- 641 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH, 45202
- Overall User Rating:
- (10 ratings)
- 4 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Monday-Saturday; 8 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Sunday.
- Official Web Site:
The look: Swank, lush, all wood and leather and strategically placed lighting, the Righteous Room holds its own on a block where the men wear shiny shoes and the women don low-cut dresses. While more muted than its flashy neighbor, Bootsy's, the Righteous Room features whimsy - a painting of a nude, sad-looking angel on a barstool overlooks the place - and opens to a gorgeous courtyard with cushioned benches and a second, tiled bar. Don't look for signs of the notoriously run-down Phoenix Café, which used to live here. After a $2 million renovation, which included upstairs condos, passersby barely recognized the place. "It doesn't even feel like the Phoenix or anything," one man remarked.
The crowd: Well-groomed 20- to 40-somethings relaxing after work or gearing up for a show at the Aronoff Center across the street. I went with my friend on a quiet Tuesday night shortly after the official opening, and we fit in just fine in our Midwest business attire. On a weekend night, though, I'd slip on a dress for fear of catching a frown from better-dressed patrons.
The two drinks: Happy hours don't get much better than this. From 4 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, all drinks but top-shelf liquors and bottled wines are half off. We picked our way through the 10-drink cocktail menu, sampling the Mango Mojito ($5.50 during happy hour) and the Old Fashioned ($5). Maybe we had the Ginito ($5) and the Blueberry Cocktail ($5.50) as well. They were fresh and well-crafted, but my friend and I were a bit underwhelmed by the selection (haven't we moved past Cosmopolitans by now?). The Righteous Room also has a case filled with a huge variety of microbrews and a wine list that starts at $7 a glass and runs up to $250 for a bottle of Krug Grande Cuvee champagne.
The grub: This is a drinking bar, friends. No food save for the snacks on the bar, which were a surprising treat - cheese-stuffed olives, dried wasabi peas and sugared almonds.
The verdict: I don't like paying $11 for a drink that doesn't knock my socks off, so I'd probably only hit up the Righteous Room during happy hour. That said, it's a beautiful addition to a booming downtown area and will surely be a welcome addition for the Nada-Nicholson's-Ruby crowd. Welcome to the neighborhood, Righteous Room.