Named One the Best Bars in America, Wodka Bar OTR Reopens with New Outdoor Seating After Temporary Closure

Listed as one of the 27 best bars in the U.S. by "Esquire" magazine, this Eastern Bloc drinking destination and restaurant has reopened with limited outdoor seating and updated menu items

Sep 15, 2020 at 2:46 pm
click to enlarge Wodka Bar's new outdoor patio - Photo: Wodka Bar OTR Facebook
Photo: Wodka Bar OTR Facebook
Wodka Bar's new outdoor patio

Each year, Esquire magazine compiles a list of the best bars in America — places "that you love so much you can't wait to experience (them) all over again." On this year's list of 27 drinking destinations, four were in Ohio and only one of those four was in Cincinnati: Wodka Bar. (The other three are Happy Dog and Spotted Owl in Cleveland and Law Bird in Columbus.)

Over-the-Rhine's Eastern European cocktail lounge was extolled by Esquire's Food & Drinks editor Jeff Gordinier as such:

"The very existence of a bar devoted to vodka feels like a rebuke to all the bartenders who've scoffed at the spirit. But this spot takes the defiance a step further, offering shots of vodka infused with (among other things) mangoes and peanut brittle. Owner Sarah Dworak made her mark selling pierogies out of an actual hole in the wall, and then expanded that enterprise into Wodka Bar, whose food menu abounds with drinking snacks like kielbasa and smoked herring." 

And now, after closing in March due to COVID-19 (and suffering broken windows during the protests over the murder of George Floyd), Wodka Bar has reopened to the public as of Sept. 10. The bar is offering seating inside as well as outside — on a brand new patio — plus carry-out food and drinks from the walk-up window. 

New menu items include borscht, crostini with smoked herring or beets, and Hungarian wax peppers in oil, plus a spinach and mozzarella pierogi to add to the potato bacon cheddar, potato cheddar and beef onion options. (Don't worry: vegetarian Cincinnati chili pierogi are still on the menu.)

Reservations are available online at and the take-out window menu is available at

Hours are 4-10 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 2-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 1200 Main St., Over-the-Rhine,