Best of Columbus 2009

Best Pick-Up Spot

From the 02/24/2009 edition

Bar 23

584 N. High St., Short North


It didn't take long for Alive readers to decide that Bar 23 is the best pick-up spot in the city. After opening in April, the bar - the southernmost watering hole in the Short North, just a skip from the Arena District - became the place everyone wanted to stop by.

Some, it seems, adopted it as their new neighborhood bar. And plenty have found it a good place to exchange glances, numbers (why not?) and a couple rounds before sharing a cab home.

The bar attracts a wide range of patrons, which makes it "a great meeting spot for a lot of people," said owner John Rancanelli. "You can come in a suit or you can come in relaxed, and you'll feel comfortable either way."

The mod, minimal decor might have something to do with that feeling of ease, too: wide-open spaces for mingling, cone-shaped stools circled around tall, glossy tables, and a long granite bar spotlighted from above by shot-glass-sized light fixtures.

During warm weather, an outdoor patio adjacent to Cup O' Joe's is perfect for chatting and people-watching. And during football season, scarlet and gray fills the space fast.

In addition to pouring drinks, the staff adds to the comfort level by doing all they can to make people feel at home. "We're just really friendly," Rancanelli said. "We try to get to know everybody that comes in."

Runners up: Martini Park, Park Street Patio