Food News: Law Bird Among 10 Best New Cocktail Bars in U.S.; Cove Coming to Delaware

Tales of the Cocktail named Law Bird among the 10 Best New Cocktail Bars in the U.S., and a seafood restaurant called Cove is coming to Delaware, Ohio

Erin Edwards
Columbus Monthly
Annie Williams Pierce of Law Bird makes a Last Waltz cocktail.

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

Openings & Announcements 

The Tales of the Cocktail Foundation recently announced the top 10 nominees for its 16th annual Spirited Awards, and Law Bird made the cut. The awards are among the most prestigious in the cocktail and spirits industry. Law Bird (740 S. High St.) was named among the top 10 in the Best New U.S. Cocktail Bar category. The Brewery District bar from Annie Williams Pierce (a Columbus Monthly Tastemaker) and Luke Pierce stands alone as the only Ohio bar in the competition, which recognizes cocktail programs, bartenders and media around the world. The Top 10 finalists in the Best New U.S. Cocktail Bar category include: Law Bird (Columbus), Double Chicken Please (New York City), Happy Accidents (Albuquerque), Kona’s Street Market (San Francisco), Overstory (New York City), Palmetto (Oakland), Temple Bar (New York City), Tiki Tatsu-Ya (Austin), Trade Winds Tavern (Seattle) and Yacht Club (Denver). Spirited Award winners will be announced at the Tales of the Cocktail conference, taking place July 25-29 in New Orleans.

Chef Josh Dalton is launching a new concept at his restaurant “incubator” at 15 E. Winter St. in Delaware, once home to Veritas Tavern and Speck Italian Eatery. Speck departed the downtown Delaware space in early April ahead of its relocation to Downtown Columbus. The modern Italian restaurant is expected to open this summer on the ground floor of the Nicholas building at High and Gay streets. Filling the empty Delaware space will be Cove, a new seafood eatery from one of Central Ohio’s most creative and versatile chefs. A timeline for Cove’s opening has yet to be announced.  

Worthington Tavern, a new restaurant from the owner of Bodega and Bristol Republic, made its debut last week at 671 High St. in Old Worthington, formerly The Half Pint. Owner Brian Swanson’s new tavern features a dinner menu that includes oysters on the half shell, salads, burgers, pastas, steak frites and more. Brunch service will be added soon. 

Yavonne and Wade Sarber, two former Columbus restaurateurs, have returned to the Columbus dining scene after several years in Cincinnati where the pair developed a new concept: Agave & Rye. The Sarbers’ taco, tequila and bourbon concept made its Columbus debut last week at 479 N. High St., formerly Fuzzy’s Taco Shop. The location is the first of at least two Agave & Rye locations coming to Central Ohio; another is taking over the former Spagio space in Grandview. Agave & Rye, which features Yavonne Sarber’s flamboyant design style, offers a menu of “double-shelled” tacos, burgers, mac ’n’ cheese, enchiladas, birria ramen and more. 

Two years after it was first expected to open, the bar Mandrake Rooftop is now open at 808 N. High St. atop the Moxy hotel in the Short North. Mandrake is owned by the same Cleveland-based group that operates TownHall, the restaurant on the ground floor of the Moxy building. Mandrake is on the building’s 10th floor, with views of Downtown and Victorian Village. 

Cake Walk Bar & Restaurant has been replaced by Clove Indian Bistro at 6642 Sawmill Road. Clove’s hours are 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Wednesday through Monday (closed Tuesday); lunch buffets are available Friday through Sunday.