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Winking Lizard Tavern - Crosswoods

Not Rated.
Winking Lizard Tavern - CrosswoodsWinking Lizard Tavern - Crosswoods
BA SCORE
87
very good

40 Ratings
Ratings: 40
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 14.7%
Taps: 25
Bottles: 200
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

100 Hutchinson Ave
Columbus, Ohio, 43235-1414
United States
phone: (614) 785-9755

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @winkinglizard

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: AtLagerHeads)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 40 | Reviews: 33 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BeerBelcher:
Photo of BeerBelcher
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%

I don't think I'll be returning to Winking Lizard. My experience there wasn't terrible, but there just wasn't anything there that will drive repeat business from me. It wasn't a great beer experience, and it wasn't enough of a good restaurant experience to cause me to drag the fam and non-beer lovers back there either.

Ambience reminded me of a Joe's Crab Shack or a Dixie Grill...bright, modern, glitzy. There are a lot of TV's, so this would be a fine place to watch the big game, but I usually do that at home.

We sat at the bar. The wait-staff seemed a little disorganized...it seemed like there were 10 people behind the bar (on a Tuesday afternoon), and there seemed to be some confusion over who was waiting on us.

There were maybe 10 beers on tap, but no real standouts. The draft list was sort of thoughtlessly populated - not a lot of diversity among the choices. The bottle list was long, but again there wasn't anything I had to have. My tendency is to drink what's on tap, drinking bottles only if there is something REALLY interesting on the bottle list. The food was pretty lousy. I had wings, a patty melt, and shells and cheese. I thought the wings would be terrific in a place like this, but honestly all the food was marginal.

To sum-up - OK ambience, a large but not really appealing beer selection, confused service, and marginal food. Why would I return?

BeerBelcher, Aug 31, 2009
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Photo of amhatfield3
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%

sometimes it is overcrowded, but that means they are doin a good job, right?! some of the service can be slow at times. but over all i love the place and will always stop in every chance i get. everyone i have taken there loves this location as well.

amhatfield3, Sep 05, 2013
Photo of buschbeer
4.04/5  rDev +6%

I made my way here on the way home from Cincinnati. This was about my third visit to this location. It is conveniently located off US 23. I met a buddy there, and we had a few beers and lunch. It is in an area with several chain restaurants. I think it used to be a Dick Clark's American Bandstand. Once you enter you get greeted by a hostess. The place has a chain restaurant/sports bar feel to it. There are lots of TV's with sports on them.

They have a lot of beer, so it took me a while to decide what to get. I got a local selection, Columbus Brewing Summer Teeth. I also got a Kulmbacher Pils since it was the glass of the month.

I ordered a couple of appetizers. The deep fried macaroni and cheese wedges were okay, but the southwest egg rolls were excellent. The bar was not packed, which is how I like it. The bartender was very friendly.

I was kind of surprised by the mediocre score this bar has. I have always found it enjoyable and have liked the selection of beer. I have only had appetizers here, but they were all adequate. I think this is a good place to stop on the north side of Columbus.

buschbeer, Jul 01, 2013
Photo of RHWeir
2.98/5  rDev -21.8%

Don't go too late, it gets too drunk and too young. Also, the food quality suffers. Stopped in here when we got into town late one night and we were beyond hungry and worn out from traveling. The waitress tried and was beyond polite but the food suffered due to the late hour. The Philly Cheese Steak sandwich was absolutely a hideous dried up piece of beef mess. Best advice for food? Go with the chicken items, this is after all a wing place. I've been here many times for blacked out Browns games. It gets crowded but overall, once you get a seat, an alright atmosphere.

RHWeir, Jun 10, 2013
Photo of GumbyDammit
2.55/5  rDev -33.1%

Being from Cleveland, I knew a bit about this place. It has a pretty good selection of craft/import beers (about 100) in bottles. It has about another 20 drafts. It seems every time I order a draft from their draft list I am told they do not have it. Several times I ordered a certain draft and thought it tasted weird. When I got my bill, I was charged for a different beer (a more expensive one). I don't know if they gave me the wrong beer or just like to charge their customers for whatever is more expensive!

