Themed Bars and Restaurants in Greater Cincinnati Everyone Needs to Try

We all need to cosplay a little bit to keep life interesting, even if that doesn't necessarily look like dressing up in costume. In Greater Cincinnati, that could, however, look like checking out one of the really cool themed bars and restaurants in the area.

From the over-the-top experience that immerses you in your favorite movie to the subtler themes that come out through the menu, Cincinnati has a number of bars and restaurants ready for you to have a good time and fuel your imagination a little bit.
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Bircus Brewing
322 Elm St., Ludlow
Ludlow, Kentucky's nonexistent craft beer scene sent in the clowns, leading to the launch of Bircus Brewing Co., a branch of an original concept from Ghent, Belgium. Pronounce it like 'beer-cuss,' a hybrid of beer and circus, as the brew shares the limelight with carnival performances at the taproom. Performers can do everything from breathing fire to flying on the trapeze.
Photo: Brittany Thornton

Bircus Brewing

322 Elm St., Ludlow
Ludlow, Kentucky's nonexistent craft beer scene sent in the clowns, leading to the launch of Bircus Brewing Co., a branch of an original concept from Ghent, Belgium. Pronounce it like 'beer-cuss,' a hybrid of beer and circus, as the brew shares the limelight with carnival performances at the taproom. Performers can do everything from breathing fire to flying on the trapeze.
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.
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Overlook Lodge
6083 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge
Luckily this Overlook is much more fun than the hotel and isn’t haunted…that we know of. The Overlook Lodge is a rustic, neighborhood bar based on The Shining that features a seasonal cocktail menu along with a list of domestic, imported and craft beers; rotating taps; and wine you can order from the non-ghostly bartender. You can listen to live music here on Friday and Saturday nights to keep Jack from becoming a dull boy, and hopefully you won’t spot any creepy twins at the end of a hallway.

Overlook Lodge

6083 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge
Luckily this Overlook is much more fun than the hotel and isn’t haunted…that we know of. The Overlook Lodge is a rustic, neighborhood bar based on The Shining that features a seasonal cocktail menu along with a list of domestic, imported and craft beers; rotating taps; and wine you can order from the non-ghostly bartender. You can listen to live music here on Friday and Saturday nights to keep Jack from becoming a dull boy, and hopefully you won’t spot any creepy twins at the end of a hallway.
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Level One Bar + Arcade
1331 Walnut St., Over-the-Rhine
Time to level up, Cincinnati. Level One Bar + Arcade features a lineup of pinball machines and old-school arcade games, some of which come from owner Paul Burkhart’s original collection that he’s been curating for 25 years. You’ll find over 50 games, a dozen pinball machines, multiplayer games and two skeeball lanes, plus a rotating list of rare titles. At the bar, there are two dozen local beers on tap along with themed cocktails – including drinks named after Pong and Frogger. Food isn’t served at Level One, but Burkhart encourages guests to order takeout from local restaurants and vendors.
Photo: Provided by 3CDC

Level One Bar + Arcade

1331 Walnut St., Over-the-Rhine
Time to level up, Cincinnati. Level One Bar + Arcade features a lineup of pinball machines and old-school arcade games, some of which come from owner Paul Burkhart’s original collection that he’s been curating for 25 years. You’ll find over 50 games, a dozen pinball machines, multiplayer games and two skeeball lanes, plus a rotating list of rare titles. At the bar, there are two dozen local beers on tap along with themed cocktails – including drinks named after Pong and Frogger. Food isn’t served at Level One, but Burkhart encourages guests to order takeout from local restaurants and vendors.
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Schoolhouse Restaurant
8031 Glendale Milford Road, Camp Dennison
Built in the 1860s, this former Hamilton County schoolhouse was bought and saved from demolition by Donald and Phyllis Miller, who turned it into the Schoolhouse Restaurant. Keeping the schoolhouse theme, the restaurant features windows, yellow oak floors and blackboards, on which the menu is written, from the late 1800s. The menu features American comfort food like fried chicken, mashed potatoes, smoked ham, country-fried steak and homemade meatloaf.

