Best Of 2022

Music & Nightlife

Music & Nightlife
Here are the 2022 Best Of Cincinnati® Reader and Staff Pick winners for Music & Nightlife.

1. Good Judy’s

2. Somerset

3. Hard Rock Cafe

4. Anjou

5. Copper & Flame

6. Bar Saeso

7. Cosmic Gorilla

8. Revival Vintage Spirits & Bottle Shop

9. OTR StillHouse

10. The Pitch

1. Good Judy’s

2. Northside Yacht Club

3. The Belle and the Bear

4. Arnold’s Bar and Grill

5. Queen City Radio

6. Longfellow

7. Hoppin’ Vines

8. MOTR Pub

9. Below Zero Lounge

10. Sundry and Vice

1. Southgate House Revival

2. Crazy Fox Saloon

3. Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar

4. Jerry’s Jug House

5. Gypsy’s

6. Wiseguy Lounge

7. Bobby Mackey’s

8. JerZees Pub & Grub

9. The Hannaford

10. The B-List

1. Rhinegeist

2. Urban Artifact

3. MadTree Brewing

4. Dead Low Brewing

5. Braxton Brewing Company

6. Streetside Brewery

7. March First Brewing and Distilling

8. Darkness Brewing

9. Fifty West Brewing Company

10. Fretboard Brewing Company

Somerset

Something extraordinary has taken root in Over-the-Rhine, but if you’re not looking for it, you just might miss it. Tucked away on McMicken Avenue, Somerset is a sprawling hangout destination. An immersive escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, guests enter the courtyard through utterly massive and ornate over-170-year-old gates imported from India. Somerset features two bar spaces — one in a glass-roofed conservatory and another in a cozy lounge space. The grounds are also home to the pièce de résistance, a large and awe-inspiring patio, loaded with tropical plants, unique seating nooks and imported pieces from co-founder and creative lead James Fisher’s collection, as well as the collections of his friends and family. Fisher, the visionary behind Somerset, was inspired by a destination — also called Somerset — his family would visit on childhood vacations while living in England. “It’s a weird place with druids, huge solstice celebrations, Glastonbury Festival (our Burning Man) and all kinds of general monkey business. We usually went on long trips to Africa or the Middle East, but when we had less time and needed to get away somewhere a little closer to home, it was always Somerset,” Fisher tells CityBeat. “We want our Somerset to be that for our guests; a place that’s just on your doorstep, where you can go to recharge and feel like you are somewhere far away, even if just for a little while.” somersetotr.com.

Foxy Shazam’s “Welcome to the Church of Rock and Roll” sounds like an acid-fueled James Bond theme made by The Stooges and Robert Plant. It caught lots of attention when the song was used in James Gunn’s Peacemaker series on HBO, and Gunn even tweeted a shout-out to Foxy Shazam in response to fans asking who performed their new favorite song. Foxy Shazam is a Cincinnati band that’s gone on to international acclaim and, outside of Skyline Chili, is one of the city’s most cherished recent exports. Peacemaker is a superhero show whose titular protagonist, portrayed by John Cena, blurs the line between hero and villain. And Foxy’s tunes fit perfectly in with the show’s Hair-Metal-meets-Glam-Rock soundtrack.

1. Fretboard Brewing Company TIE

1. Dead Low Brewing TIE

2. The Belle and the Bear

3. The Monkey Bar & Grille

The Pitch

Soccer-themed sports bar The Pitch, located directly across from TQL Stadium, opened before the first home match of FC Cincinnati’s 2021 Major League Soccer season. Housed in the former two-story Metropolitan Baptist Church space, the bar boasts plenty of nods to its sporty namesake (the term for the field upon which soccer is played). There’s a second-floor scarf wall, a 9-foot-tall wall of 4K TVs (there are another 50 TVs spread throughout the bar) and even artificial turf on the ceiling. And while being inside is a transportive experience for FC Cincinnati fans, patrons can almost see into TQL Stadium from the bar’s coveted rooftop patio outdoors. thepitchcincy.com.

Alcove

MadTree Brewing opened a new multi-level bar, restaurant and event space in Over-the-Rhine in early March 2022. Called Alcove, the heavily windowed space features areas to lounge, drink and dine, including inside a greenhouse or on a large outdoor patio. The food is focused on farm-to-table dishes created by chef Stephen Williams of Bouquet Restaurant and Spoon: Kitchen & Market. And the drink menu features housemade cocktails — utilizing herbs grown in that aforementioned greenhouse — and MadTree’s own brews. From a design standpoint, Alcove is stuffed with live greenery from Urban Blooms in every corner, creating a secret-garden-like feeling with living feature walls. In the event “Loft” on the third floor, there’s even a massive and whimsical chandelier made of ferns and macrame. It’s truly a statement piece. Designers also focused on integrating the rich history of the building into its design. Old photos and news clippings sit framed along the walls, telling a story of a building that has seen many lives since its construction in s, a popular Over-the-Rhine biergarten, this historic building was home to many happenings of 19th-century Cincinnati life. For example, members of the original Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra played as the house band before the symphony’s official formation. The front dining area was even home to a favorite booth of politician George “Boss” Cox. And the third-floor event space was once known as the Yokum Athletic Club, where it is thought Ezzard Charles trained. madtreebrewing.com/alcove.