It can be hard to get the bartenders' attention at times. They seem to be too busy texting their friends...right behind the bar in view of the people they are supposed to be serving. Whether I am at a table or at the bar, the staff smells like they were in a Cheech and Chong movie...disguisting!! I have had much better service at a table as opposed to the bar. Overall the staff seems pretty friendly but servers tend to disappear for a while. When they do come back to the table is when they smell like smoke.

For being a place to get a great selection of beer, the bar staff does not seem to know much about the product they are selling. I do like the fact that it seems many of the beers have a special logo'd glass for it. I was offended when the server said that I do not get to keep the glass and that they would be watching me to make sure I didn't take the glass. Maybe some of that effort could be used for better service.

The food is decent, nothing special. I don't go there for the food though anyway. If you are hungry though, order right away. It will take 45 minutes to an hour to get a 12 pack of wings and some spinach dip.

If you just want to hang out and try new beers it is okay. Don't be in a hurry and don't come in hungry...you will regret it.

When my food took 45 minutes to get to me a manager brought it out and apologized. It was nice that the managers seem to be hands on. The only thing though is the manager was a slouch and shirt was half untucked and wrinkled. He smelled like moth balls. I overheard the bartenders talking about "Sherman". Not impressed with that.

Overall, just an okay place.

GumbyDammit, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of AleWatcher
2.78/5  rDev -27%

We wandered in here after a long day... There was a touch of freezing rain that had been making the roads dangerous for a few hours...
We sat down and overheard one of the male bartenders say, "what the fuck man? Do we like have a spotlight shining in the sky calling these assholes to come here?"
He then looked directly at us... "odd," I thought, "we literally just walled in and haven't said anything to anyone.... I wonder what's going on...."

A female bartender comes over and informs us "if you want a beer I'm only gonna give you guys one each because we are closing early due to the shitty weather."

Ok. Whatever. I just wanted a Bambic, so I don't really care about hangin out at all. I ask if I can just buy Bambic to go and with a slightly puzzled look upon her well-worn brow we are told, "um, oh, we don't have that anymore."
Saddened, I ask for a menu and saw Bambic listed (for $11 per bottle-- aka $1 per oz!)... So I ask for one for on-sore consumption and again I'm told they don't have it.

A third bartender overhears this information being relayed to us and steps forth to save the day-- they totally have it.
We are presented with bottles... No glasses, but bottles.
Eventually we get some glassware.

We enjoy the beers for a few minutes when a fourth bartender saw the bottles and struck up a little conversation about how Bambic was so popular on the first release and this time they "just aren't selling."
I ask, rather timidly, but excitedly, "so... You still have some available to go?"

And they do, and I am allowed to buy a few. (this guy is the only reasonthat my service score is not a 1. He chatted with us for a few minutes while he straightened up the bar area-- he seemed pretty knowledgeable and mentioned he was on BA.

So that is my Winking Lizard story.
We had one beer and bought some Bambic to go-- it took 4 different employees before both of these events took place and I felt like I was talking to some one that knew their business.

The atmosphere was a little depressing-- it was a giant empty bar. Just huge empty sadness. Somehow it was way too loud despite the vast expanse of desolate lonliness.

AleWatcher, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of shivtim
3.08/5  rDev -19.2%

We were driving through Columbus and met up at the Winking Lizard with some friends for dinner before continuing our drive south.

The place was packed because there was a Steelers-Browns game, but the wait for a table was only about 10 minutes. It's a very large place, typical sports bar atmosphere but with an odd glass wall down the middle and an iguana up front. There was also a large outdoors area that would be good for summer.

The selection is fine. Yes, there are a lot of beers, but most are not very exciting and/or are readily available. I managed to find one local beer on tap - Columbus IPA. It was pretty good.

The food was good. Average American restaurant/bar food. Sandwiches, fried stuff, etc. My jerk chicken sandwich wasn't half bad.

Decent service, taking into account they were busy.

Overall this is just a huge family-friendly sports bar. They do have some good beers, but it's certainly not a beer destination. Probably a good option if you want to watch a game.

shivtim, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of MbpBugeye
2.15/5  rDev -43.6%

I went in here to get some more Bambic. I called ahead to verify since this is out of the way for me.

Winking Lizards are huge, seemingly way over sized. I've never been into a Winking Lizard when they actually needed all of the seating they have. That's probably a good thing since it would be a veritable zoo if the place were near capacity.

