Covington’s Commonwealth Bistro Debuts its Rooftop Bar Yonder

The Kentucky State Park–inspired venue transports visitors to the trails with adventurous small plates and cocktails.
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Photograph by Kendall Crawford

The duo behind Covington’s Commonwealth Bistro, Tess and Chris Burns, recently opened its latest venture: Yonder, a Kentucky State Park–inspired bar located on the rooftop of the Main Street restaurant, offering a rotating menu and craft cocktails in an oasis reminiscent of a childhood treehouse. “Chris and I are huge nature lovers, as is the whole entire team,” Tess says. “It’s one of our common bonds.”

The co-owning couple wanted to instill their love of hiking, camping, and everything outdoorsy into the rooftop space. The new bar aims to capture the calm feeling of an off-the-grid camping trip with friends, Tess explains. “You know that feeling that you get when you disconnect from the work week or the technical world? It’s time to really connect with friends, so you’re truly present and relaxed.”

Photograph by Kendall Crawford

Wood and greenery combine with Mid-Century Modern flair to evoke nature. Sit on a cedar bench, hang in a swinging rattan chair, or plop down on a log-like stool while you enjoy one of Chef Chris Burns’s fresh, locally sourced small plates, which range from barbecue dumplings to wagyu yakitori skewers, depending on the week.

Beverage Director Bryan Harris’s curated cocktails carry on the Kentucky pride through names like Van Lear Rose (named after the state’s country music icon Loretta Lynn), a mixture of hibiscus vodka, lemonade, orange blossom, and seltzer. With spirit-free offerings like the High Lonesome (cold brewed coffee with sarsaparilla-chicory syrup, almond milk, and mint), Harris’s creations offer a little something for everyone. “We have just as many spirit-free cocktails [as spirited],” Tess says. “As a non-drinker, I find that really refreshing.”

The cozy rooftop bar seats 30 and is open Friday and Saturday from 5–11 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Yonder, 621 Main St., Covington, (859) 916-6719, commonwealthbistro.com/yonder

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