September 13, 2019

The 25 Most Beautiful Bars in the Cincinnati Area

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, though there’s no denying that Cincinnati has some gorgeous bars. Some are located inside of glitzy hotels, others are overflowing with lush plants and vibrant murals or situated on rooftops overlooking the city. No matter which you choose, you're sure to feel fancy at these these Queen City bars. 
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Wódka Bar
1200 Main St., Over-the-Rhine
From the team behind cult-favorite Babushka Pierogies, Wódka Bar carries an ambitious selection of vodkas, stocking upward of 60 types including many Russian, Polish and Ukrainian brands that are lesser known in the United States. It also offers a streamlined Eastern European-inspired menu of bites ranging from pierogies to a Polish sausage sandwich or stuffed cabbage roll. Inside the intimate space, patrons will be enveloped by deep Prussian blues and rich golds, luxe velvet upholstery and distressed plaster walls, elegant wood paneling and all the intricacies of Eastern Orthodox architecture.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Wódka Bar

1200 Main St., Over-the-Rhine
From the team behind cult-favorite Babushka Pierogies, Wódka Bar carries an ambitious selection of vodkas, stocking upward of 60 types including many Russian, Polish and Ukrainian brands that are lesser known in the United States. It also offers a streamlined Eastern European-inspired menu of bites ranging from pierogies to a Polish sausage sandwich or stuffed cabbage roll. Inside the intimate space, patrons will be enveloped by deep Prussian blues and rich golds, luxe velvet upholstery and distressed plaster walls, elegant wood paneling and all the intricacies of Eastern Orthodox architecture.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
The View at Shires' Gardens
309 Vine St., 10th Floor, Downtown
The View at Shires’ Garden is located on the 10th floor of the City Club Apartments with views of the riverfront and the surrounding cityscape. This rooftop spot features an indoor dining room, an outdoor patio and a private event lounge with a bar, cigar patio, baby grand piano and firelit tables. The décor mixes modern furnishings with the style of the original Shires’ Gardens from the 19th century — a historic Queen City amusement resort of sorts in this same spot at Vine and Third streets.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

The View at Shires' Gardens

309 Vine St., 10th Floor, Downtown
The View at Shires’ Garden is located on the 10th floor of the City Club Apartments with views of the riverfront and the surrounding cityscape. This rooftop spot features an indoor dining room, an outdoor patio and a private event lounge with a bar, cigar patio, baby grand piano and firelit tables. The décor mixes modern furnishings with the style of the original Shires’ Gardens from the 19th century — a historic Queen City amusement resort of sorts in this same spot at Vine and Third streets.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
21c Museum Hotel's Cocktail Terrace
609 Walnut St., Downtown
Slink your way down Gano Alley and take a secret, escorted elevator ride up 11 floors to the seasonal 21c Museum Hotel rooftop terrace and watch the sunset over downtown with a 'pop-tail' in hand. The uniquely flavored popsicles are made from scratch and then added to chilled spirits to be sipped, stirred or licked. The terrace also offers adult slushies, masterful mixology, a streamlined snack menu and more from its aerial 75-seater vantage point.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

21c Museum Hotel's Cocktail Terrace

609 Walnut St., Downtown
Slink your way down Gano Alley and take a secret, escorted elevator ride up 11 floors to the seasonal 21c Museum Hotel rooftop terrace and watch the sunset over downtown with a 'pop-tail' in hand. The uniquely flavored popsicles are made from scratch and then added to chilled spirits to be sipped, stirred or licked. The terrace also offers adult slushies, masterful mixology, a streamlined snack menu and more from its aerial 75-seater vantage point.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Hotel Covington
638 Madison Ave., Covington
This boutique Covington hotel offers a fine selection of in-house eateries and drinkeries that’ll make you never want to leave. The cocktail menu has house options and seasonal drinks that make use of Kentucky bourbon, creative infusions and fresh fruit and herbs. If you’re feeling stuffy, escape to the patio for a breather and you’ll be swept away into a sun-dappled, brick-paved paradise.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Hotel Covington

638 Madison Ave., Covington
This boutique Covington hotel offers a fine selection of in-house eateries and drinkeries that’ll make you never want to leave. The cocktail menu has house options and seasonal drinks that make use of Kentucky bourbon, creative infusions and fresh fruit and herbs. If you’re feeling stuffy, escape to the patio for a breather and you’ll be swept away into a sun-dappled, brick-paved paradise.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
HomeMakers Bar
35 E. 13th St., Over-the-Rhine
Cincinnati hospitality mavens Julia Petiprin and Catherine Manabat have opened HomeMakers Bar at the corner of 13th and Walnut streets. The duo worked together to create a space inspired by a retro vibe and the domestic cocktails of the 1950s through the 1970s.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