For some reason this location struck me as slightly nicer than the Bethel location. It seemed newer. The entryway is nicer, for example. But it still has many distinct similarities to the Bethel location. Decorations are the same and TVs are mounted way up on the ceiling (for some reason) the same.

While standing at the bar I couldnt help but notice the huge cooler FULL of chilled pint glasses. It hurts my head so very badly. 50% of their cooler space is used to improperly serve expensive beers in a chilled fucking shaker pint. God damn, I'm annoyed much more than I probably should be. But that cooler sums up what I dont like about Winking Lizard. Its just a highly vague and tenuous understanding of craft beer ramped up and put into a big, loud franchise.

I was here during the end of lunch time so there were some business folks having lunch and a beer (I wish I could drink on my break at work). I was able to walk right up to the bar and the bartender approached right away.

As I said, I confirmed over the phone that they did indeed have Bambic, but the lady working the bar didnt know what I was talking about. I re-phrased my order, including the FULL name "Jolly Pumpkin Bambic, the one for your 25th anniversary." She went to the back for help. Sheesh. At least the woman who she found for help had heard of the stuff and together they brought me my 3 bottles, which was the limit that I was told by the man I spoke to on the phone. I'm 100% sure I could have ordered more since this woman didn't know what the beer was so she would have had no idea about any bottle limit but I remained respectful to their rules and to other patrons.

She rang me up and gave a surprised comment on how expensive they were. That's not really something I appreciate. I know they are expensive and I'm not PROUD of the fact that I'm here spending $30 and I certainly don't feel like explaining it to someone who has no idea about the beer community.

Anyway, I got my beers to go and got the hell out of there. Once they sell out of Bambic I'll probably not be back.

MbpBugeye, Mar 10, 2011
Photo of Lolli1315
4/5  rDev +5%

Was here the other week judging a homebrew contest. Decent sized venue with around 20 taps of beer, along with a nice bottle selection (including bambic from Jolly Pumpkin, thank you Jolly Pumpkin for bringing your awesomeness to the Winking Lizard while I was there). Service was good, although it seemed the menue did more of the talking. Did not have any of the food selection since we were fed after judging. Would certainly good here again, especially to see how the taps change (which I hear they do) as well as to try the food and see how it is when it isn't 12 p.m.

Lolli1315, Mar 08, 2011
Photo of shoney
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%

The Lizard is one of my favorite places to go to get great craft brew. They have a great rotating draft selection each month.
___
Likes:
* Draft Selection: 25 draft selections
* Glass of the month: Each month they have a draft of the month that you can get with a glass from the brewery
* Great wings: My favorites are the spicy garlic
Dislikes:
* Rotating Drafts: They are usually taped 2-weeks into the month and they are not replaced until the next month.
* Staff Beer Knowledge: Although friendly, they usually don't have an understanding of what they are serving.

shoney, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of nrbw23
4/5  rDev +5%

Seems to follow every other Lizard I've been to. 150 or so beers and right around 20 taps.

Fairly large place with a large bar off to the back. A large dining room through out the rest of the place. A pretty awesome out door bar if the weather cooperates. I've been here a couple times and sat outside too. I like the out side bar the best a bit quiter.

Food is not bad. Typical bar food for the most part. I think their pizzas are pretty solid.

Staff most are super friendly and do actually know something about the beer they have.

nrbw23, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of Spider889
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%

This place is a contradiction in many ways (in this respect it applies to the entire chain). Winking Lizard is essentially a loud sports bar that tries very hard to be a destination for beer enthusiasts.

The atmosphere is generally very loud and crowded. TVs are everywhere though size and placement is usually not helpful the few occasions I decide to watch whatever is on.

I go for the beer, and only the beer. The tap selection is one of the largest in the city, though recently I've found myself increasingly disappointed. This year they added permanent handles for Dogfish Head, Goose Island, and Thirsty Dog. I figured that the additional new handles would prove to only expand an already decent tap selection. But what I find of late is month after month of repeats on selected "rotating" handles. Additionally whoever decides what to carry goes all or nothing on a given beer style for a certain month. In the winter you see almost nothing but stouts and porters and in the summer you won't see a single dark beer.

