- 1345 Main St., Cincinnati, OH, 45202
- Overall User Rating:
- (3 ratings)
- 5 p.m.-midnight Monday; 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 5 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Friday; 2 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-midnight Sunday. Kitchen open 5:30-9:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, Friday; 3 p.m.-11 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 5:30-11 p.m. Sunday.
- Official Web Site:
The look: With its unassuming demeanor, MOTR Pub is cool without even trying. The sprawling mahogany bar and low lighting create a warm and comfortable atmosphere, while a stamped tin ceiling and exposed stone walls of the basement add a touch of the historical.
The walls are decorated with music memorabilia that includes autographed posters, photos and screen prints. Music lovers can geek out to the best jukebox I've heard in town, with an expansive collection that includes the Staple Sisters, MC5, Bowie, Black Keys, Otis Redding, Best Coast, Black Angels, and one of my personal favorites, Ride. With a small stage tucked in the corner of the front room, music-goers can watch live performers while standing or sitting at either the bar or tables scattered to its left.
Booths are set up in the back room by the kitchen for diners, and those seeking a quieter retreat can head down to the basement bar, which resembles an old wine cellar, or to the outdoor patio.
The crowd: It's a little more packed on weekends than weekdays, but the crowd comprises mostly folks from their late 20s through their 30s. Some might be tempted to label the crowd hipster-esque, but if so, it's hipsters of the laid-back variety. There's very little pretense to the group: plain T and a few flannel shirts, '80s-style gym shoes, slouchy boots, and maybe a couple of beards. I've also spotted quite a few familiar local band members checking out their peers.
The drinks: As far as beer is concerned, there are plenty of options (roughly 30) in all different price ranges. Beers on tap range from Hudy Amber ($3.25) to Bell's Two Hearted Ale ($5.75). The bottle collection offers further choices of imports like Stella Artois ($4) and domestic crafts and microbrews. Cheap domestics like Miller or Burger are also available in cans.
Wine and mixed drinks are also an option. My friend ordered the Rivertown Dunkel ($4.50) on draft and the staff indulged my desire for a Hudy Delight topped off with Sprite ($3.25).
The grub: There are smaller menu items for snacking such as Queso Fundido with chips and salsa or sausage and pretzel bites, as well as sophisticated takes on comfort foods like the Grilled Trio Cheese or St. Francis Monastery Mac and Cheese. Burgers are definitely the specialty here. I was jonesing for the Shroom Burger, which consists of a marinated portobello mushroom stuffed with goat cheese. However, the kitchen had just opened the weekend before, and due to the huge crowds they had for brunch, it was running behind schedule to open for dinner at 5 p.m., and I actually arrived a bit early. We reached a compromise: I settled for the "Vegan" BLT with marinated tofu and seasoned fries ($8) and MOTR Pub fed us early.
The verdict: MOTR Pub has already won me over. I've already been there three times in one week (for Wednesday Folk Night, to see the Guitars' Friday night show and to eat dinner Saturday). I liked my "BLT" so much that I can't wait to try the Shroom Burger with its goat cheese and special sauce. What's more, whether I've got money in my pocket or not, I've got a lot of options for both beverages and nibbles.