Looks were never a problem for Bristol Bar, which opened six years ago and was a pioneer in the Columbus ultra-lounge scene. It specialized in fancy martinis, cutting-edge electronic music and a be-seen attitude backed up by beautiful confines.

Looks were never a problem for Bristol Bar, which opened six years ago and was a pioneer in the Columbus ultra-lounge scene. It specialized in fancy martinis, cutting-edge electronic music and a be-seen attitude backed up by beautiful confines.

The problem was always the layout. When a really good DJ started spinning on Saturday night, everything became tight corners, stymied connections to bartenders and lots of strained politeness.

What a difference two months can make.

Opened to the public on July 31 after extensive renovations, Bristol 2.0 offers a completely redesigned interior with the same cool look and down-tempo vibe as the first version. A good thing just got a lot better.

Gone are the U-shaped bar and coat hangers in the front room, and the thick, unsightly poles in the rear lounge area. In their place are a sleek bar tucked along one wall up front, a double-door vestibule to prevent winds blowing in from the front patio and a second bar with a permanent DJ booth in the back.

"You can get a lot more people in, and it's a lot more comfortable," manager Ben Hanley said while tending bar last week.

Open space and seating atop comfortable cushioned chairs abound. You can now go to Bristol Bar and breathe.

Upgrades have also been given to the drink menu.

Top-shelf martinis remain a specialty, with vodka-tastic creations like Agent Orange (orange vodka, Grand Marnier, Triple Sec, juice and champagne) running $9. Blended scotches start at $5, and the list climbs to $10 for bona-fide delicacies like Macallan Cask Strength.

For those after less expensive fare, the bar stocks cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon and Black Label for $2. Adult snow cones - like the creamy and sweet Baileys-laced I Ain't No Holla Back Girl - provide a perfect warm-weather treat for only $3.

In a genius idea still to come, owner Todd Anderson plans to install a beer vending machine to allow suds-seekers the chance to bypass lines for a quick fix.

"You can drink expensive if you want," Hanley said. "If you want to come and drink for cheap, you can do that. We're still playing around with the menu."

Music Schedule

In addition to regular art installations and special events, Bristol Bar boasts a weekly slate of electronic music

Tuesday: Resident DJs Carma, Attak and friends spin house, hip-hop and dance

Friday: Rotating DJs, $3

Saturday: Resident DJ Umar and guests, $3