Best Of 2018

Best Barbie Jukebox: The Anchor Grill

Best Barbie Jukebox
click to enlarge MEGAN WADDEL
Megan Waddel

It’s verifiable: the more surreal the atmosphere, the better diner food tastes. Three cups of coffee and a plate full of home fries deep into the witching hour, no local hole-in-the wall can compare to the Anchor Grill’s dream-like coziness. Its wood-paneled walls are festooned with lovably hokey knick-knacks and nautical memorabilia. Dim lighting fixtures and ferns form swirls of chiaroscuro color among black leather booths. To top it all off, your jukebox quarters yield a live show for you and your fellow diners: as your ’70s Soft Rock single of choice crackles to life over the Anchor’s speakers, a curtain opens in a small box attached to the ceiling, revealing an animatronic Jazz band comprised of nine handmade puppets and a Barbie doll. The stage, held behind glass, bears an uncanny resemblance to Twin Peaks’ “Red Room,” which is appropriate considering the diner’s Lynchian ambiance. Anchor Grill, 438 W. Pike St, Covington, 859-431-9498.