Schoolhouse Restaurant

8031 Glendale Milford Road, Camp Dennison
Built in the 1860s, this former Hamilton County schoolhouse was bought and saved from demolition by Donald and Phyllis Miller, who turned it into the Schoolhouse Restaurant. Keeping the schoolhouse theme, the restaurant features windows, yellow oak floors and blackboards, on which the menu is written, from the late 1800s. The menu features American comfort food like fried chicken, mashed potatoes, smoked ham, country-fried steak and homemade meatloaf.
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Sundry and Vice
18 W 13th St., Over-the-Rhine
This apothecary-themed cocktail bar has drinks that lend more textures, colors and flavors than a classic list of libations in a warm, vintage-vibes atmosphere. The list of “tinctures, tonics and remedies” includes the Magical Mystery (rye whiskey, strawberry, amaro, lemon, egg white and bitters), the Night Cure (bourbon, honey, lemon and grapefruit oil) and Penicillin (blended scotch, honey, ginger and lemon), among a menu of other crafty cocktails, beer and wine.
Photo: Provided by Sundry & Vice

Sundry and Vice

18 W 13th St., Over-the-Rhine
This apothecary-themed cocktail bar has drinks that lend more textures, colors and flavors than a classic list of libations in a warm, vintage-vibes atmosphere. The list of “tinctures, tonics and remedies” includes the Magical Mystery (rye whiskey, strawberry, amaro, lemon, egg white and bitters), the Night Cure (bourbon, honey, lemon and grapefruit oil) and Penicillin (blended scotch, honey, ginger and lemon), among a menu of other crafty cocktails, beer and wine.
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Tiki Tiki Bang Bang
965 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills
Take a trip to the tropics at this hidden gem in the heart of Walnut Hills. Tiki Tiki Bang Bang is the only bar in Cincinnati that will take you on an island exploration without leaving the Ohio River Valley via the Discovery Rum Club. Ask your bartender about it to buy the super secret book ($25 with a special flight of rum to get you started), choose your faction (are you Team Prof. McCaw or Team Capt. Dory?) and get to sipping on some rum. If exploring isn’t your game, you can kick back with one of Tiki Tiki Bang Bang’s punch bowls or island-themed cocktails.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Tiki Tiki Bang Bang

965 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills
Take a trip to the tropics at this hidden gem in the heart of Walnut Hills. Tiki Tiki Bang Bang is the only bar in Cincinnati that will take you on an island exploration without leaving the Ohio River Valley via the Discovery Rum Club. Ask your bartender about it to buy the super secret book ($25 with a special flight of rum to get you started), choose your faction (are you Team Prof. McCaw or Team Capt. Dory?) and get to sipping on some rum. If exploring isn’t your game, you can kick back with one of Tiki Tiki Bang Bang’s punch bowls or island-themed cocktails.
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Symposium (NOW CLOSED)
2835 Woodburn Ave., East Walnut Hills
Sporting a relaxed, Hemingway cafe-style atmosphere, wine bar and cafe Symposium features three bars, a main dining room with a lounge known as The Nest, a private dining and event space and a small outdoor patio for early birds and night owls alike. Each bar serves something different: one is drinks, another is coffee and the final has food. Owners J. Matt Nickels and chef Aaron Owens told CityBeat they want Symposium to also embody the stories of old Italy told to them by family. The drinks menu places a focus on avian-inspired cocktails, called “Birdtails,” like the mojito Macaw; the Meadowlark, their take on a Moscow Mule; or the gin and tonic Magpie.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Symposium (NOW CLOSED)

2835 Woodburn Ave., East Walnut Hills
Sporting a relaxed, Hemingway cafe-style atmosphere, wine bar and cafe Symposium features three bars, a main dining room with a lounge known as The Nest, a private dining and event space and a small outdoor patio for early birds and night owls alike. Each bar serves something different: one is drinks, another is coffee and the final has food. Owners J. Matt Nickels and chef Aaron Owens told CityBeat they want Symposium to also embody the stories of old Italy told to them by family. The drinks menu places a focus on avian-inspired cocktails, called “Birdtails,” like the mojito Macaw; the Meadowlark, their take on a Moscow Mule; or the gin and tonic Magpie.
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Tokyo Kitty
575 Race St., Downtown
Sing your heart out at this Japanese-style karaoke bar. You can enjoy some sake or a seasonal cocktail featuring Japanese liquor in the lounge before dancing or singing. Or, rent a private room where you can sing “My Heart Will Go On” among people who won’t judge you too harshly. The private rooms also come with a special drink-delivery robot to help you get that liquid courage going before your big performance.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Tokyo Kitty

575 Race St., Downtown
Sing your heart out at this Japanese-style karaoke bar. You can enjoy some sake or a seasonal cocktail featuring Japanese liquor in the lounge before dancing or singing. Or, rent a private room where you can sing “My Heart Will Go On” among people who won’t judge you too harshly. The private rooms also come with a special drink-delivery robot to help you get that liquid courage going before your big performance.
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Pirate’s Cove Tropical Bar & Grill (Opens for season in April)
4609 Kellogg Ave., East End
Pirate's Cove is perfect for a stay-cation or if you just want to feel like you're on a beach somewhere. This paradise-themed restaurant has the occasional pirate roaming the grounds for the kids, signature cocktails, Key West-inspired cuisine and live music. The patio overlooks the Ohio River and the Four Seasons Marina.

