There is not a bad time to go to Johnnie's Tavern, happy hour or not. Their hours are somewhat sporadic. Sadly, though the Johnnie of Johnnie's passed away not long ago, this is still a rare find east of the chain frenzy that is Hilliard-Rome Rd. Johnnie's is just east of the tracks on Trabue right before Route 33 on the south side. Do yourself a favor burger lovers, dare a drive this direction.
The place is not big and the locals, as should be, commandeer most of the seating at lunch time. Frankly, if the parking lot is not occupied by pick up trucks, I'm not sure I want to eat there. However, you may want to get there early if you want a table. Otherwise, be happy with the bar stool.
Their faded signage out front reads "Home of the Superburgers." While I may have had a better burger in Columbus, they are few. This ranks in the top echelon. It is a thick burger with your choice of toppings (read as tomato, lettuce, and onion) along with your choice of cheese. These include American, Swiss, Pepperjack, Provolone and Cheddar. At $6.00, this is an excellent meal. They offer very fine fries as a side for $2.00 or onion rings, my personal suggestion, for $2.50. Have you ever bitten into an onion ring and had the entire onion come out in your teeth? That is the indication of undone onion rings. Mine were perfect and were battered expertly. Enough said.
The night my wife and I were there, there was a party of about twenty consisting of ages from forty to two. While this is definitely a dive bar, it's the kind where you and your family are welcome. And God help those who would object. As mentioned, on the night I was there, there were no less than two babies crawling between caring parents on either side of the pool tables. How cool is that?
Back to basics: The burgers are phenomenal. The onion rings are my favorite side although I have no problem with the fries. The best time to visit: happy hour from three to seven weeknights as appetizers are half of the normal $4.00 price (regular fried bar apps.) and the advertized coldest beers in town are on special also. Well drinks are two dollars during this time and even during peak hours, at the generous price of three dollars, are probably worth two drinks in most other bars in terms of potency.
The staff is absolutely a joy with which to talk. The food is cooked fresh and worth every penny. The clientele will treat you like family, even if it's your first time in. The drinks are poured like you've earned your money. If you need another reason, keep driving.