Home » DraftKings’ first Ohio ‘sports-betting bar and restaurant’ is in Columbus’ Short North

DraftKings’ first Ohio ‘sports-betting bar and restaurant’ is in Columbus’ Short North

With boos from at least one Cleveland Browns fan − me − Ohio State Hall of Famer Andy Katzenmoyer placed the honorary first bet on the Cincinnati Bengals to win the AFC North this coming season.

Well, it looks like DraftKings Sports & Social, the new self-described “sports-betting bar and restaurant” in the Short North, made at least $100 profit on its first night in business Thursday. Given the popularity of online sports betting, it’s bound to make a lot more.

The third DraftKings-branded sports bar from Live! Hospitality and Entertainment, the company behind the PBR Cowboy Bar that opened at Easton Town Center in February, is the first in Ohio.

Similar: Fanatics Sportsbook opens in Columbus’ Arena District as Ohio’s sports gambling grows

It features a 37-foot LED media wall and 20 other HDTVs that, unlike DraftKings bars in Nashville and suburban Detroit, should see plenty of scarlet, gray, orange, brown (and black, I suppose, if Katzenmoyer becomes a regular) on its screens this fall.

More: PBR Cowboy Bar opens in Columbus, and here are 5 things that make it worth a visit

One of the staff described the place as “Ohio’s ultimate man cave,” a label two women from DraftKings didn’t embrace. They said it’s a place for everyone − a sentiment that should be put to the test on Saturday, Nov. 30.

At least they’ll have no Ms to cross out on their sign.

What is a ‘sports-betting bar and restaurant’?

Here’s how DraftKings Sports & Social works: Pull out your phone; place a bet.

It’s as simple as that. At live-betting venues such as the Fanatics Sportsbook outside Nationwide Arena, you wager at betting windows or self-service kiosks. DraftKings’ entry into Ohio’s new sports-betting world is purely an online thing where you place bets on sporting events the same way you’d do from your sofa at home.

Technically, you could place bets at the DraftKings bar with any of the betting apps, but DraftKings odds and other information are all posted at the venue. Krista Thomas, head of partnerships for DraftKings, said there also will be extras for people at the bar, such as “profit boosts” that increase a person’s winnings.

“We want people to experience more than the digital aspect of the brand,” she said.

What else is there besides betting?

“This is like an elevated sports bar,” Thomas said. “Good food. Good drinks. Good energy.”

On game days for OSU and other locally popular teams, live programming will fill TV timeouts the same way stadiums and arenas do. There will be contests, giveaways and other entertainment, Thomas said.

DraftKings Sports & Social already is advertising daily happy hours from 3 to 6 p.m., Taco Tuesdays, Wing Wednesdays and other specials.

At Thursday night’s opening, music blared over the action on the screens that were tuned to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ NBA playoffs game and the New York Rangers’ NHL postseason contest. (That’s a thing for hockey teams with winning records, apparently.)

Thomas said that won’t be typical. “If the game is on, the game is on,” she said.

What about the food and drinks?

It’s bar food, but better than at places that put an emphasis on the bar part of that term.

The menu includes burgers, wings, chicken sandwiches and cheesesteaks, flatbreads, tacos and other pub fare. The wings are brined 24 hours before cooking, and the burgers are classic and well cooked. Spicy tuna bites, a tuna tartare on crispy rice, break the bar-food mold, though, as do dishes such as the miso-glazed salmon bowl.

Grilled baja shrimp tacos from Live!’s PBR Cowboy Bar make an appearance on the Sports & Social menu, as does the other venue’s signature cinnamon-smoked old fashioned.

The cocktail menu includes “Crush” cocktails made with freshly squeezed citrus juices; the orange crush (orange vodka, triple sec, fresh orange juice and lemon-lime soda) goes down smoothly. The orange crush and a tropical punch with mango vodka, house-made sour, peach, pineapple and a tropical Red Bull are available in 50-ounce shareable sizes.

The details

DraftKings Sports & Social

840 N. High St., Short North (in the former Melt Bar & Grilled at High Street and Hubbard Avenue); sportsandsocial.com/columbus

Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays through Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays

rvitale@dispatch.com

Instagram: @dispatchdining