With the closing of Alive’s 2011 winner Vonn Jazz, “The One and Only” Dick’s Den stepped in to top this year’s list. Dick’s may not be the place for romantic, candle-lit jazz, but don’t let the dive bar atmosphere fool you. This place has soul. Open for nearly 50 years, Dick’s Den is a longtime Columbus jazz haunt that hosts an impressive mix of local and national jazz acts weekly. Good bluegrass, too. The North Campus bar’s wooden walls are covered with photos of cheerful regulars, the bartenders are laid back and the beer is cheap. High Street may change, but the scruffy charm of Dick’s Den endures.
Runners-up: Rumba Cafe, Park Street Tavern