Bernard's Tavern has a humble neighborhood vibe that's a pleasant respite from the trendy hot spots in the Short North. That doesn't mean it isn't a really cool place, with a long wooden bar, eye-catching accouterments and tavern-appropriate low lighting.

Bernard's Tavern has a humble neighborhood vibe that's a pleasant respite from the trendy hot spots in the Short North. That doesn't mean it isn't a really cool place, with a long wooden bar, eye-catching accouterments and tavern-appropriate low lighting.

Even better is a happy hour that lasts until 8 p.m. and boasts a wide selection of liquors and drafts along with some tasty appetizers.

The booze:

Bernard's keeps some pretty fine spirits behind the bar - vintage Scotches and bourbons along with top-notch rums and vodkas. The bourbons are particularly impressive, but Bernard's has some Kentucky heritage so it's only fitting.

While the spirits are nothing to laugh at, it's the selection of half-price, quality brews - on tap and in bottles - that keep me coming back for happy hour.

For $2-$3 you can choose from a dozen taps carrying staples like Bell's Oberon and Two-Hearted and Rogue Dead Guy Ale plus seasonal offerings from Columbus Brewing Company and Great Lakes.

The best of the bunch is Bluegrass Brewing Co.'s Bourbon Barrel Stout. It's a full-bodied beer with just the right touch of bourbon sweetness to counter the stout's bitterness. But beware - it's so tasty you may gulp it down before realizing the effects of its potent 8 percent ABV.

The food:

If you suck down too many Bourbon Barrel Stouts and need something to soak all that alcohol up, Bernard's has some scrumptious grub.

You can't go wrong with three mini-sandwiches ($8) - cheddar cheese and caramelized onion burger, blue cheese on a Cajun-spiced patty and a pulled pork slider. The two burgers are tasty little buggers, but the pulled pork marinated in "Ginny's homemade sauce" is fantastic. I could eat about 10. Alright, maybe not, but I'd like to try.

On Fridays, Bernard's offers a full-size pulled pork sammie with fries and coleslaw for $9.

If you're looking for some cheap eats, a number of appetizers - fried banana peppers, chicken wings, tenders and stuffed quesadillas - are half-off during happy hour.

Beers on tap:

Bell's Oberon

Bell's Two-Hearted

Bluegrass Brewing Bourbon Barrel Stout

Bud Light

CBC Big Frank

Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA

Goose Island 312

Great Lakes Oktoberfest

Guinness

Rogue Dead Guy Ale

Sam Adams Summer Ale