Community Spotlight – Watershed Distillery 

Compass Homes loves exploring all the unique food & drink offerings throughout our communities. Today, we’re highlighting a Central Ohio favorite, Watershed Distillery, and its Kitchen + Bar.

Watershed Distillery facility.

Seeking to live in, work in, and contribute to the community in which they were raised, business partners Greg Lehman and Dave Rigo founded Watershed Distillery in Columbus, Ohio, in 2010. In doing so, they ended up creating a community of their own that gathers together to savor, celebrate, and enjoy good spirits and good company.

Watershed Distillery has grown from its initial concept of a “tiny little still and two guys in jumpsuits” to a dedicated team of over forty people, and two much larger stills. It’s also added Kitchen + Bar restaurant to the Watershed brand in 2018. Once featured on Food Network’s Burgers, Brew & ’Que, hosted by Clevelander and celebrity chef, Michael Symon, Watershed Kitchen & Bar uses fresh, seasonal, locally sourced ingredients to create Midwestern dishes. 

Not surprisingly, cocktails are emphasized at the Kitchen + Bar, and they’re as pretty as they are unique & delicious. In a recent review, 614Foodie notes, “It goes without saying they have one of the BEST cocktail lists in the #614 that feature Watershed liquor. These drinks are so delicious and creative that I can order any cocktail off their menu with 💯 certainty I will love it!”

As for the food menu, it changes frequently, but there are a few ongoing favorites, including the fried chicken and the pork rinds, served alongside their to-die-for house-made hot sauce. “Food Network featured their haystack ribs, so it’s an obvious order choice,” says 614Foodie, “and if you want to sample a large section of the menu, they have tasting options that we ALWAYS partake in.”

While Watershed Distillery is a community favorite because of its delicious food & beverages, it’s the commitment to the greater community that really makes it something special. In the wake of the restaurant shut down in March 2020, the Watershed kitchen was turned into a commissary for feeding laid-off staff members. He kept the kitchen open for several weeks until the food ran out. 

None of this is surprising, considering that Watershed’s very name is based on the definition:

“that area of land…within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community.”


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