Columbus Iron Bartender 2011

The second edition of Columbus’s Iron Bartender competition will be this Sunday, January 16th, from six until nine PM. This year’s event will be held at the Park Street Saloon (525 N Park St), just around the corner from the North Market. I covered last year’s event here and here.

This year’s four Iron Bartenders will include returning champion Cris Dehlavi of M at Miranova, and challengers representing Bodega, the Jury Room, and DeepWood. The basic format is the same as last year. Each contestant will prepare an original cocktail using a rather lavishly appointed setup, and the drinks must feature the evening’s Secret Ingredient (which organizer Reed Woogerd claims he hasn’t decided on yet). Channel 4’s Monica Day is hosting again, with a new panel of celebrity judges such as Jeni Bauer of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.
The venue is new this year, and I think it’s better suited to this kind of competition. It’s larger, and has a real stage and show bar. Another improvement for this year’s event will be two service bars and the spirits tasting tables, so the guests can still get cocktails during the actual competition. Also, since Park Street Saloon is a performance venue, the sound system should be better this year, so we should be able to better hear what the contestants are telling the judges about their creations.

So, my Columbus readers, if you know any of the contestants, or are just a fan of fine drinks, how about you join me in the crowd this Sunday? It looks to be a good time. If you do come and see me (picture here), how about you introduce yourself? I’d love to meet you.

Tickets for the event are twenty five bucks per person, and include hors d’ouvres, live entertainment (beyond the alcoholic prestidigitation), and tasting stations for various products represented by Southern Wine & Spirits. Go here for advance tickets.


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