Pirate’s Cove Tropical Bar & Grill (Opens for season in April)

4609 Kellogg Ave., East End
Pirate's Cove is perfect for a stay-cation or if you just want to feel like you're on a beach somewhere. This paradise-themed restaurant has the occasional pirate roaming the grounds for the kids, signature cocktails, Key West-inspired cuisine and live music. The patio overlooks the Ohio River and the Four Seasons Marina.
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Nostalgia Wine & Jazz Lounge
1432 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine
This intimate, 1940s-inspired lounge has the perfect ambiance for a romantic night out or even just a solo date. Nostalgia Wine & Jazz Lounge offers an inclusive approach to wine culture, focusing on minority and women winemakers and producers. They offer 40 wines available by the glass or bottle, including eight on tap, and curated flights, cocktails, spirits and charcuterie boards – the best combination to nosh on while listening to live jazz, soul, hip-hop and R&B music.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Nostalgia Wine & Jazz Lounge

1432 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine
This intimate, 1940s-inspired lounge has the perfect ambiance for a romantic night out or even just a solo date. Nostalgia Wine & Jazz Lounge offers an inclusive approach to wine culture, focusing on minority and women winemakers and producers. They offer 40 wines available by the glass or bottle, including eight on tap, and curated flights, cocktails, spirits and charcuterie boards – the best combination to nosh on while listening to live jazz, soul, hip-hop and R&B music.
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Sugar N’ Spice
4381 Reading Road, Paddock Hills; 1203 Sycamore St., Pendleton; 10275 Summit Parkway, Blue Ash
This breakfast diner has been serving up delicious early-morning eats like their wispy-thin pancakes and fluffy omelets since 1941. Decked out in an array of bright colors, breakfast-themed murals and mid-century flair, Sugar N’ Spice also offers another fun pastime: you get to pick out a little rubber ducky after every meal.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Sugar N’ Spice

4381 Reading Road, Paddock Hills; 1203 Sycamore St., Pendleton; 10275 Summit Parkway, Blue Ash
This breakfast diner has been serving up delicious early-morning eats like their wispy-thin pancakes and fluffy omelets since 1941. Decked out in an array of bright colors, breakfast-themed murals and mid-century flair, Sugar N’ Spice also offers another fun pastime: you get to pick out a little rubber ducky after every meal.
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Lonely Pine Steakhouse
6085 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge
This steakhouse, located next door to the Shining-themed Overlook Lodge, is inspired by Midcentury Modern styling and the spirit of America's great landscapes. The menu features ribeyes, strips and rare cuts, along with steakhouse sides, cocktails and a "bold" wine list. All can be savored while taking in the Route 66-style atmosphere.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Lonely Pine Steakhouse

6085 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge
This steakhouse, located next door to the Shining-themed Overlook Lodge, is inspired by Midcentury Modern styling and the spirit of America's great landscapes. The menu features ribeyes, strips and rare cuts, along with steakhouse sides, cocktails and a "bold" wine list. All can be savored while taking in the Route 66-style atmosphere.
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Somerset
139 E McMicken Ave., Over-the-Rhine
Somerset offers a lush oasis that brings to mind faraway places. Tucked away in Over-the-Rhine, the bar features a greenhouse bar, outdoor garden, a converted double-decker bus that serves up a globe-trotting menu of street eats and decor from around the world. Indoors, there are two bar spaces, one being the plant-filled conservatory and the other located in their cozy lounge. Outside, you can enter the garden through a set of antique gates from India where you’ll find 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. It’s the perfect place to recharge and bask in the worldly ambiance while enjoying a delicious drink from Somerset’s one-of-a-kind cocktail menu.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Somerset

139 E McMicken Ave., Over-the-Rhine
Somerset offers a lush oasis that brings to mind faraway places. Tucked away in Over-the-Rhine, the bar features a greenhouse bar, outdoor garden, a converted double-decker bus that serves up a globe-trotting menu of street eats and decor from around the world. Indoors, there are two bar spaces, one being the plant-filled conservatory and the other located in their cozy lounge. Outside, you can enter the garden through a set of antique gates from India where you’ll find 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. It’s the perfect place to recharge and bask in the worldly ambiance while enjoying a delicious drink from Somerset’s one-of-a-kind cocktail menu.
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HomeMakers Bar
39 E. 13th St., Over-the-Rhine
Sip like you're in a magazine. With a “slightly retro-mostly modern” vibe, Homemakers is a colorful, fun place to find your next favorite cocktail. The menu is inspired by domestic drinks of the 1950s-1970s and features nontraditional spirits with a cocktail program featuring lesser-known liqueurs, herbal and fortified wines and no-proof cocktails. There are also classic drinks complemented by modern and refreshing takes.
Photo: Provided by HomeMakers Bar

