Cincinnati’s nightlife is hopping, giving you options for where to unwind once your business engagements are finished for the day. Consider spending your evening at one of these three hotspots.
The Aronoff Center for the Arts
The concept: The Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Music Theatre, Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative and more call The Aronoff home. This beacon for local talent, which encompasses three different performance venues, also draws crowds to downtown Cincinnati to catch award-winning Broadway shows and unforgettable original compositions.
Why it’s a must: The Aronoff’s 2017-18 lineup bills some of Broadway’s best, including “Wicked,” “Chicago,” “School of Rock,” “The King and I” and “The Book of Mormon.” Plus, the halls’ phenomenal acoustics ensure the stages are worthy of this season’s vocal legends: The Beach Boys and Grace Potter.
What people are saying: “I saw my favorite show, ‘Wicked,’ at The Aronoff. It’s a beautiful space with great seating all around. Seriously, there’s not a bad view—even in the back.” —Susan Garrett, Northern Kentucky native
The concept: Lachey’s is the brainchild of 98 Degrees pop stars and brothers Nick and Drew Lachey, who proudly call Cincinnati their hometown. The sports bar and restaurant, located in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, has big-screen TVs that beckon game-day viewers, plus cocktails on tap and a tasty menu designed by celebrity chef Brian Duffy.
Why it’s a must: Not only is the place cool and trendy, but its fame factor is one that no pop culture or music fan can resist. The bar, which opened in December 2014, prompted such fanfare that the Lachey brothers even starred in a reality show about it on A&E the following year. If you’re lucky, you’ might spot the duo behind the bar.
What people are saying: “I love Lachey’s. Check out Q102 Live with [Lachey’s] owners Drew and Nick Lachey and radio personality JonJon for [their radio show], ‘Happy Hour Friday.’” —Gary Tarpinian, director of sales and marketing, The Westin Cincinnati
Arnold’s Bar & Grill
The concept: Boston has Cheers, and Cincinnati has Arnold’s. But Arnold’s came first. The aged brick walls of this no-frills tavern feature art collected since it opened in 1861. And the community feel is palpable. With a cozy courtyard and a stage for local talent, it’s the kind of place that makes you feel like an instant resident.
Why it’s a must: You’ll get a huge serving of history and intrigue to go with your requisite order: a deep-fried pretzel. As the oldest saloon in Cincinnati, Arnold’s packs a backstory that includes Prohibition, an old bathtub hanging around on the second floor and lots of film credits for its now-famous bar.
What people are saying: “Arnold’s Bar & Grill is Cincinnati’s oldest tavern and continues to be a great spot to grab a drink or a bite to eat and appreciate where our city has been and where it’s going.”—Randie Adam, vice president of marketing and visitor services, Cincinnati USA CVB
Honorable Mention: The Video Archive