22 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 a 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.
Scroll down to view images
Page 1 of 2
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.
1 of 22
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.
2 of 22
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.
3 of 22
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.
4 of 22
 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.
5 of 22
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.
6 of 22
 The Lounge at Liberty Exhibition Hall
3938 Spring Grove Ave., Northside
This 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 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.
7 of 22
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.
8 of 22
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.
9 of 22
Mecca OTR
1429 Walnut St., Over-the-Rhine
This hip OTR hideaway is a welcoming hangout for those interested in no-frills drinking and L.A. vibes. Find the main courtyard entrance tucked away down 15th Street, and cross the big-ass gravel patio, past colorful street-art murals, a panoply of rainbow lighting and a plethora of communal seating to enter a world of hanging plants and the most creatively decorated — dare we say selfie-ready — bar bathrooms in the city.
Photo: Brittany Thornton

Mecca OTR

1429 Walnut St., Over-the-Rhine
This hip OTR hideaway is a welcoming hangout for those interested in no-frills drinking and L.A. vibes. Find the main courtyard entrance tucked away down 15th Street, and cross the big-ass gravel patio, past colorful street-art murals, a panoply of rainbow lighting and a plethora of communal seating to enter a world of hanging plants and the most creatively decorated — dare we say selfie-ready — bar bathrooms in the city.
10 of 22
The Cellar at Oakley Wines
4011 Allston St., Oakley
Oakley Wines is a cozy spot off of Madison Avenue's main drag. The upper floor wine bar and bottle shop is minimal, bright and full of grab-and-go selections, and an unassuming staircase leads down to The Cellar, a low-lit speakeasy-style space with room for live music.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

The Cellar at Oakley Wines

4011 Allston St., Oakley
Oakley Wines is a cozy spot off of Madison Avenue's main drag. The upper floor wine bar and bottle shop is minimal, bright and full of grab-and-go selections, and an unassuming staircase leads down to The Cellar, a low-lit speakeasy-style space with room for live music.
11 of 22
White Oak Marathon
6050 Cheviot Road, White Oak
A White Oak staple. This gas station offers one of the area's widest craft beer and fine wine selections as well various themed nights hosted on their spacious back patio. They have a bar with rotating beer taps updated almost weekly. Need to make a quick stop? Swing through their drive-thru. Fill up your tank, grab a drank and enjoy great company at this local one-stop shop.

White Oak Marathon

6050 Cheviot Road, White Oak
A White Oak staple. This gas station offers one of the area's widest craft beer and fine wine selections as well various themed nights hosted on their spacious back patio. They have a bar with rotating beer taps updated almost weekly. Need to make a quick stop? Swing through their drive-thru. Fill up your tank, grab a drank and enjoy great company at this local one-stop shop.
12 of 22
The Skeleton Root
38 W. McMicken Ave., Over-the-Rhine
This working winery and event space in OTR pays homage to Cincinnati's wine history by producing heritage and French and European style wines, crushed and aged on site. Wines are produced in-house with minimal intervention, showcasing the terroir of the fruit in bottles of red, white and even rosé wine. The tasting room, with its beautiful illustration of grape harvesters on a Cincinnati hillside, is a perfect backdrop for happy hour.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

The Skeleton Root

38 W. McMicken Ave., Over-the-Rhine
This working winery and event space in OTR pays homage to Cincinnati's wine history by producing heritage and French and European style wines, crushed and aged on site. Wines are produced in-house with minimal intervention, showcasing the terroir of the fruit in bottles of red, white and even rosé wine. The tasting room, with its beautiful illustration of grape harvesters on a Cincinnati hillside, is a perfect backdrop for happy hour.
13 of 22
Oddfellows Liquor Bar
2014 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine
Columbus-based watering hole Oddfellows Liquor Bar is an eccentrically-themed place to hang out and drink. Attached to its sister operation, Mikey's Late Night Slice on Elm Street, it's almost too convenient that the bar is located next door to everyone's favorite drunken food craving. Oddfellows features tons of beers on tap and a seasonal cocktail menu.

Oddfellows Liquor Bar

2014 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine
Columbus-based watering hole Oddfellows Liquor Bar is an eccentrically-themed place to hang out and drink. Attached to its sister operation, Mikey's Late Night Slice on Elm Street, it's almost too convenient that the bar is located next door to everyone's favorite drunken food craving. Oddfellows features tons of beers on tap and a seasonal cocktail menu.
14 of 22
Wiseguy Lounge
1211 Main St., Over-the-Rhine; 603 Main St., Covington; 6099 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge
While inspired by the prohibition and speakeasies, this lounge nestled in Goodfellas Pizzeria doesn't require a secret password. Instead, just walk up and order one of the more than 400 bourbons, hand-crafted cocktails or wide variety of beers from your knowledgeable bartender.

