Arnold's Bar and Grill

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Arnold's Bar and Grill
Arnold's Bar and Grill Logo.png
Arnold's Bar & Grill in Cincinnati OH USA.jpg
Exterior of Arnold's Bar & Grill
Restaurant information
Current owner(s)Ronda Breeden
Previous owner(s)Susan Fawcett, Simon Arnold, Jim Christakos, Jim Tarbell
ChefKayla Robison
Food typeAmerican
Dress codeCasual
Rating4.5 Stars (Google)
Street address210 E 8th St
CityCincinnati
CountyHamilton
StateOhio
Postal/ZIP Code45202
CountryUS
Coordinates39°06′19″N 84°30′36″W / 39.10514°N 84.51011°W / 39.10514; -84.51011Coordinates: 39°06′19″N 84°30′36″W / 39.10514°N 84.51011°W / 39.10514; -84.51011
Websitearnoldsbarandgrill.com

Arnold's Bar and Grill is the oldest continuously operating bar[1][2] in Cincinnati, Ohio, and one of the oldest in the United States.[3]

History[edit]

The establishment was first opened in 1838 by Susan Fawcett as "a whorehouse," according to Cincinnati historian Mike Morgan.[1][4] In 1861, new owner Simon Arnold operated it as a bar and lived upstairs.[1] The Arnold family operated the bar through 98 years and three generations until 1959,[5] when Elmer Arnold sold it to former professional wrestler and mob collector Jim Christakos,[6][7] who also lived upstairs.[1]

In 1976, Cincinnati City Council member Jim Tarbell purchased it from Christakos and also moved in upstairs.[1] He expanded the bar to include a large outdoor courtyard.[1] In 1998 longtime Arnold's server Ronda Breeden bought it to run with her son Chris Breeden.[1][5]

During prohibition the bar operated as a speakeasy.[1][4] Some believe the building to be haunted.[8]

The bathtub cart which fronts the building and is used in local parades refers to the second-floor bathtub which is reputed to have been used to make bathtub gin during prohibition.[9]

In 2019 Arnold's partnered with local distillers Woodstone Creek to produce Hugo Arnold's Bathtub Gin, named for the prohibition-era owner of the bar.[10]

Reception[edit]

One of America's oldest[3][11] bars, Arnold's Bar and Grill has been noted in Esquire magazine's "Best Bars in America",[9] Thrillist's "Most Iconic Bar in Ohio",[12] The Daily Meal's "150 Best bars in America"[13] and Serious Eats' "The Cincinnati 10".[14] Esquire's beverage historian David Wondrich[15] stated that "if Arnold's were in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, or Boston – somewhere, in short, that people actually visit – it would be world-famous."[3]

Street art[edit]

In 2010 Shepard Fairey installed a 15-foot-tall by 20-foot-wide mural entitled "Global Warning" on Arnold's exterior wall.[16] Fairey installed the mural as part of his show "Supply and Demand" at the Contemporary Arts Center that year. The mural is made from wheatpasted screen prints, which the bar has maintained.

In 2013 street artist JR installed a wheatpaste mural in Arnold's courtyard.[17] The mural depicts Arnold's waitresses from the 1930s. JR installed the piece as part of his "Unframed" series, an ongoing project that began in 2010 using images by famous or anonymous photographers and archival images taken out of their context. JR has exhibited Unframed works in Cincinnati, Marseille, Atlanta, Washington DC, Baden Baden, Grottaglie, Vevey, and São Paulo.

In 2015 the artist Hargo (also known as Cash For Your Warhol) installed a mural on Arnold's exterior alley wall. Hargo installed the mural as part of his show "Cash For Your Warhol: Fund Your Startup!" being held at The BLDG in Covington, Kentucky.

In popular culture[edit]

On television[edit]

In a 2018 episode of the Travel Channel's Man v. Food, host Casey Webb visits Arnold's during the episode's trip to Cincinnati.

