The unassuming sign reads merely "The Pub," so it's understandable to think you're visiting a typical sports bar. But the Pub in Gahanna is more than just a traditional place to watch a game and have a beer.

The unassuming sign reads merely "The Pub," so it's understandable to think you're visiting a typical sports bar. But the Pub in Gahanna is more than just a traditional place to watch a game and have a beer.

Owner Mike Hardin, who opened the Pub two years ago, wanted his bar to combine a comfortable Midwestern vibe with a tropical setting.

"We treat you good, and you can have a beer with good people," Hardin said.

While the easy rapport between customers and staff lends to the friendly neighborhood feel, the Tiki Bar out back can whisk you away to a place in a Jimmy Buffett song.

"We have one of the best patios around," Hardin said. "It's worth its weight in gold. It makes you feel like you're not in Gahanna anymore."

The Tiki Bar has been perfectly transformed with palm trees, grass umbrellas and bamboo fences that almost make you forget there's concrete beneath your feet and not beautiful white sand. A cornhole tournament held there every Monday brings a crowd of nearly 100 patrons, making the Pub's patio the de-facto gathering spot for East Side aficionados.

Hardin is also particularly fond of his staff, who recently put out a calendar modeled after Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue.

"We have one of the cutest staffs in town, but it's more than that. When you go to a bar, you want to [have a conversation] with someone you like. Good service is what it's all about," he said.

The Pub in Gahanna also offers some decent happy hour specials from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day - including weekends. Those include hefty 25-ounce domestic ($2.25) and import ($3.25) drafts, liquor deals and $5 Jager bombs.

The Pub in Gahanna

207 W. Johnstown Rd., Gahanna

614-471-4510

Web: gahannapub.com

The weekend happy hours make the Pub a popular place to cheer for your favorite football teams. The bar is packed for Ohio State games on Saturdays, with potluck dishes and scarlet and gray Jell-O shots. Sundays bring the "who dey" crowd to this unofficial home of the Bengals nation, but Browns and Steelers fans are welcome, too.

If you need to soak up some of that beer, just place an order next door at Kristino's Pizza - you can do it through a window right in the bar. Kristino's offers a variety of dishes, including sandwiches, wings, stromboli, salads and, of course, pies. The perfect combination? A Hawaiian pizza washed down with a rum drink at the Tiki Bar.