Ghost Baby is (on paper) a concept that’s been done before. A small cocktail bar, with a unique music program, great wine, and beer lists… it’s nothing crazy. The commonality of the idea goes out the window completely when you hear that the bar is located several stories underground inside one of Cincinnati’s old lagering tunnels.
Yes… Ghost Baby is unlike any place you’ll ever step foot in.
What’s Ghost Baby Like?
Marked only by a couple of purple lamps on the side of a building on Republic Street in OTR – Ghost Baby already has a lot going for it – it feels like you’ve discovered a really fun, secret bar. Descending the staircase (or elevator) it just keeps getting cooler. When you step foot into the front space it catches you off guard, still.
The whole bar is split into three separate rooms, a front bar, a back bar with a performance stage and then a small “parlor” between the two. It always feels pretty full, only having room for around 160 people – but it doesn’t feel as stuffy as you might think that an underground tunnel would.
The tunnel itself is an awesome piece of Cincinnati history, an old relic of the Champion Brewery, more than 170 years old. Ghost Baby pays homage to the space, just enough… while not leaning too heavily on the “gimmick” and still providing a space that were it situated above ground would still be a great place to grab a drink.
Food, Drinks, Whatcha Got?
Let’s start with the drinking side of things – I am the Gnome, after all. Ghost Baby provides the great pre-prohibition style cocktails that you expect in a space like theirs, but with a little bit of a twist. Their menu has a whole section of what they’re calling ‘Royales’ which are sparkling cocktails. This is of course alongside a selection of other boozy concoctions, beer, wine etc. There’s plenty to choose from depending on what mood you’re looking to create for your night.
They’ve got Charcuterie curated by The Rhined, Chocolate from Chocolat Latour, and even specialty Cannoli from Del Gardo’s. While the bar isn’t about the food… the food is definitely a step above what you get at a lot of places. It’s the perfect companion to their drink menu.
So… what’s with this “Ghost Baby” thing anyways? You’ll have to go a little supernatural if you wanna follow along. Keep in mind, you’re several stories underground, where during construction it got a little spooky from time to time.
One story is of a contractor who was installing the first lights in the tunnel. He claimed to street level after installing the light, and when he returned found the bulb he just installed shattered and swinging back and forth.
Other stories are mostly of strange noises, including (now it makes sense) a ghostly baby crying from an unseen source.
While Ghost Baby might not be a terrifying place to belly up to the bar – I can promise you 100% it’s not on the top of my list of places I’d love to hang out by myself… creepy.