January 20, 2022

25 Hidden Bars, Lounges and Speakeasies in Cincinnati

The Queen City may be packed with nightlife options, but there are a few local gems that are challenge to find. From secret garden patios to a literal underground nightclub, these bars may be playing hard-to-get... but they're totally worth the struggle.
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Comfort Station
793 E. McMillan Ave., Walnut Hills
From the team behind OTR’s Sundry and Vice comes Comfort Station. This cocktail bar is located in a century-old Walnut Hills rest area. Without much signage outside, guests enter via the original women's room door — now painted a beautiful bright blue — into an industrial and airy space with skylights, inventive cocktails and a living plant wall. A back patio and lounge creates an indoor/outdoor feel.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Comfort Station

793 E. McMillan Ave., Walnut Hills
From the team behind OTR’s Sundry and Vice comes Comfort Station. This cocktail bar is located in a century-old Walnut Hills rest area. Without much signage outside, guests enter via the original women's room door — now painted a beautiful bright blue — into an industrial and airy space with skylights, inventive cocktails and a living plant wall. A back patio and lounge creates an indoor/outdoor feel.
Somerset
139 E. McMicken Ave., Over-the-Rhine
This sprawling drinking and dining destination offers an immersive escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, all tucked behind an unassuming front gate. Somerset features two bar spaces — one in the plant-filled and glass-roofed conservatory and another in the cozy lounge space. The bar serves both boozy and non-alcoholic cocktails.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Somerset

139 E. McMicken Ave., Over-the-Rhine
This sprawling drinking and dining destination offers an immersive escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, all tucked behind an unassuming front gate. Somerset features two bar spaces — one in the plant-filled and glass-roofed conservatory and another in the cozy lounge space. The bar serves both boozy and non-alcoholic cocktails.
Bar Bar OTR
1709 Race St., Over-the-Rhine
From the team behind Queen City Radio, Bar Bar OTR is a hip dive purposely located in a part of the neighborhood between Findlay Market and the drinking and dining destinations closer to Washington Park. Slightly off the beaten path, the bar specializes in a variety of boiler makers.
Photo: @barbarotr

Bar Bar OTR

1709 Race St., Over-the-Rhine
From the team behind Queen City Radio, Bar Bar OTR is a hip dive purposely located in a part of the neighborhood between Findlay Market and the drinking and dining destinations closer to Washington Park. Slightly off the beaten path, the bar specializes in a variety of boiler makers.
Revival
5 E. Eighth St., Covington
Revival isn't a speakeasy, but it sure does look like one. This vintage bottle shop offers up tastings and advice from friendly and knowledgable staff members who know the curated selection of bourbon like the back of their hands. In addition to educated sipping, Revival also has a collection of rare bourbons for sale and can give "dusty" collectors a professional valuation of their bottles.
Photo: Catie Viox

Revival

5 E. Eighth St., Covington
Revival isn't a speakeasy, but it sure does look like one. This vintage bottle shop offers up tastings and advice from friendly and knowledgable staff members who know the curated selection of bourbon like the back of their hands. In addition to educated sipping, Revival also has a collection of rare bourbons for sale and can give "dusty" collectors a professional valuation of their bottles.
Ghost Baby
1314 Republic St., Over-the-Rhine
This subterranean nightclub/music venue is located several stories below Vine Street in a 170-year-old lagering tunnel formerly used by Champion Brewing (beer was aged and cooled in lagering tunnels before the advent of refrigeration). The historic, dimly-lit space, which has been vacant since the 1850s, features soaring ceilings with stone archways and decor that is adorned with "crushed velvet and unpredictability," according to the bar. Guests can expect an immersive experience with art, design, cocktails and live music.
Photo: Aparna Avasarala