Arnold's was featured on Episode 1 of Season 3 of First We Feast's Hot Ones with host Sean Evans and guest Padma Lakshmi from Top Chef. [18]

Producers for the NBC drama Harry's Law liked Arnold's so much that they decided to include it as part of the show. They built a replica set of Arnold's as a hangout for the characters on the show. [19][20] Even borrowing actual staff uniforms, table tents and copies of artwork to be used on the show. When the show was ultimately canceled, they sent actual set pieces to Arnold's which are displayed on the second floor of the bar. [21]

In film[edit]

The 2015 film Carol, directed by Todd Haynes and nominated for 6 Academy Awards, was partially filmed filmed at Arnold's. Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson and Jake Lacy were featured in scenes filmed at Arnold's.[22]

The 2016 film Mauraders, directed by Steven C. Miller, transformed Arnold's courtyard into a Mexican Cantina for filming. Scenes starring Christopher Meloni, Bruce Willis, and Adrian Grenier were filmed there. [23]

The film 10 Minutes Gone (due in 2020), directed by Brian A. Miller, filmed scenes with Michael Chiklis at Arnold's.[citation needed]

Awards and accolades[edit]

National

  • 2018 The Daily Meal 150 Best Bars in America
  • 2016 Serious Eats – The Cincinnati 10
  • 2016 Whiskey Advocate Magazine – 48 Hours in Cincinnati
  • 2015 Thrillist Most Iconic Bar in Ohio
  • 2015 The Daily Meal 150 Best Bars in America
  • 2013 Esquire Magazine "Best Bars in America"
  • 2013 Buzzfeed's Oldest and Coolest Bars
  • 2001 Men's Journal Magazine "50 Best Bars in America"
  • 2000 Travel and Leisure Magazine "Where to Go Next..."
  • 1982 Post Corbett Awards Finalist
  • 1979 Corbett Awards Finalist
  • 1980 Addy American Advertising Federation
  • 1980 Zagat Survey ~ America's Top Restaurants

Local (Cincinnati)

  • 2018 Citybeat Best Live Music While You Eat in Cincinnati
  • 2018 Citybeat Best No Frills Watering Hole in Cincinnati
  • 2017 Citybeat Best Business Lunch in Cincinnati
  • 2017 Citybeat Best Live Music While You Eat in Cincinnati
  • 2017 Citybeat Best Neighborhood Burger Spot in Downtown/OTR
  • 2017 Citybeat Best Neighborhood Restaurant in Downtown/OTR
  • 2017 Citybeat Best No Frills Watering Hole in Cincinnati
  • 2016 Citybeat Best Live Music While You Eat in Cincinnati
  • 2016 Citybeat Best Pub Food in Cincinnati
  • 2016 Citybeat Best No Frills Watering Hole in Cincinnati
  • 2015 Cincinnati Magazine - The 45 Best Burgers in Cincinnati
  • 2015 Citybeat Best Bar Staff in Cincinnati
  • 2015 Citybeat Best Business Lunch in Cincinnati
  • 2015 Citybeat Best No Frills Watering Hole in Cincinnati
  • 2015 Citybeat Best Live Music While You Eat in Cincinnati
  • 2015 Citybeat Best neighborhood Burger Spot in Downtown / OTR
  • 2014 Citybeat Best Outdoor Dining in Cincinnati
  • 2014 Citybeat Best Live Music While You Eat in Cincinnati
  • 2014 Citybeat Best No Frills Watering Hole in Cincinnati
  • 2014 Cityvoter Best Neighborhood Bar in Cincinnati
  • 2013 Citybeat Best Outdoor Dining in Cincinnati
  • 2013 Citybeat Best Live Music While You Eat in Cincinnati
  • 2012 Citybeat Best Live Music While You Eat in Cincinnati
  • 2011 Fox19 Cityvoter Best Neighborhood Bar in Cincinnati
  • 2011 CityBeat Best Outdoor Dining in Cincinnati
  • 2011 CityBeat Best Business Lunch in Cincinnati
  • 2010 Metromix Most Buzzworthy Restaurant in Cincinnati
  • 2010 CityBeat Best Outdoor Dining in Cincinnati
  • 2010 CityBeat Best Restaurant with Live Music in Cincinnati
  • 2009 CityBeat Best Outdoor Dining in Cincinnati
  • 2008 CityBeat Best Restaurant with Live Music in Cincinnati
  • 2004 Cincinnati Magazine "Best of the City"
  • 2003 Cincinnati Magazine "Best of the City"
  • 2002 Cincinnati Magazine "Best of the City"
  • 2001 Cincinnati Magazine "Best of the City"
  • 2000 Cincinnati Magazine "Best of the City Best Lemonade in Cincinnati
  • 1999 CityBeat Best Outdoor Dining in Cincinnati
  • 1997 Cincinnati Magazine "Hall of Fame"
  • 1995 Cincinnati Magazine "Hall of Fame"
  • 1994 Cincinnati Magazine "Best Pitch ~ Jim Tarbell"
  • 1992 Cincinnati Magazine "Best Bread Pudding"
  • 1992 Cincinnati Magazine "Hall of Fame"
  • 1991 Cincinnati Magazine "Hall of Fame ~ Best Gathering Place"
  • 1990 Cincinnati Magazine "Best Hangout"
  • 1990 Cincinnati Magazine "Best of the Best"
  • 1984 Cincinnati Magazine "Best Amiable Bar"
  • 1990 Cincinnati Post Best Dining Outdoors
  • 1990 Cincinnati Post Friendliest Restaurant in Cincinnati

