It seems like in the past, Cincinnati had a reputation for
being the kind of place you could move away from for a decade knowing
that when you returned, the gas station, grocery store and drinking
establishments would be there waiting for you, exactly as you left them.
You don’t have to have a penis to drink
alcohol, and you don’t have to have a penis to be a dick, either. Polite
society functions on ground rules passed down throughout history, and
in regards to respecting the bar, etiquette is indifferent toward
There’s nothing wrong with hitting up
your standby local drinkery, but it’s not always appealing to run into
every old high school jock, boss or college nemesis when you’re just out
hoping for a good time. Luckily, there’s a solution outside of drinking
home alone. Hotel bars are oft-unappreciated gems
with staffs engrossed with hospitality.
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