Binski's Bar Aims to be Camp Washington's Communal Watering Hole

The bar's projected opening is March 6.

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click to enlarge Binski's Bar is set to open in Camp Washington on March 6, 2023. - Photo: Provided by Kiel Erdelac
Photo: Provided by Kiel Erdelac
Binski's Bar is set to open in Camp Washington on March 6, 2023.

The idea behind Binski’s is simple: “to meet the needs of a community,” says Kiel Erdelac, the owner of Camp Washington’s latest addition, Binski’s Bar. Speaking with local businesses and individuals about the neighborhood’s missing piece, the response was resounding: They wanted a bar and felt that there was a lack of evening attractions to complement Camp Washington’s coveted cafes and flourishing art scene.

On the corner of Colerain Avenue and Township Street sits Binski’s, a bright green building from the early 1900s — originally a saloon and boarding house (wink wink), and at one point a two-lane bowling alley, then in the '90s, a record-keeping office. It's since sat vacant, until Erdelac and his team gave the space a thoughtful overhaul, preserving its past whenever possible and leaving visitors to question just how long this place has been around. As a special touch, an Old Style sign will go out front — "a signal to anyone in Chicago you’re about to walk into a great bar,” claims Erdelac, who grew up in Chicago. Landing within the neighborhood’s Entertainment District, Binski’s was able to acquire a D5-J liquor license, making it a full-service bar. 

Growing up in Chicago and throughout his travels in the northern Midwest, Erdelac became quite familiar with community bars dedicated to making everyone feel welcome. He was heavily inspired by classic mainstays like The Lincoln Tap Room — the spot where he first became a regular — along with Grumpy’s in Minneapolis and Bumbo’s near Detroit. These unassuming bars “cultivated a really great regular crowd” with their infectious style of service and no-gimmicks atmosphere — two characteristics that Erdelac is adopting at Binski’s.

Paying tribute to his Polish heritage as well, the bar is named after Erdelac’s great-grandfather, Alfred Kielbinski. When he immigrated here in the '40s, the surname was shortened to Kiel, inspiring Erdelac’s first name. It seemed only fitting to name his bar with the part that was forgotten to provide his family with a better life.

click to enlarge Kiel Erdelac, owner of Binski's Bar in Camp Washington. - Photo: Provided by Kiel Erdelac
Photo: Provided by Kiel Erdelac
Kiel Erdelac, owner of Binski's Bar in Camp Washington.

Moving to Cincinnati in 2011, Erdelac quickly immersed himself in the hospitality industry here, most notably at Brew House and then at MadTree, where he learned firsthand the grind that is running a bar. Most recently, you may have spotted Erdelac shaking margs at Gorilla Cinema’s tequila bar La Ofrenda, where he serves as bar manager. Ready to culminate over a decade of experience for a venture of his own, it was time to scout for the perfect location, and that’s where Camp Washington came in.

At Binski’s, expect to find some classic bar staples like a CD jukebox, darts and rotating drink specials, including his favorite from back home, Rumple Minze and Schlitz (he says IYKYK).

The space will be open seven days a week. It sports a brand new patio and there are plans to organize everything from meat raffles to block parties to softball leagues — anything that brings the neighborhood together. For Erdelac, he just wants to “have a bar that’s fun — something that often gets lost when starting a business.” Upon entering, you’ll have pretzels delivered to your table, and for hungrier patrons, they won’t hesitate to heat some pizza rolls up for you.

The projected opening is March 6, landing on Casimir Pulaski Day, a holiday Erdelac got off school for growing up. The holiday honors the first notable Polish-American war hero and will certainly be an annual celebration at Binski’s. Ultimately, Erdelac is “excited to have fun and interact with regulars” while continuing to explore the needs of the neighborhood.

Binski's Bar will be located at 2872 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington. More info:

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