New Executive Chef Joins Middle West Spirits


COLUMBUS — Middle West Spirits here recently hired an executive chef for its renovated and newly reopened Service Bar.

Chris Connolly joins Middle West following stints at some of the nation’s most lauded restaurants. The Ohio native began his 11-year career at Alinea, a Michelin three-star kitchen in Chicago, then joined another Michelin three-star restaurant, The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia. He eventually traveled to Jackson, Wyo., expanding his resume at the Amangani resort. In 2016, he joined The Greenbrier, one of America’s most distinguished resorts, as chef de cuisine.

“Having built on my experience at exclusive restaurants, this is the ideal time for me to return to Ohio to share my culinary expertise, along with some of the best sources for ingredients from around the world that I’ve cultivated working for so many great chefs and in great kitchens,” said Connolly. “I’m really looking forward to collaborating with our new team to deliver extraordinary food to Columbus locals and visitors alike as we write Service Bar’s next chapter.”

Located at Middle West Spirits distillery in Columbus’ Short North Arts District, Service Bar opened in 2017 with a technical cocktail program designed to showcase Middle West Spirits. It operated until June 2021, when it paused service to make way for renovations and assemble a new kitchen team for this fall’s reopening.

“We are beyond thrilled to have Chris return to Ohio to helm the kitchen at Service Bar,” said Ryan Lang, Middle West Spirits co-founder and CEO. “His contemporary, ingredient-driven menu is rooted in classic techniques, which perfectly complements our spirits. Chris and his team will help us showcase the very best of Ohio hospitality.”