Happy Hour: The Local at Whole Foods

  • Photo by Tim Johnson
From the November 15, 2012 edition

Drinking at the grocery store is an odd trend that’s becoming more popular. I know you’re not supposed to shop when you’re hungry, but what about drunk? Anyway, the Dublin Whole Foods Market recently added The Local, a small gastropub right in the center of the store.

The brushed steel bar is a nice oasis among the aisles of organic goodies, offering a number of solid craft beers on tap and some delightful nosh. It may not become the new hot spot in the suburbs — thankfully — but the happy hour deals are charmingly economical.

The booze:

The dozen craft brews on tap at The Local offer a selection that should satiate beer aficionados, and the best part is the price — $2 for a pint during happy hour. Staying true to its name, a few local brews from Elevator and Columbus Brewing Company (and Cincinnati breweries Rivertown and Mt. Caramel) are on tap.

The other taps were rounded out with solid brews from Heavy Seas, Lagunitas and Bell’s. Whatever the current beer list on the rotating selections, you’ll probably find something to your liking. If you don’t, head over to the beer aisle and they’ll pour your choice in a glass for you. If beer ain’t your thing, the Local also offers $3 on tap wines.

The food:

While the libations may mean you might do a little lubed-up grocerying, the menu at the Local makes sure you won’t be shopping hungry. The bar snacks include truffle fries, a hummus plate, cheese and chips nachos and a soft pretzel for $3. I recommend the huge, doughy pretzel that’s smothered in butter and lightly salted.

There are also other larger plate options if you’re especially hungry that are still light on the wallet, despite not being happy hour priced. The dozen wings (with three sauce options) for $5 were kind of a steal. The wings were meaty, mostly juicy on the inside and crispy outside. The buffalo sauce was spicy, but not too hot.