors, recognizing beverage professionals, establishments, journalists and others across the globe. “We’re absolutely honored!” said Law Bird co-owner Annie Williams Pierce via email. “While we definitely haven’t had the fortune of having a ‘normal’ opening trajectory, this at least feels like confirmation we’re heading in the right direction!” Just four months after making its debut in the Brewery District, Law Bird was forced to shut down in March 2020 because of the pandemic. It then pivoted to offering carry-out cocktails and bottles of wine before reopening as a bar last May. The overall top 10 nominees for the Spirited Awards will be announced on June 2. You can view the full list of 2022 regional top 10 honorees here

Northeast Ohio-based Ohio Brewing Co. has finally unveiled its large, new beer hall and production facility at 421 E. Second Ave. in the Milo-Grogan neighborhood. The 40,000-square-foot project has been in the works since 2018. The taproom is filled with Ohio memorabilia and features a food menu of flatbreads, tacos, burgers, sandwiches and more. The brewpub’s website lists eight Ohio Brewing beers on draft, including Lil Vata Mexican Lager, Pitchback Session IPA and Flori IPA. 

The owner of Bodega and Bristol Republic is opening a full-service restaurant this month. Worthington Tavern is set to replace The Half Pint at 671 High St. in the heart of Old Worthington. The 120-seat restaurant, which includes patio seating, will feature a robust beer list, craft cocktails and an upscale pub food menu. 

Pita Hut recently opened Downtown at 443 E. Main St., replacing Oodles Noodle & Dumpling Bar. The small eatery invites diners to build their own pita, salad or bowl with toppings such as shawarma, gyro meat, falafel, veggies, hummus and more. 

The Old Bag of Nails Pub has teamed up with High Bank Distillery to offer the pub’s first permanent craft cocktail menu, which launched this week. The new cocktails, such as the Whiskey War Sour and Statehouse Gin Gimlet, will be available at all 15 Old Bag of Nails Pub locations. 

Events 

Dublin’s Coast Wine House (75 S. High St.) is kicking off warm-weather season with Rosé Week 2022. The weeklong celebration of the pink drink begins with an open house on Sunday, May 15, and features a chance to sample 10 rosé wines, all of which will be available for purchase on premise. Other Rose Week events include a tasting on Wednesday, May 18, and a “House Party” on the Coast lawn May 20-21, complete with a keg of rosé, snacks and live music. See the full schedule here.  

Closings 

A Hilliard staple is shutting down. The Pan-Asian restaurant Joey Chang’s is set to close this summer at 3799 Ridge Mill Drive, according to 614Now.