If you’re just hearing about this for the first time, I have a lot to tell you about Ford’s Garage. This place isn’t a world-class bar, nor will the food turn the heads of any hardcore foodies out there. It’s not that type of place. It is, though, really interesting for a lot of other reasons.
This is the first time that the Ford Motor Company has licensed their branding to be used in a restaurant – and the restaurant(s) (it’s a chain) definitely go all in on the theme, capitalizing on the IP heavily. It’s a little bit cheesy, but my goodness – it’s fun.
The chain was founded back in 2012 in Florida, near Henry Ford’s winter home – and has continued to grow since then. We finally got our first location here in Cincinnati in early 2022, and there are already plans for more spots around the area.
What To Expect At Ford’s Garage
The first Cincinnati location opened in the former Don Pablos in Rookwood Pavillion – and the building itself feels like it was meant for a place like this. Walking up to the doors, there are a couple of old vintage Fords parked out front next to some old gas pumps. The brick building feels like a historic service station, and when you walk in the doors you’re immersed in the world of Ford.
There are old signs all over, and small details everywhere you look that maintain the theme. Above you is a conveyer built slowly moving car parts through a “factory” as they are seemingly being put together. The centerpiece of the room is the big three-sided bar with a car hanging above it. 40 beer taps line the wall, with a huge ford logo made out of shiny and dull pennies providing the backdrop.
You can just stand in the middle of the room slowly spinning around trying to take it all in. There’s a lot… and it’s absolutely beautiful.
The Food, The Beer… That’s Why We’re Here
Ford’s Garage is a burger restaurant at its core. They have a whole bunch of burgers on the menu, each named after local American heroes… and the burger that I had was freaking delicious. You can see the whole menu if you hit up their website… and I promise it’ll make you hungry.
As for the beer, they are doing this right. 40 taps, with a TON of local selections – plus a ridiculous amount available in bottles and cans, too. They even have a frozen strip running around the bar to set your beer glass on to keep it cold while you’re wolfing down that burger and fries.
My Overall Experience
I had a ton of fun eating here, and I think that’s important. This is the type of restaurant that you’d go to when you’re on vacation with your family – and it makes me feel like that a little bit. It’s exciting, it’s entertaining, and it makes me really pumped to see how it evolves with time.
Chain restaurants get a little bit of flack sometimes for not being authentic enough, or for not having the soul that other places do – but Ford’s Garage seems to own who they are in a genuine, happy, fun way that a lot of other places could learn from.
This is 100% worth a visit if you’re looking for a burger and a couple of beers!