- 318 Greenup St., Covington, KY, 41011
- Overall User Rating:
- (2 ratings)
- 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Friday, noon-1 a.m. Saturday.
- Official Web Site:
What I knew about Blinkers Tavern was that it was racing horse-themed and that it popped up where Chalk used to be, on Greenup Street in Covington. Beyond that, I wasn't sure what to expect.
Was it a sports bar? A fine dining restaurant? A swanky martini joint? A cozy place to throw back a beer and watch the game?
Well, I've been to Blinkers now.
And I'm still not sure.
The look: Blinkers is a beautiful tavern, with rich wood and brick walls and a charming backyard patio. The horse decorations are there, but they're subtle enough not to annoy a person who doesn't care about horse races. (Yes, this person is me.) As for the crowd, it was a complete mix. We saw old folks at dinner and hipsters on a date. A baby sat at the table next to ours. Someone looking for a more sophisticated night of cocktails should probably stick to the front bar area or adjacent dining room, which also has a big TV and couch seating.
The drinks: We went to Blinkers on a Thursday evening, early, because I wanted to get there for happy hour. Unfortunately, our server told us happy hour was only Monday-Wednesday, and while the deals on those respective days are good - $5 burgers, half-priced wine, half-off appetizers - they are, of course, not valid on Thursday.
So I grumbled to myself a little and ordered from the list of "Blinkertails." I soon forgot about happy hour.
The Pineapple Delight, a mix of Cruzan Banana Rum, pineapple juice and soda, was delightfully (yes, I said it) sweet and beachy, a drink that makes you think of blue ocean water even when it's raining outside. And you're in Kentucky.
Dave had the Sparkling Pama, a blend of raspberry vodka, Pama Liqueur, cranberry juice and soda that was tart and crisp and very quickly gone.
I followed up with light Avery White Rascal beer, one of the very good selections on tap, while Dave enjoyed a gin and tonic.
The grub: Blinkers menu surprised me. I expected burgers and potato skins, which it had, but I didn't see mussels and shrimp risotto and steamed vegetables coming. We could have had filet mignon or ginger pork tenderloin, mussels or baked mostaccioli, too, but we were both in a sandwich mood.
Specifically, I wanted the Blinker Burger with provolone cheese and all the fixings. Ooh, and fries. It was a fine burger, fat and juicy, a great complement to my beer. Dave, meanwhile, went healthier with the Salsa Avocado Chicken Melt, a sandwich with a piece of chicken he raved about topped by a slice of provolone and served with a side of salsa. He traded out his fries for a dish of creamy coleslaw that he happily devoured.
The verdict: I'd like to put Blinkers in a category, but I can't. Depending on where you sit and what you order, this place is a family dining room, a fancy bar or a pub where you can kick back and watch the game. You don't even have to like horses, but it helps if you like good beer and burgers. Or chicken. Or baked mostaccioli and shrimp risotto and sweet cocktails.