Rooftop Bars and Outdoor Patios

By Brian Mains, WCPO

CINCINNATI — Summer is the perfect season for sitting outside and sipping adult beverages with friends. These eight rooftop and outdoor patio bars that opened for the first time this year (and two more opening soon) are perfect for doing just that.

Pins Mechanical
1124 Main St., Over-the-Rhine

When Pins Mechanical Co. rolled into Over-the-Rhine last November, the Columbus-based boutique bar franchise introduced Cincinnati to “duckpin bowling.” This variation of regular bowling uses a smaller ball that fits in the palm of a hand to try and knock down 10 pint-sized pins. In April, Pins Mechanical took its game in OTR to a new level with the opening of a rooftop patio. The outdoor venue features a bar, bocce ball, fire pits, giant Jenga and Connect Four. Those amenities complement the first two floors of bowling lanes and a third level filled with pinball machines. While the rooftop’s bar serves only canned beer and wine, folks can bring up cocktails and draft beer from Pins’ first- and third-level bars.

Bishop’s Quarter
212 W. Loveland Ave., Loveland

Bishop’s Quarter rose from the ashes, literally, after being damaged in the fire that swept through historic Loveland in the summer of 2017. When the New Orleans-inspired restaurant reopened in December, its owners not only unveiled a gorgeous interior but two upper levels of outdoor seating. “The View” is an outdoor patio and dining area that wraps around the bar’s second level. “The Landing” is a rooftop bar perfect for sipping craft beer, people watching or watching whatever is on the rooftop’s televisions. Tano Bistro, at 204 W. Loveland Ave., and Ramsey’s Trailside, at 200 W. Loveland Ave., also started offering outdoor seating this spring after recently opening on the same block devastated by the 2017 fire.

Yonder by Commonwealth
621 Main St., Covington

Yonder, a new rooftop bar and restaurant from the owners of Commonwealth Bistro, started serving a rotating menu of small plates and great drinks on June 22. Owners Tess and Chris Burns harnessed their love of the great outdoors to design the state park-themed rooftop escape, which they hope helps their urban-dwelling guests unwind.

Gaslight Bar & Grill
351 Ludlow Ave., Clifton

The Gaslight Bar & Grill opened earlier this year inside the former Clifton branch of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. Owners David and Claudia Taylor transformed the interior space into a great dining experience and also added a rooftop terrace. The terrace fully opened for business on May 6.

Outdoor patios

Bean & Barley
2005 Madison Road, O’Bryonville

The neighborhood’s retail hub may be small, but Bean & Barley proves there’s room for more than one outdoor patio on Madison Road in O’Bryonville. The brainchild of owners John Evans and Samantha Demint, Bean & Barley opened a short distance across the road from O’Bryon’s Pub in January. Its name and tagline — “come for the coffee and stay for the beer” — explain this establishment’s focus. What first-time visitors might not know is Bean & Barley has a pretty chill second-story patio overlooking Torrence Parkway. Work is currently underway to build a street-level beer garden below the patio for more outdoor sipping.

HighGrain Brewing Co.
6860 Plainfield Road, Silverton

HighGrain Brewing Co. opened over Memorial Day weekend with a focus on sustainability in the former village of Silverton’s municipal building. The craft brewery’s taproom currently has 10 beers on tap and a food menu featuring items such as a goetta meatloaf sandwich. HighGrain also has an outdoor patio where folks can watch traffic go by on lazy summer days.

Holiday Spirits
1538 Race St., Over-the-Rhine

When the owners of Senate, Abigail Street and Pontiac Bourbon & BBQ launch a new venture in Over-the-Rhine, you can expect a top-notch experience. Since opening at the corner of Race and Liberty streets in early spring, Holiday Spirits’ 50-seat outdoor patio has become prime happy hour real estate. The bar features 15 beers on tap, about 10 different cocktails, frozen rosés and a food menu offering a variety of Arab and Israeli-inspired street foods. Holiday Spirits’ interior seats about 120 people.

Comfort Station
791 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills

The creative team behind Sundry and Vice craft cocktail bar in Over-the-Rhine opened their newest venture, Comfort Station, on June 21. Comfort Station first opened in 1914 and takes its name from the location’s original purpose as a public comfort house and rest stop for weary travelers. Comfort Station the bar also features a light and spacious outdoor patio hidden in the back and tucked between two other buildings on each side.

Coming soon

Braxton Brewing Co. Rooftop
27 W. Seventh St., Covington

Braxton Brewing Co. will open its $5 million rooftop on July 20. The grand opening will also serve as the brewery’s four-year anniversary party. The 5,000-square foot rooftop will feature views of Covington and Cincinnati, 20 beers on tap and an expanded cocktail menu. The Rooftop also has the largest living wall in the Midwest (supposedly folks at Braxton checked this).

The View at Shires’ Garden
309 Vine St., Downtown

The View at Shires’ Garden promises spectacular views of the Ohio River and Downtown when the upscale eatery opens this summer. The restaurant and bar is located on the 10th floor of the City Club Apartments. Once open, the View at Shires’ Garden’s interior will feature a main dining space and rounded bar that will open directly onto a 2,000-square-foot outdoor patio for alfresco dining and drinks. Owners confirm the View is in its final phase of renovations and plan to announce a grand opening date soon.

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Photo credit: Brian Mains