by Karl Kurtz
Earlier this month, the Columbus Dispatch reported that a cafe in the basement of the Ohio Statehouse will begin serving alcoholic beverages today.
The first full-service bar will appear at the Statehouse on July 11 when the reinvented Capitol Cafe reopens in the lower level of the landmark state building. The cafe is closed for 10 days to accommodate a change in operators, to Milo's Catering and Banquet Services from Catering by Design.
The big change will be the addition of a full-service bar, "complete with flat screen televisions," according to the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board, the state agency responsible for the Statehouse and grounds. The bar will host special events and "private happy hours," but it also will be open to the public at times to be designated....
The reinvented Capitol Cafe by Milo's also will feature "a classic deli and diner flair." For those with a sweet tooth, Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream will be on the menu.
As far as we know at NCSL, this is the only capitol that allows liquor to be served in a restaurant open to the public. There are several state capitols where alcohol is banned altoghether, some that allow it for special events only, and a remaining few where unofficial bars in leaders' offices still lubricate the legislative process behind closed doors.
Next time I'm in Columbus, I'll stop by the Capitol Cafe for some Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream--perhaps with some Bailey's Irish Cream on top.