Eldorado’s Food & Spirits

Columbus, Ohio

Johnnie's Tavern - Columbus Dive Bar - Exterior

In Short

Along Columbus’ busy High Street corridor, Eldorado and all of its brightly colored, classic car-imprinted dive bar sign glory offers the classic Midwest dive bar experience. Using a better-than-expected stage inside to great effect, the bar’s monthly calendar features karaoke, live bands, trivia nights, open stages and special events, creating an always-something-to-do neighborhood atmosphere.

Field Rating

7

out of 10

Evert night is theme night, in a good way.

Field Note

The terms ‘fresh paint’ and ‘dive bar’ can feel like polar opposites, if in this analogy one pole has the power to gut and destroy the other. Eldorado’s Food & Spirits, a Columbus dive bar nestled along the city’s heartbeat of a road, High Street, has seen a touch of renovation over the years, swapping out color schemes and upgrading a handful of fixtures inside. Thankfully, these touches have not come at the expanse of the vibe within, which can best be described as classic Midwest dive bar.

Outside, despite the dive bar’s sign imprinted with a car driving off into the sunset above the name of the bar, this is the kind of building just low enough, just far enough off the street, just nondescript enough to miss. The building sits in a parking lot flanked by a short strip mall of stores that aren’t necessarily prominent city destinations, adding to the out-of-the-way feel for a bar that by all other accounts sits along one of the prime Columbus traffic routes. The sign above the window is joined by a similar sign jutting out of the front wall of the building, another depiction of the classic car, this time over a short marquee that is likely dedicated to rotating karaoke nights.

Televisions are everywhere and thankfully at the Eldorado that includes the inside wall of the hanging structure over the bar.

A short porch that during the winter months is adjusted to feel more like a screened-in wind shelter sits just to the left of the bar’s main door, an outdoor smoking alcove of sorts. Inside, the layout could not be more familiar, bar just to the left, large seating area to the right, pool tables in back. The bar itself winds through this main area, creating ample seating opportunities lining the short wall of the building before stretching out into the main space. Televisions are everywhere and thankfully at the Eldorado that includes the inside wall of the hanging structure over the bar, providing a viewing option for those that might be otherwise blocked by the structure of the bar.

Christmas lights line this bar area, providing a little extra ‘dive bar’ feeling to the proceedings, stretched as far as the bar itself allows. And this is no ordinary karaoke dive bar setup as the stage begins where the Christmas lights end, a raised, dedicated, professionally-lit half circle of a stage that juts out into the main room. A mural behind the stage of, you guessed it, that classic car again, provides an appropriate backdrop. Two pool tables sit just next to the stage in a separate space, a game room extension off of what is already a deceptively large footprint inside.

Local Columbus dive bars like the Eldorado aren’t content with a weekly karaoke night or two, the calendar here is packed.

Local Columbus dive bars like the Eldorado aren’t content with a weekly karaoke night or two, the calendar here packed with trivia nights, open stage nights and live bands every weekend. Specials are prevalent and rotate each month. There are even free dart, pool and pinball hours on special events, providing a reason to stop in for a beer quite literally every day of the month. And if all of that weren’t enough, a food menu includes a host of friendly fried regular appetizer suspects as well as a selection of subs, sandwiches and pizza.

This review may have been a bit shorter if it focused on the classic dive bar traits not found at Eldorado’s Food & Spirits. Eldorado represents the quintessential, always-something-going-on Midwest dive bar experience, in this case offered along one of Columbus’ busiest streets in a part of town friendly to dive bars with city dive staple Bob’s Bar (the cultural hub of the Midwest) only a few feet away. Karaoke night or otherwise, Eldorado is the neighborhood bar experience with all the right dive bar features.

Photos

The Basics

4968 N High St
Columbus, OH 43214

Classification:
Neighborhood Bar

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