How to choose, how to choose? Columbus had so many new and great things going on this year, from the CMA new wing opening to a baby polar bear making her debut at the zoo. But I’ll focus on two places that satisfy my three greatest loves: food, booze, and music!

First, I always loved the hip-yet-welcoming urban vibe of the Olde Town Tavern – there was just something different about it from almost any bar I’ve frequented. So naturally, when the same people behind the Tavern opened up the Walrus, I was intrigued. And it soon became one of my favorite places in Columbus in 2015. Sitting front and center on East Main Street – an area that is quickly becoming another hot spot enclave – stretching out long and narrow behind an awesome garage door that opens the whole place up on a hot summer day, the Walrus has the charming ability, chameleon-like, to turn on a dime and be whatever you want it to be – while you can just always be yourself. Is it a dive bar? Maybe… but then you turn around and see a swanky “champagne room” that makes you feel like a high roller. It’s gritty and down-to earth, but the decor has a definite intent and sophistication. The menu is classy comfort, pub grub with a twist. It’s a place where you can see and be seen with the best of ’em, or just keep your head down and get away from it all. Romantic date night or rowdy night out with friends, the Walrus welcomes you.

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But wait, there’s more! 2015 also saw the opening of about the coolest concept ever: Take one of the country’s last remaining independent radio stations, already a gem of our city and instrumental in bringing in the best and brightest of the music scene to Columbus, and put a bar inside it. CD 102.5 has historically held small, intimate live performances in “The Big Room” featuring visiting acts that often have a show that evening. Now, the public can visit their favorite radio station at the Big Room Bar¬†and raise a glass while their favorite DJ’s are right beside them spinning the tunes. The Big Room Bar has a full food and drink menu and is decorated with authentic memorabilia from the hundreds of bands who have visited the Big Room and played at CD 102.5 shows. The bar is open 7 days a week until late, and even features Sunday brunch. So if you like being surrounded by the trifecta of music, food and drink, get thee to the Big Room Bar!