That said there are few places with a better selection. They always have about 100 different bottle offerings as well. Each month they offer a "glass of the month" special where you get to keep the branded glass that accompanies the beer of the month. This is hit or miss, sometimes the glass is boring or the beer is obscure and no good. Years ago my wife and I wanted the Sam Adams tulip glasses but they only came with Boston Lager instead of a SA seasonal (which I've never seen Winking Lizard carry). There have been a few gems, and a few awesome glasses (ala Holy Grail Ale and Hobgoblin).

The service is ok. The waitresses never seem to have a clue about any of the beers, usually not even the style if it is not directly stated on the menu. Several times I have ordered beers only to be told minutes later that they were out. And twice at this location I had ordered a beer, was served what the waitress thought was my beer, only for me to discover it was a completely different beer than what I ordered. When going to correct the mistake the server returned to tell me the tap lines were crossed and that I couldn't get the beer I wanted. How does that even happen? And once my 90 min IPA was served as a Great Lakes Grassroots Ale (which incidentally was not even on the menu until a month later).

The food is decently priced and not bad, the wings are very good but don't get the boneless (they're tiny).

They also offer a "World Tour of Beers" promotion where you get a jacket and a few other prizes for completing the beer tour within the given year. It consists of drinking 100 different beers of their selection. Luckily most of the beers on tap are included as well. I almost signed up this year but you have to pay to get in and it equates to drinking an average of two different beers at Winking Lizard every single week. My wife and I decided that we didn't want to spend that much time here nor was the selection good enough for that much investment imo.

Finally if you plan ahead occasionally they will offer rare beers late in the month, such as Life and Limb, or limited release barley wines. These seem to be single kegs though and often sell out within a week or less. Also once in a while they will host beer tastings or other events. Last year I attended one for Left Hand Brewery and while the food was horrible I learned a lot from a brewery that was new to me and I thoroughly enjoyed the event (which awesomely fell on my birthday).

Overall unless you like the sports bar atmosphere the environment will put you off (my wife dreads going simply because of this). The service won't impress but hopefully the beer will. If you like to try new beer then this might be a good place to check out.

***TIP***
Before deciding to go check out their website, click on "fun" and you can view their monthly placemat. It will list all bottles available plus the draft offerings for the month and even the glass of the month.

This location is called Columbus (used to be called Crossroads I think). The other in the area is called Bethel. I highly recommend this location over Bethel as the Bethel location is more of a college bar and even more crowded and loud.

Spider889, Mar 29, 2010
Photo of Knecht
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%

I've been to this place a couple times because it is a lot closer to my house than Bob's Bar is. The atmosphere isn't necessarily fantastic... it's relatively generic and chain-ish, with a ton of TV's, a very long bar, a lot of high-top tables and a very open and loud environment. It's not necessarily bad in any particular way, but it's not the kind of place you would go to meet and chat with other beer enthusiasts, much less have a good talk with the bartender.

The real draw here is the selection. The bottle selection is excellent, and constantly changing. The menu not only has a full list of all the beers, but the abv, style, and other valuable information, which is greatly appreciated. The only complaint here is that on a couple occasions, the styles were semi-mislabeled... what genius decided Bell's Two-Hearted is an American Pale Ale? The draft selection, while sizeable, I've found to be a tad disappointing. Only one IPA, one stout and no porters out of 20-some taps? It's big, sure, but I still found myself forced toward the bottle selection just because I was out of options. The food that I've had is also pretty good. Granted, I haven't had a whole lot, but the pizza and sandwiches are solid.

Despite what other reviewers have said, I've been very happy with the service. Sure, they're not checking on me every 5-10 minutes, but they seem to pop up right about the time my beer's running low, which is exactly what I want. Also, every time I've requested to take my bottles away with me, they bring me a bag for them... that's big brownie points on my scale.

Overall, this place is pretty good. I probably wouldn't come here a lot if I were closer to Bob's, but the convenience is a big plus, and it's certainly not a bad option at all.

Knecht, Oct 20, 2009
Photo of jdoncbus
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%

Visited a few months ago. Located in an area dripping with hotels, restaurants, and businesses; the intersection of I-270 & US-23 is not a fun one.

The atmosphere is like any chain place, pretty stale with a lot of TVs. It kind of reminds you of a Chili's or Fridays without the flair.

The waitress was a little clueless on the beer styles and I remember correcting her on a style that she fudged. Later on she took a hile to get me my check and I had to track her down. I ended up getting a bottle of 2009 Bigfoot which was nice but the tap selection (which was better then most bars) didn't have anything that stood out. Compared to your Chili's or Fridays, their selection was obviously far superior.

