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Commentary: Columbus suburb Dublin brimming with shops, bar food, history, flavor of Ireland

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Columbus is brimming with interesting neighborhoods beyond the borders of Ohio State. Each week, The Lantern will spotlight an area in or around Columbus.

In Columbus’ suburb of Dublin, sophisticated old-time Irish charm mixes in with a thirst for modern-day entertainment. In fact, the Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau explains the flair of the town best with its motto – “Irish is an attitude.” These are words that are truly lived up to in the community of more than 40,000 residents.

Shop

What was formerly the area’s predominant residential area is now a cozy, walkable downtown area known as “Historic Dublin.” The buildings still maintain their antiquated character, but today, their interiors are filled with independently owned commercial properties. One such property is Our CupCakery, located at 16 N. High St. The store creates some mouth-watering custom cakes and other sweet treats but is also home to a “Create Your Own Cupcake Bar” that sets it apart from other bakeries throughout Columbus. Customers can choose which flavor, icing and toppings to go into each individual cupcake and then pay $1 per ounce for their custom creations. According to the website, the average customer spends about $3 per cupcake.

Roughly three miles away in a different part of Dublin is The Mall at Tuttle Crossing. Shopping centers can be hectic on the weekends, especially in the often-frequented Polaris Fashion Place or Easton Town Center. The Mall at Tuttle Crossing has come to be the forgotten mall of Columbus, but it’s filled with more than 100 retailers, many of which are widely recognizable brands. Located at 5043 Tuttle Crossing Blvd., the mall boasts such names as Express, Forever 21, H&M and Sephora. Though not as large as either of the aforementioned shopping centers, The Mall at Tuttle Crossing offers a similar store selection with a slightly less chaotic atmosphere.

Dine

Dublin has a load of well-established independent restaurants, though many of them are fairly expensive. However, one of Dublin’s guilty pleasures is specialty bar food – a type of cuisine that often comes with a smaller price tag. One of these establishments is Brazenhead Irish Pub, located at 56 N. High St. in Historic Dublin. Brazenhead cooks up a variety of burgers, all priced at $9.50, (except the basic burger, which is $8.50) but also offers some less traditional dishes, such as Thai chicken skewers for $8 or duck confit sliders for $6.

Another great pub is Matt the Miller’s Tavern, located at 6725 Avery-Muirfield Drive. Similar to Brazenhead, the tavern has a second Columbus location in Grandview – however, Matt the Miller’s has a far more extensive list of bottled beverages from which to choose, including ales, lagers and ciders. The drinks come at a reasonable price – with many in the $3 to $5 range – but the restaurant’s entrees are a little pricier than desired, ranging from $14.99 for fish and chips to $31.99 for a 10 oz. steak filet.

Self-proclaimed gastropub 101 Beer Kitchen opened in October at 7509 Sawmill Road. Unlike other Dublin pubs, though, this one focuses strictly on fresh, local ingredients. In fact, the restaurant’s spring menu is scheduled to be introduced to diners Thursday and includes dishes such as the marinated chicken taco salad and the ancho coffee-rubbed pork chop with peach chutney. The prices for these dishes are not yet available online.

Explore

The Dublin Irish Festival is the pinnacle of summer activity for the town, bringing a strong flavor of Ireland to the Midwest for those hoping to experience the culture of the Ohio city’s namesake. This year’s festival is scheduled for Aug. 2-4 and is expected to draw roughly 100,000 visitors for the 29-acre event’s live music lineup, dancing, cultural exhibits and children’s activities. There will also be plenty of local food vendors present, as well as a marketplace filled with Irish-themed products. One-day tickets for students with valid IDs are $7 online through Aug. 1 or $8 after that, including the day of the event. For regular adult tickets, the prices are increased by $1. The event will be held at Coffman Park, located at 5200 Emerald Parkway.

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