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Restivo, Danny (April 2014). "Arnold's Way". Cincinnati Magazine. Archived from the original on April 8, 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  2. ^ Pennebaker, Holly (April 14, 2015). "Thrillist: Cincinnati's oldest bar is Ohio's most iconic". WCPO-TV. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Wondrich, David (June 2013). "The Best Bars in America". Esquire. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Arnold's Brothels, Bootleggers, and Booze Tours". QueenCityHistory.com. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "History". Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  6. ^ Hand, Greg. "ARNOLD'S BAR & GRILL IS OLDER THAN YOU THINK". Cincinnati Magazine. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  7. ^ "The Greek Who Made the Spaghetti "authentic" at Arnold's". QueenCityHistory.com. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  8. ^ Alter, Mixim (October 21, 2015). "Weird shadows. Loud bumps in the night. Is Arnold's Bar haunted? Creepy signs point to yes". WCPO-TV. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  9. ^ a b Weldon, Casey (May 27, 2013). "Downtown fixture Arnold's Bar and Grill voted among '16 Best Bars in America' by Esquire Magazine". WCPO. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  10. ^ Zummo, Maija (January 4, 2019). "Downtown's Arnold's Bar & Grill Collaborates on Bathtub Gin with Woodstone Creek Distillery". Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Arnold's Website Awards Section". Arnold's.
  12. ^ Breslour, Lee (April 8, 2015). "THE MOST ICONIC BAR IN EVERY STATE (AND DC)". Thrillist. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  13. ^ Steigerwald, Shauna (April 23, 2015). "THE 150 BEST BARS IN AMERICA". The Daily Meal. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  14. ^ Pandolfi, Keith (February 29, 2016). "Serious Eats's The Cincinnati 10". Serious Eats. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  15. ^ Christopher Hughes (November 17, 2014). "David Wondrich on Dive Bars, Booze, and 'Opinionated' Bostonians". Boston Magazine. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  16. ^ "Shepard Fairey Hits the streets in Cincinnati". OMG Posters. OMG Posters.
  17. ^ Sleepboy. "Upcoming / Streets: JR @ Contemporary Art Center (Cincinnati)". Arrested Motion. Arrested Motion.
  18. ^ Campbell, Polly (23 January 2017). "Harry's Law: Arnold's names burger after 'Hot Ones' host Sean Evans". Cincinnati Enquirer.
  19. ^ Campbell, Polly (18 July 2011). "Cincinnati will get more airtime on 'Harry's Law'". Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  20. ^ Kiesewetter, John (18 July 2011). "'Harry's Law' Gets Cinci-fied". Cincinnati Enquirer.
  21. ^ Kimball, Trevor (18 June 2012). "Harry's Law: Show Props Go to the Real Arnold's'". TV Series Finale.
  22. ^ "Movie Maps". Movie Maps.
  23. ^ Steigerwald, Shauna. "Cincinnati shines in new Bruce Willis film". cincinnati.com. Cincinnati Enquirer.