HomeMakers Bar

39 E. 13th St., Over-the-Rhine
Sip like you're in a magazine. With a “slightly retro-mostly modern” vibe, Homemakers is a colorful, fun place to find your next favorite cocktail. The menu is inspired by domestic drinks of the 1950s-1970s and features nontraditional spirits with a cocktail program featuring lesser-known liqueurs, herbal and fortified wines and no-proof cocktails. There are also classic drinks complemented by modern and refreshing takes.
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Hi-Fi Cincy
941 Pavilion St., Mt. Adams
If the feeling of getting a little drunk or stoned on your living room floor and popping your favorite vinyl into your record player while the rain falls outside were a bar, it would be Hi-Fi. This music-themed bar embodies the nostalgia of analog music and is itself almost like a giant crate of old records you can sift through while sipping on a handcrafted cocktail, listening to the songs that make up the soundtrack of your life.

Hi-Fi Cincy

941 Pavilion St., Mt. Adams
If the feeling of getting a little drunk or stoned on your living room floor and popping your favorite vinyl into your record player while the rain falls outside were a bar, it would be Hi-Fi. This music-themed bar embodies the nostalgia of analog music and is itself almost like a giant crate of old records you can sift through while sipping on a handcrafted cocktail, listening to the songs that make up the soundtrack of your life.
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Northside Yacht Club
4231 Spring Grove Ave., Northside
A little bit naughty nautical, a little bit rock ‘n roll, Northside Yacht Club serves up delicious sandwiches, burgers, wings and fries, as well as vegan and gluten-free options. They also have an extensive craft cocktail list – including their infamous peanut butter tequila shooter – as well as brunch during the weekend.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Northside Yacht Club

4231 Spring Grove Ave., Northside
A little bit naughty nautical, a little bit rock ‘n roll, Northside Yacht Club serves up delicious sandwiches, burgers, wings and fries, as well as vegan and gluten-free options. They also have an extensive craft cocktail list – including their infamous peanut butter tequila shooter – as well as brunch during the weekend.
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Hap’s Irish Pub
3510 Erie Ave., Hyde Park
Named after its former owner’s nickname, “Happy,” Hap’s boasts that it is the biggest Guinness distributor in the area and calls itself “the most authentic Irish pub you will find outside of the Green Isle.” Whether you want to pick up a casual game of darts, play a song on the jukebox or enjoy the dog-friendly outdoor patio, a visit to Hap’s is bound to be a good time.

Hap’s Irish Pub

3510 Erie Ave., Hyde Park
Named after its former owner’s nickname, “Happy,” Hap’s boasts that it is the biggest Guinness distributor in the area and calls itself “the most authentic Irish pub you will find outside of the Green Isle.” Whether you want to pick up a casual game of darts, play a song on the jukebox or enjoy the dog-friendly outdoor patio, a visit to Hap’s is bound to be a good time.
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Hofbrauhaus
200 Third St., Newport
This German bier hall is modeled after the original Hofbrauhaus in Munich, featuring house-brewed beer, German fare like soft-dough pretzels with bier cheese and wurst sausages, and servers in traditional dirndls. You’ll often find the sounds of German polka music, cheering and laughter drifting out into the streets, especially from the biergarten.

Hofbrauhaus

200 Third St., Newport
This German bier hall is modeled after the original Hofbrauhaus in Munich, featuring house-brewed beer, German fare like soft-dough pretzels with bier cheese and wurst sausages, and servers in traditional dirndls. You’ll often find the sounds of German polka music, cheering and laughter drifting out into the streets, especially from the biergarten.
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Fifty West Burger Bar
7605 Wooster Pike, Columbia Township
Roadtrip- and Americana-themed Fifty West Burger Bar has tons of activities to enjoy, like several sand volleyball courts, cornhole and pickelball, plus an ice skating rink in the winter. The menu features bread-and-butter diner specialties like classic cheeseburgers, flat-top hot dogs and loaded crinkle-cut fries. Don’t miss the 12 specialty burgers named for the 12 states that U.S. Route 50 runs through. Grab a house-made root beer or orange soda to wash it all down, or choose from a wide range of Fifty West canned, bottled or draft beers.
Photo: Savana Willhoite

Fifty West Burger Bar

7605 Wooster Pike, Columbia Township
Roadtrip- and Americana-themed Fifty West Burger Bar has tons of activities to enjoy, like several sand volleyball courts, cornhole and pickelball, plus an ice skating rink in the winter. The menu features bread-and-butter diner specialties like classic cheeseburgers, flat-top hot dogs and loaded crinkle-cut fries. Don’t miss the 12 specialty burgers named for the 12 states that U.S. Route 50 runs through. Grab a house-made root beer or orange soda to wash it all down, or choose from a wide range of Fifty West canned, bottled or draft beers.
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