Ghost Baby

1314 Republic St., Over-the-Rhine
This subterranean nightclub/music venue is located several stories below Vine Street in a 170-year-old lagering tunnel formerly used by Champion Brewing (beer was aged and cooled in lagering tunnels before the advent of refrigeration). The historic, dimly-lit space, which has been vacant since the 1850s, features soaring ceilings with stone archways and decor that is adorned with "crushed velvet and unpredictability," according to the bar. Guests can expect an immersive experience with art, design, cocktails and live music.
 Saeso
1208 Sycamore St., Pendleton
If you're looking for an otherworldly escape without leaving the city, or a cocktail menu that takes the work out of ordering, Saeso might just be your new neighborhood bar. Christy Wulfson and Michael Guilfoil, the duo behind the petite Pendleton bar, created a space where they'd like to sit and enjoy a cocktail and invited you to join. You can linger, say yes to that second drink and bask in the terracotta glow.
Photo: Brian Rineair

Saeso

1208 Sycamore St., Pendleton
If you're looking for an otherworldly escape without leaving the city, or a cocktail menu that takes the work out of ordering, Saeso might just be your new neighborhood bar. Christy Wulfson and Michael Guilfoil, the duo behind the petite Pendleton bar, created a space where they'd like to sit and enjoy a cocktail and invited you to join. You can linger, say yes to that second drink and bask in the terracotta glow.
The Blind Lemon
936 Hatch St., Mount Adams
The Blind Lemon has been Mount Adams’ favorite backyard bar since 1963. Walk down a set of stairs to find a secret, little hideaway. Outside, the relaxed garden patio is like a boho blend of Bourbon Street and Paris café life. It’s one of the most romantic drinking destinations in the city.
Hailey Bollinger

The Blind Lemon

936 Hatch St., Mount Adams
The Blind Lemon has been Mount Adams’ favorite backyard bar since 1963. Walk down a set of stairs to find a secret, little hideaway. Outside, the relaxed garden patio is like a boho blend of Bourbon Street and Paris café life. It’s one of the most romantic drinking destinations in the city.
 The Lounge at Liberty Exhibition Hall
3938 Spring Grove Ave., Northside
This new watering hole is located in Northside's Liberty Exhibition Hall. It's a very low-key hang open to everyone. Specializing in live music and weekly Jazz nights, the bar offers cocktails, wine, beer and non-alcoholic tea concoctions.

The Lounge at Liberty Exhibition Hall

3938 Spring Grove Ave., Northside
This new watering hole is located in Northside's Liberty Exhibition Hall. It's a very low-key hang open to everyone. Specializing in live music and weekly Jazz nights, the bar offers cocktails, wine, beer and non-alcoholic tea concoctions.
OTR Stillhouse
2017 Branch St., Over-the-Rhine
Want to feel like you're actually back in the 1920s? Head over to one of the first distilleries to open in Cincinnati proper since prohibition, OTR Stillhouse. Try some of their gin, bourbon and blended whiskies on their own or in a specialty cocktail. The petite facade hides the bar and venue's true size. The indoor/outdoor space occupies more than a half-acre of real estate and includes a stage.
Photo: facebook.com/otrstillhouse

OTR Stillhouse

2017 Branch St., Over-the-Rhine
Want to feel like you're actually back in the 1920s? Head over to one of the first distilleries to open in Cincinnati proper since prohibition, OTR Stillhouse. Try some of their gin, bourbon and blended whiskies on their own or in a specialty cocktail. The petite facade hides the bar and venue's true size. The indoor/outdoor space occupies more than a half-acre of real estate and includes a stage.
Mid-City
40 E. Court St., Downtown
Mid-City moved into its spot downtown off the recently refurbished Court Street Plaza. The entrace is a little hidden but once you get inside it's worth it. Helmed by the same team as popular Over-the-Rhine bar Longfellow, the self-described “small, relaxed restaurant” serves easy eats, classic cocktails and vintage dessert, including a baked Alaska with Fernet and mint chip ice cream.

Mid-City

40 E. Court St., Downtown
Mid-City moved into its spot downtown off the recently refurbished Court Street Plaza. The entrace is a little hidden but once you get inside it's worth it. Helmed by the same team as popular Over-the-Rhine bar Longfellow, the self-described “small, relaxed restaurant” serves easy eats, classic cocktails and vintage dessert, including a baked Alaska with Fernet and mint chip ice cream.