- 1132 Lee St., Covington, KY, 41011
- Overall User Rating:
- (2 ratings)
- 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m. Tuesday-Sunday; Kitchen: 11:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday.
Your GPS might suggest otherwise, but you’ll find Wunderbar on the corner of 12th Street in Covington. MainStrasse’s recent Maifest party gave an appropriate backdrop for our trip to check out the new German restaurant-bar. Despite the street shutdowns, our destination stood far enough away that curbside parking was still a cinch – we found a spot right across the street on a Friday evening.
The look: A shotgun, the place is a casual nightspot mixed with a dash of biergarten.
The doors wear the German flag’s black, red and gold. The bar sits on stage left, tended to, in part, by people sporting black tops and tattooed forearms.
On the right, beyond the bar, sits a row of picnic tables. The back hosts a TouchTunes jukebox, which kicked out indie rock almost exclusively while we were there, and a sweet Elvis pinball machine. We gave it a spin – it’s got a plastic figure of the King inside.
We grabbed a seat at the bar near the entrance, under a German cuckoo clock. Across the way, a flat screen TV showed the Reds game, and a chalkboard showed the drink specifics. There was no menu, though, so learning what the kitchen offered required a trip to the other end of the bar to check out more chalk script.
The crowd: Dudes and a couple groupings of well-wishers hung out at the bar. A gaggle of twenty-somethings stopped in and grabbed a table behind us to wait on food. There was a fair amount of casual talk between the guests and staff.
The drinks: My friend Dawn tried a bottle of Weihenstephan Hefe Weissbier ($3.50) and was notably surprised by its vigor. Meanwhile, I was more pleased with my own German beer, a bottle of Reissdorf Köslch (also $3.50).
I counted a few more appealing-looking imports and specialties in the fridge behind the bar. My companion would later switch to an OTR in a “Girly” (12 oz.) mug at $4.
The grub: Be mindful of the Wunderbar pretzel ($3): it’s no narrow, over-salted twisted roll; to the contrary, salt plays a backseat to this dense bread formation, filled with dough perfected for careless chomping. It was served with sweet mustard and horseradish, two of five such sauces made in-house.
Dawn wisely ceased pretzel consumption and I shortly followed; had we kept eating it, we wouldn’t have had a prayer at trying the bratwurst platter ($5), which, almost comically at that point, came with a bread roll. We both dug the tasty ’wurst, and the potato salad, which was a lively complement to the sausage.
There was a mention of apple strudel with Nutella ($4) by one of the staff in the early going which we decided to try. It too was sizable, served with whipped cream and a strawberry, but it could probably have used a larger dose of the famed hazelnut spread.
The verdict: If you’re in the mood for a casual neighborhood bar (with a German slant), Wunderbar’s prices and somewhat singular imports make it worth a stop.
They’ve also got a few tables out back to relax on during warmer nights.