HomeMakers Bar

35 E. 13th St., Over-the-Rhine
Cincinnati hospitality mavens Julia Petiprin and Catherine Manabat have opened HomeMakers Bar at the corner of 13th and Walnut streets. The duo worked together to create a space inspired by a retro vibe and the domestic cocktails of the 1950s through the 1970s.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Karrikin Spirits Company
3717 Jonlen Drive, Fairfax
Karrikin Spirits Co. is a "grain to glass" distillery and restaurant located in Fairfax. Essentially a one-stop-shop for a variety of housemade spirits and beverages like vodka, gin, agave spirit, rum and fruit brandies as well as hard sodas, non-alcoholic sodas and beers. 
In addition to beverages, the restaurant — helmed by chef Jared Bennett, formerly the executive chef of downtown’s Metropole — offers a menu full of creative housemade dishes. The dining area includes two formal spaces on either side of the kitchen-bar, and a lounge area with an eclectic grouping of chairs and couches upon which guests can sip, dine and hang out.
Photo: Hailey Bollinge

Karrikin Spirits Company

3717 Jonlen Drive, Fairfax
Karrikin Spirits Co. is a "grain to glass" distillery and restaurant located in Fairfax. Essentially a one-stop-shop for a variety of housemade spirits and beverages like vodka, gin, agave spirit, rum and fruit brandies as well as hard sodas, non-alcoholic sodas and beers. In addition to beverages, the restaurant — helmed by chef Jared Bennett, formerly the executive chef of downtown’s Metropole — offers a menu full of creative housemade dishes. The dining area includes two formal spaces on either side of the kitchen-bar, and a lounge area with an eclectic grouping of chairs and couches upon which guests can sip, dine and hang out.
Photo: Hailey Bollinge
Yonder
621 Main St., Covington
Inspired by owners Chris and Tess Burns' love of Kentucky State Parks, this new concept by the folks behind Covington's Commonwealth Bistro features a chic treehouse-esque rooftop bar with a small rotating menu and craft cocktails, as well as inventive mocktails. Head down the alleyway to the left of Commonwealth’s entrance to find a set of stairs that will take you to the second floor space.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Yonder

621 Main St., Covington
Inspired by owners Chris and Tess Burns' love of Kentucky State Parks, this new concept by the folks behind Covington's Commonwealth Bistro features a chic treehouse-esque rooftop bar with a small rotating menu and craft cocktails, as well as inventive mocktails. Head down the alleyway to the left of Commonwealth’s entrance to find a set of stairs that will take you to the second floor space.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Comfort Station
793 E. McMillan Ave., Walnut Hills
From the team behind OTR’s Sundry and Vice comes Comfort Station. Opened in late June, 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. Opened in late June, 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
Sartre OTR
1910 Elm St., OTR
The French-ish restaurant may be named for the gloomy French philosopher, but there’s nothing gloomy about its interiors. Warmly lit and cozy, with a beyond-gorgeous bar, the well-designed space is plenty inviting, creating an ambiance that is at once majestic and intimate. While people have been raving about the décor itself, the food ain’t too shabby either. Entrées range from pappardelle bolognese to steak frites and pea anolini, but a big hit under the shareable section are the beignets. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Sartre OTR

1910 Elm St., OTR
The French-ish restaurant may be named for the gloomy French philosopher, but there’s nothing gloomy about its interiors. Warmly lit and cozy, with a beyond-gorgeous bar, the well-designed space is plenty inviting, creating an ambiance that is at once majestic and intimate. While people have been raving about the décor itself, the food ain’t too shabby either. Entrées range from pappardelle bolognese to steak frites and pea anolini, but a big hit under the shareable section are the beignets.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Holiday Spirits
1538 Race St., Over-the-Rhine
Helmed by Dan Wright and his wife Lana (Senate, Abigail Street and Pontiac Bourbon & BBQ), this space at the corner of Liberty and Race streets is meant to evoke the vibe of a dive bar and also offers a menu of Middle Eastern street food. With an industrial chic look, the exposed bricks and steel beams contrast with the velvet couches, leafy plants and light streaming through the windows. The bar features 15 beers on tap and about 10 different cocktails ranging from a tequila old fashioned and a Hurricane to a Cinnabon-inspired drink and their take on a Harvey Wallbanger. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Holiday Spirits

1538 Race St., Over-the-Rhine
Helmed by Dan Wright and his wife Lana (Senate, Abigail Street and Pontiac Bourbon & BBQ), this space at the corner of Liberty and Race streets is meant to evoke the vibe of a dive bar and also offers a menu of Middle Eastern street food. With an industrial chic look, the exposed bricks and steel beams contrast with the velvet couches, leafy plants and light streaming through the windows. The bar features 15 beers on tap and about 10 different cocktails ranging from a tequila old fashioned and a Hurricane to a Cinnabon-inspired drink and their take on a Harvey Wallbanger.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger