Irene’s Little Bar checks all the boxes that I lay out for a little neighborhood bar. It’s comfortable, friendly, and inexpensive. Regardless if you’re there to snag a quick bite to eat or just a drink after work, it will satisfy you. If you’re headed out with friends and looking for a place to play a few rounds of pool, the bar will do precisely what you need it to do.
It’s just sort of… satisfying.
The bar is easy to miss, though, which is definitely part of its charm. It blends in and hides amongst the neighborhood. People drive by it daily, unaware of what the place holds behind its non-descript disguise.
What To Expect When You Visit
Irene’s is located in a converted house in Crescent Springs. There’s a sign right out front, but the unassuming personality of the building is easy to miss. Even when you’re walking up to it – the siding is a little dirty, the parking is a little strange. It’s easy to think you made a mistake.
Most folks will park around the back and enter via the side deck. That side deck provides plenty of outdoor seating if you want to breathe the fresh air, which is nice because this is a ‘smoking-friendly’ bar.
Once you enter the bar, you’ll see the large wooden bar along the side of the space and a pool table tucked into the back. The rest of the room is filled with large round tables for getting together with friends or family and there are several dart boards, video games, and a digital jukebox that are spaced around the outside edges.
For a bar called ‘Irene’s Little Bar,’ I have to tell you – it’s a decent-sized space that can handle a substantial crowd if you happen to find yourself there during a football game or another busy evening.
What Are You Drinking?
My first instinct when I get to a bar like Irene’s is to grab a high-life bottle and call it a day. That’s not the only route to take, though. When you grab your barstool, you’ll notice they have a small draft system behind the bar, which is a great bet. They keep their draft beer nice and cheap, with a decent selection of styles. If you happen to be at the end of the bar by the cooler, you’ll notice that there is a selection of canned craft beer, which lets me know that this bar is interested in serving everyone, not just the folks who have been coming here forever.
The important thing to note about Irene’s is that you won’t be out of place regardless of your choice of drink. No one will look at you sideways if you order a local craft beer, nor will they judge you if you just want a light macro lager. I’d even go as far as to say that a cocktail isn’t out of the question (as long as you’re not expecting fresh juice or some raspberry basil syrup-infused craft cocktail.
My Takeaway About Irene’s Little Bar
I have loved every one of my trips to Irene’s. Without a doubt, if this were a little close to where I live, it would work its way into my regular routine. Even with that said, It’s one of those places that, anytime I’m in the area, quickly becomes a must-stop for me in the evening.
The smoking inside is a little rough sometimes – and if it’s a busy night, you’ll probably go home smelling like cigarettes. It doesn’t bother me occasionally, but I could see it being a little tough if it was my regular bar. I say that fully recognizing that I’m not a cigarette smoker, and I might have a different opinion if I was one.
Irene’s is a treasure. This bar has mastered the art of being a great neighborhood bar. It’s a little rough on the outside but a warm, cozy, friendly time-capsule on the inside.