Some of the more happening spots
around town — some have outrageously creative drink menus, others have
some of the freshest and most mouth-watering food around and others
still encourage you to dance your ass off.
Prior to the Prohibition Era, OTR was
at the heart of Cincinnati’s rich brewing history. At one point the
Christian Moerlein Brewing Company took up three city blocks dedicated
solely to producing that fine golden beverage.
Too much time in the bar scene can make a person feel
overwhelmed — too noisy, expensive and health threatening. Area coffee
houses offer a nice break from the craziness, with creative
coffee-inspired cocktails to enjoy while reading a book or enjoying a
draught beer during some WiFi downtime.
College bars are the types of places that run the gamut
of the bar experience — loud, happening, fun and, often, drunken and
messy (probably still fun). The University of Cincinnati’s Clifton
Heights is heavily represented by such establishments, while Xavier’s
lone hangout is the go-to spot for the private schoolers.
These establishments offer more than just your average
beer and a burger. You can still enjoy your favorite food and some
excellent beverages in addition to a little something extra. Dance,
gamble, laugh, play and sing as you venture outside your standard
weekend night out.
The two things I am most proud of after working in a
German bar for a year are being able to carry three liters of beer in
each hand and taking a warm sauerkraut juice and Jager shot without
letting out a whimper. If you like pickled things, meat and carbs then
German cuisine should be a must.
Guinness, Shepherd’s Pie and hooligans are all staples of
the typical Irish bar. The capacity of the aforementioned staples vary
depending on which bar you choose; more upscale places like Nicholson’s
and Claddagh’s lean toward the “first date” atmosphere.
Jack Kerouac’s “Essentials of Spontaneous Prose,”
instructed one to write “as a jazz musician drawing breath between
out-blown phrases.” I like to imagine that jazz notes fit perfectly
in-between the spaces of each of our inhales and exhales.
Nestled among the houses, busy streets and skyscrapers of
Cincinnati lay the ruins of what was once the lifeblood of the city.
Above and below ground sit empty breweries, some left abandoned since
LGBT communities are a second star to the right for many,
a place where one can feel safe, supported and free to enjoy whatever
types of cocktails they please. This collection of LGBT-friendly bars is
just a slice of such drinkeries the Queen City offers.
These area pubs are exactly as described — comfortable
and cozy gathering places to have a drink and shoot the breeze with the
regulars and neighbors you may have never met. Don’t feel obligated to
dress over-the-top or spend half of your weekly — or bi-weekly for many
of us — paycheck on an outrageous four-course meal.
Dueling piano bars add a different dimension compared
with most local watering holes. This makes such fine establishments a
welcome change for both entertainment thrill-seekers and weekend
warriors. There is still booze, food and music, but piano bars take the
experience to a new level.