Poor Michael’s

11938 Hamilton Ave, Cincinnati Ohio

I can’t tell you how often I have driven past Poor Michaels without thinking twice. Located in a strip mall just outside of Fairfield on Hamilton Avenue, it’s easy to believe this is just another run-of-the-mill bar. Hopefully, you know by now that the only way to really figure out what a place is all about is by going there and bellying up and ordering a beer or three.

Since discovering Poor Michaels, I have quickly come to love it. I appreciate so much about a bar like this and have to share it with you.

The Experience

Walking into Poor Michaels, you are immediately transported. No matter what time of day you stroll in, it always feels like nighttime. The windows are all blacked out, making the space come alive with the light of neon and bar signs. You don’t even realize that you crave this comfort until you’re safely tucked in its hug of red, blue, and green blankets of light.

The space is dominated by a colossal bar stretching down the room’s left side. It features big, cushioned bar stools that are comfortable enough that you’ll want to hang out for a long time. The right side of the room features plenty of tables of different sizes depending on how big your group is, and the front of the room features a tiny stage that comes in handy for their popular karaoke nights.

This bar feels exactly like you would describe a neighborhood bar. It’s comfortable, welcoming, and busy, but not too much – you can’t recreate places like this. They develop over time. It doesn’t come as a surprise when you hear that they’ve been here since 1977 doing their thing.

What You’re Drinking

I love a bar like this. I won’t lie and pretend that most of the drinks I have seen make their way across the bar aren’t your standard macro beers – but plenty of basic cocktails, shots, and even some bigger craft brands are available, too.

I think what’s really important when you come into a bar like this is that you aren’t made to feel out of place, even if you order something that might be. I have seen folks walk into a dive and be laughed at when they order a glass of wine or a “fancy” cocktail. That’s not the type of place that I want to drink.

Poor Michael’s is precisely the place that I do want to drink.

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