(Posted Oct. 26, 2023)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
London 101 Bar•Event Venue opened on Oct. 11 in downtown London, offering both an upscale bar experience and event space.
The venue is located at 101 S. Main St. in a brick building that dates back more than 100 years. Owners Anastasia and Mike Balog renovated every square inch, inside and out, while taking care to retain the building’s charm, including the original hand-cut marble floor and brick exterior.
The Balogs’ efforts make for a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere in which to lounge, have a drink, and enjoy a bite to eat. The space is outfitted with pool tables, steel-tip darts (Mike’s passion), televisions, Giant Jenga, cornhole, and four-in-a-row games.
Anastasia’s extensive experience in the hospitality industry, including nearly 20 years as a bartender, is reflected throughout the venue, including the fully stocked bar.
“I am a wine lover, and I buy wine from all over the world,” she said, adding that the bar also has cognacs, more than 30 bourbons so far, and more. “We have a cocktail program, offering daily and weekly specials and special cocktails for holidays.”
A pomegranate martini and Pumpkin Pie on the Rocks are among the recent specials. Mint and chocolate flavors are on tap for winter.
London 101’s food menu focuses on snacks, charcuterie boards, and desserts. Anastasia patronizes area bakeries each morning to find fresh products. Customers can expect daily specials mixed in with menu staples. Brunch is served 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturdays.
The bar also hosts themed events. First up was a Halloween party featuring bloody Shirleys, “mushed zombie brains” (guacamole and chips), and a graveyard slice (chocolate cake with a spooky twist). Coming up is a Sweet Sixteen party for adults who didn’t have such a party when they were teens.
“It’s healthy to celebrate something that brings smiles to your face and your friends’ faces,” Anastasia said.
Speaking of celebrating, all or part of London 101 Bar’s 3,500 square feet of space can be rented for special occasions such as anniversaries, birthdays, weddings, and corporate events. The venue includes a commercial kitchen for catering. Customers also can choose from a massive stock of supplies and decor.
“I owned an event, wedding, and party business in New York City. When I moved to Ohio, I brought hundreds of items with me,” Anastasia said. Those items run from tables, chairs, linens, silverware, and plateware to a portable bar, curtains, centerpieces, props, projection screens, and a 7.5-foot tall arch.
For more information, look for London 101 Bar•Event Venue on Facebook or email London101Bar@gmail.com.
Bar hours are: Wednesday-Friday, 4-11 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; closed Sunday-Tuesday. The Balogs are proud to be a woman-owned and veteran-owned business. Active, reserve, and retired military personnel, as well as fire, police, and EMT personnel, receive 10 percent off their bill.