I had some finger food and it was OK; as mentioned above it was along the lines of a chain/sit-down restaurant.

The prices were reasonable and it was nice to be able to sit at a chain place that can appeal to your BMC drinkers while you enjoy a craft or import. I don't think I'd go again on my own but if someone was having another going away party I'd swing by for a few.

jdoncbus, Oct 11, 2009
Photo of amietaj1
3/5  rDev -21.3%

There are two Winking Lizard locations in Columbus (could only find this one in BeerFly), with the other being on the Eastern end of Bethel road. They are pretty similar, so this review will work for both.

The beer selection here is excellent, with 100 different bottles and 10 or so taps to choose from, with new beers introduced roughly on a monthly basis. If your up for trying all 100, sign up for the crawl,. They also offer a "Glass of the Month," where you can get their monthly special beer plus keep the glass it comes in. This is a nice way to snag a few extra glasses (all with logos, unfortunately), but they sell out in the first few days of the month.

The atmosphere, as noted in other reviews, is very similar to a sports bar, with lots of flat screens all over the walls. It almost has the feel of a chain like Applebee's or Friday's, but its not overwhelming. Both locations can get pretty crowded from time to time, so come early and grab a table if you're settling in for the night.

Now to the negatives:
If what you are looking for is your typical, run-of-the-mill greasy bar food, than this will fit the bill, but don't expect much more than that. Further, the service at the Lizard is notoriously bad. It has actually become an on-running joke amongst my friends -- I'm not sure if they assign too many tables to each waiter/waitress or what, but it has been consistently bad for the few years I've lived in Columbus.

All in all, the service is poor and the food is average at best, but that really isn't the appeal or reason to go here -- its the beer selection. If your looking for a place to catch a game and have a few beers, this works as well as any.

amietaj1, Jan 16, 2009
Photo of toolbrew
4.53/5  rDev +18.9%

It's a sports bar atmosphere. Large open area inside with lots of televisions, some video games, and many tables. Lots of bar flare on the walls.

They have over 100 different beers on their menu. Each month they seem to feature a beer and let you keep the glass. This time it was Dogfish Head's Festina Peche for $5.50. Great glassware for the brews too. At our table there were four different glasses for the different beer styles.

I can't say much about the food as I only tried the spinach dip and wings. The wings were big and meaty with good sauce. The spinach dip was also good. I looked at dishes on surrounding tables and the food looked good. They have various wing nights and specials on different nights.

Our service was fantastic! Our waiter looked up baseball scores for me, was very attentive to our table, and knowledgeable about the various beers. It was only moderately busy on a Saturday night, so if it were busier I'm sure service would differ.

They have an 'around the world in 100 beers tour' type thing.

Overall a great place and I will visit this establishment again.

toolbrew, Jul 06, 2008
Photo of Applesauce1
4.16/5  rDev +9.2%

I came here on a Friday night with Easy and Lindsay. We came in just after midnight and sat at the bar. Good atmosphere here with an mid to upper 20's crowd. Music is coming from one of those new style jukeboxes playing some good music and some crap. Lindsay and I each go a glass of the Two Hearted and Easy got an '08 Bigfoot. Great selection here with bottles, decent with taps (about 10 quality beer). The service was good here too. A little high on the prices though. I didn't try any food, but I've heard it's pretty good. Overall, a good experience, and I'd come here again.

Applesauce1, Feb 20, 2008
Photo of genog
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%

I first found Winking Lizard a few years back. They had just moved into Columbus up at crosswoods. I was not yet into beer as much as I am now. My first impression was: "Wow, thats a lot of beer".

Now that I know more about micro-brews and craft beers, I am still saying every time I go back, "thats a lot of beer". They have over one hundred different beers to try, and last month they had a trappist ale month. Drink 5 Trappist beers, and you get a free goblet from the monestary. I now have two ;)

The food is pretty good bar food. I occasionally order wings, but typically I will go and sample whatever monthly handles have to offer. They have a monthly handle dedicated to IPA's, one for belgians, and the seasonal. It really is a great place for beer lovers.

genog, May 18, 2007
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Winking Lizard Tavern - Crosswoods in Columbus, OH
87 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.