During the Prohibition era in the United States in the 1920s, there was a constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcohol across the nation.
Because of this, hidden bars known as speakeasies began to pop up all over the place where people could gather to enjoy live entertainment and alcoholic beverages.
Today this ban on alcohol no longer exists, but some bars are still intentionally hidden just for fun. In Cincinnati in particular, there are several of these types of joints located around the city.
In this post, we share the best hidden bars and speakeasies around the Queen City and where to find them.
Map of Hidden Bars & Speakeasies
The map below shows the location of every bar mentioned in this post.
The Video Archive
Arguably the most hidden bar in all of Cincinnati is The Video Archive. Located in Walnut Hills, this bar is hidden in the back of a video rental store that can only be accessed through a secret door disguised as a row of movies. The interior of the bar gives off a laid back, intimate vibe and there’s even a spacious patio in the back which features outdoor seating, a fire pit, and even a window to Q’in, one of the best barbecue restaurants in the whole city.
Location: 965 E McMillan St, Cincinnati, OH 45206
Next up on the list is another hidden bar in Walnut Hills located just down the road from The Video Archive: Comfort Station. This spot has a unique interior with several skylights in the center of the building over the bar which gives off a vibrant, lively vibe. Plus, there are plenty of indoor plants scattered throughout the inside that nicely complement the seating areas.
There’s also a large outdoor seating area complete with lounging areas, wooden tables, and a swing on the back porch, which offers the perfect place to enjoy a drink when the weather is warm.
Location: 793 E McMillan St, Cincinnati, OH 45206
Located in East Walnut Hills, Night Drop is a basement bar located beneath Branch restaurant. With a cozy vibe and an extensive menu of cocktails and mixed drinks, this is one of the hidden gems of East Walnut Hills worth visiting that very few people know about.
Location: 1535 Madison Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45206
Located on the northern end of Over-The-Rhine, Skeleton Root is an urban winery housed on the second story of a nondescript building that features a simple menu of wines and craft beers that can be enjoyed in a laid back, spacious area.
Location: 38 W McMicken Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Gaslight Bar & Grill Rooftop Bar
Located in the heart of the Clifton Gaslight District, Gaslight Bar & Grill is a casual restaurant that has the only rooftop bar in Clifton. With plenty of seating, friendly staff, and a nice selection of cocktails and craft beers, the rooftop is a great place to check out during the warmer months.
Location: 351 Ludlow Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45220
The View at Shires’ Garden
Located in Downtown Cincinnati, The View at Shires’ Garden is an upscale restaurant with a rooftop bar that offers incredible views of the city along with a wide selection of craft beers, wines, and American-based dishes.
Location: 309 Vine St 10th floor, Cincinnati, OH 45202
21c Cocktail Terrace
Located in Downtown Cincinnati across the street from the Aronoff Center, 21c Museum Hotel is a boutique hotel, a contemporary art museum, a cultural civic center, and a restaurant all wrapped into one. Located inside of the building is a secret elevator that takes you to the 21c Cocktail Terrace offering a total of 75 seats where you can enjoy incredible views of the city while you sip on a cocktail.
Location: 609 Walnut St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
With an impressively spacious outdoor patio hidden behind a fence, Mecca is one of the most hidden bars in all of Over-The-Rhine. With a laid back vibe, plenty of seating both inside and outside, an extensive menu of cocktails and craft beers, and plants and neon paintings hanging all over, Mecca is a fun place to check out during any season. It takes most people a while to find this hidden bar and lounge, but once they find it they’re almost guaranteed to come back over and over again.
Location: 609 Walnut St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Yonder is Commonwealth Bistro’s somewhat hidden rooftop bar. Located in Covington, KY, Yonder offers a relaxing place to enjoy a small plate menu along with hand crafted cocktails, wines, and beers in a warm, dimly lit atmosphere.
Location: 621 Main St, Covington, KY 41011
Longfellow’s Other Room
Another somewhat hidden bar in Over-The-Rhine is Longfellow’s Other Room, which is a bar room located behind Longfellow that gives off the vibe of your grandparent’s basement. The Other Room claims to have Ohio’s largest rum selection, which you can verify for yourself by checking it out in person.
Location: 1233 Clay St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
The Blind Lemon
One of the more hidden bars in Mt. Adams is The Blind Lemon, a joint that has been around since 1963 and gives off the vibe of an old English pub. Known for their live music, cozy patio bar, excellent selection of cocktails, and inviting atmosphere, this is one of the most unique bars to check out in the city.
Location: 936 Hatch St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
O’Malley’s in the Alley
Located in Downtown Cincinnati, O’Malley’s in the Alley is an Irish pub that can be accessed either through The Blind Pig (a restaurant that it’s connected to) or through their back alley. With awesome service, a tasty menu of classic bar food, and a huge menu of drinks, this is a spot that you’re likely to return to over and over again after you’ve visited once.
Location: 25 W Ogden Pl, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Another hidden bar in Over-The-Rhine is Wiseguy Lounge, located on the second and third story of a building that houses Goodfella’s Pizza on the first floor. With plenty of seating and an impressive menu full of craft beers, cocktails, and mixed drinks, this is the perfect place to enjoy a pizza along with a drink in a laid back setting.
Location: 1211 Main St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Aster on Fourth
Located on the third floor of a building on 4th Street in Downtown Cincinnati, Aster is a bar with spacious indoor seating and an outdoor patio that is known for its craft cocktails and gourmet snacks. With tall ceilings and large windows, the natural lighting makes this spot feel much larger and airy than it actually is.
Location: 8 East 4th Street Third Floor, Cincinnati, OH 45202