I know this is a strange way to open up a post on a dad blog, but a few of my buddies have been preaching about a new bar in Westerville called The Draft Room. Hang with me here.
On Sunday, they hosted their second Family Funday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. I was sold after reading the description: Free crafts for kids of all ages from Arts in Uptown and beer specials for the “growns”. Oh, and this time there’s delicious brunch for all from Broke Johnny Food Truck…MMM. Beer, waffles and crafts. Whoa, what a Sunday.”
That hits about eight cords for me.
I had a chance to chat with the owners, a couple about my age with a toddler. They opened The Draft Room in September, because they wanted to open a bar that was welcoming to all beer enthusiasts.
Even more endearing, they wanted to open the kind of bar they’d like to hang out in. One they can come to with their entire family.
The beer selection is incredible, and I certainly made a point to indulge in some delicious waffles, covered in syrup and strawberries, topped off with a chicken finger.
But the highlight for me, was the activities for the kids. What we anticipated would be a 45 minute pop in, ended up being 2+ hours.
Several tables were set up with a variety of quality crafts that my daughter was completely consumed with.
My son – still a little young for painting and paper mache – was able to stretch his legs and walk about the space. And the owners said they designed the interior so that it’s acceptable for such activity. When so many restaurants make it embarrassing or disruptive to walk around, this place actually embraces the busy body baby.
The two televisions above the bar showed Trolls and Moana, keeping both kids motionless for a short period of time.
What still seems like a hidden gem, the Family Funday was steady with families rolling in. After talking to the owners, this will be a monthly occurrence. As much as I want everyone to know about it, I hope it stays accessible, because this was an incredible event that my entire family enjoyed.
A quick scan of their events calendar will show tap takeovers and brewery release parties. But I’ve never seen a watering hole with programming that spans canvas painting and yoga too.
While The Draft Room doesn’t have a kitchen, they are partners with the other restaurants nearby. Patrons can order food from the neighbors, and they’ll deliver as customers sit and enjoy a frothy beverage and a board game.
The Draft Room embraces everything it means to be a community spot. They support the arts and local brewers. They aren’t pretentious or take themselves too seriously. And most importantly, everyone is welcome – including young families.
–By Steven Michalovich, Contributor