Wiseguy Lounge

1211 Main St., Over-the-Rhine; 603 Main St., Covington; 6099 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge
While inspired by the prohibition and speakeasies, this lounge nestled in Goodfellas Pizzeria doesn't require a secret password. Instead, just walk up and order one of the more than 400 bourbons, hand-crafted cocktails or wide variety of beers from your knowledgeable bartender.
15 of 22
O'Malleys in the Alley
25 W. Ogden Place, Downtown
O'Malleys in the Alley is a straightforward imbibing experience with homemade dishes that have stood the test of time. Accessible via the shaded alleyway on Ogden Place, the bar offers drink specials and its proximity to Great American Ball Park make it a must before Reds games.

O'Malleys in the Alley

25 W. Ogden Place, Downtown
O'Malleys in the Alley is a straightforward imbibing experience with homemade dishes that have stood the test of time. Accessible via the shaded alleyway on Ogden Place, the bar offers drink specials and its proximity to Great American Ball Park make it a must before Reds games.
16 of 22
Lost & Found
22 E. 14th St., Over-the-Rhine
Located on a quieter street in Over-the-Rhine, this cocktail bar is a funky, community-driven gathering space with an inventive drink menu and small bites inside of a creative, art-filled environment; it was once a multi-car garage. Work from local artists fill the walls from room to room.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Lost & Found

22 E. 14th St., Over-the-Rhine
Located on a quieter street in Over-the-Rhine, this cocktail bar is a funky, community-driven gathering space with an inventive drink menu and small bites inside of a creative, art-filled environment; it was once a multi-car garage. Work from local artists fill the walls from room to room.
17 of 22
Shires Rooftop
309 Vine St., 10th floor, Downtown
Located on the 10th floor of downtown's City Club Apartments, this spacious rooftop spot features an indoor dining room, an outdoor patio, two full bars, outdoor small and group dining and cocktail tables with impeccable views. In the winter you can rent a cozy rooftop igloo or greenhouse to enjoy the beautiful city view even in the cold.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Shires Rooftop

309 Vine St., 10th floor, Downtown
Located on the 10th floor of downtown's City Club Apartments, this spacious rooftop spot features an indoor dining room, an outdoor patio, two full bars, outdoor small and group dining and cocktail tables with impeccable views. In the winter you can rent a cozy rooftop igloo or greenhouse to enjoy the beautiful city view even in the cold.
18 of 22
Prohibition Bourbon Bar
530 Washington Ave., Newport
This Newport bourbon bar may not be tough to find geographically, but their hours make them a hard-to-catch destination. Open only on weekends, the bar offers a collection of more than 1,000 bottles and counting of bourbon and rye whisky, including Scotch, Irish, Tennessee and Japanese brands, along with a large selection of wines by the glass and craft beers.

Prohibition Bourbon Bar

530 Washington Ave., Newport
This Newport bourbon bar may not be tough to find geographically, but their hours make them a hard-to-catch destination. Open only on weekends, the bar offers a collection of more than 1,000 bottles and counting of bourbon and rye whisky, including Scotch, Irish, Tennessee and Japanese brands, along with a large selection of wines by the glass and craft beers.
19 of 22
Longfellow's Other Room
109 E. 13th St. and Brackett Alley, Over-the-Rhine
Attached to Longfellow, the bar's Other Room is a separate back drinking spot that has a large list of fluctuating rums. With the vibe of a 1950s basement bar — where Desi Arnaz would perform but was managed by David Lynch — the rum curators and bartenders are more than happy to help you find a favorite new spirit from their global collection. The unassuming entrance is at 109 E. 13th and Brackett Alley along Longfellow's strip of side doors and windows, but can also be accessed by walking through the bar's bathroom hallway.
Photo: Catie Viox

Longfellow's Other Room

109 E. 13th St. and Brackett Alley, Over-the-Rhine
Attached to Longfellow, the bar's Other Room is a separate back drinking spot that has a large list of fluctuating rums. With the vibe of a 1950s basement bar — where Desi Arnaz would perform but was managed by David Lynch — the rum curators and bartenders are more than happy to help you find a favorite new spirit from their global collection. The unassuming entrance is at 109 E. 13th and Brackett Alley along Longfellow's strip of side doors and windows, but can also be accessed by walking through the bar's bathroom hallway.
20 of 22
Page 1 of 2