Taking full advantage of the riverfront, the Scioto Mile was a welcomed beautification project for Downtown. Near the southern end is the restaurant Milestone 229, which has become a popular spot for grabbing happy hour drinks and taking in spectacular views of the riverfront, Downtown skyline and colorfully lit fountains.

Taking full advantage of the riverfront, the Scioto Mile was a welcomed beautification project for Downtown. Near the southern end is the restaurant Milestone 229, which has become a popular spot for grabbing happy hour drinks and taking in spectacular views of the riverfront, Downtown skyline and colorfully lit fountains.

Milestone 229 has covered and heated the patio bar, so happy hour drinkers can enjoy the area's spectacular views even during unfortunate weather. Stop by this Friday during the Grand Illumination Ceremony, which will turn Bicentennial Park and the Scioto Mile's promenade into a winter wonderland.

The booze:

Sure, Milestone 229 is best known for its ambiance, but let's face it, happy hour is really all about the drinks. Fortunately, Milestone 229 has a beverage for just about any taste.

With a handful of selections from Ohio breweries, the drafts ($4) are limited but solid. Columbus Brewing Company is represented by its Pale Ale, IPA and robust Scotch Ale. Great Lakes options include the Dortmunder Gold and a rotating seasonal; currently it's the fervently popular Christmas Ale. The Roebling porter from Cincinnati's Rivertown Brewing Company is an option for dark-beer lovers.

A number of $5 cocktails (plus red and white wines and sangria) are featured on the drink menu. The classics, like the 229 Cosmo and the Milestone Mule - vodka, lime and ginger beer - are joined by more modern concoctions. The Greensleeves, made with Herradura tequila, cucumber, lime and cane syrup, is a standout.

The food:

Many of Milestone's appetizers are $6 during happy hour. The Skillet Mac 'n Cheese with bacon, roma tomatoes and a crumbled crouton crust is a cheesy, hearty dish. The dish really could serve as a meal. The Milestone Wings, made with CaJohn's chipotle sauce, are also recommended.

In the mood for just a light nosh? Try the hummus plate (comes with artichoke hearts, olives and oven-dried tomatoes) or the Four Snacks sampler. With gorgonzola-stuffed, bacon-wrapped dates, truffle deviled eggs, spiced cashews and marinated olives, the Four Snacks is a good roundup of delectable upscale bar munchies.