413 N. Front St., Arena District
Perhaps the hottest ticket in town these days is a pass into Nationwide Arena for a Columbus Blue Jackets home game. And with the team on the cusp of their first playoff spot in franchise history, these have become increasingly hard to come by.
While few experiences in professional sports can match the excitement and intensity of a Jackets home game, one Arena District hangout likes to think it's the next best place to be when the puck drops, and Alive readers agree.
R Bar is just a stone's throw away from the Nationwide ice, making it a natural spot to catch a game. It's so close, in fact, that the sound of the canon firing after a Jackets goal can be heard inside the bar. With enough flat screens to satisfy a maximum occupancy crowd, there isn't a bad seat in the house.
Even on an off-night, it still provides top-notch hockey entertainment with the complete NHL Center Ice package. Another R Bar attraction is the occasional CBJ guest bartender. Ask him for the specialty shot, The Stinger, but don't cop an attitude. Being this close to the ice, the gloves could very well come off.
Runners up: Park Street Tavern, Park Street Patio