Gorilla Cinema Opens A New Day of the Dead–Themed Bar

Over-the-Rhine’s La Ofrenda is a nod to Mexican heritage with tequila-centric cocktails, cervezas, and tamales.

Photographs Courtesy Gorilla Cinema

After years of opening film-themed bars (Tokyo Kitty, Video Archive, Overlook Lodge), hospitality group Gorilla Cinema pivots to offer a small bar with a big heart.

The group’s newest venture, La Ofrenda Tequila, opens New Year’s Eve, at 6 p.m. The 20-seat bar is just off the beaten path near Over-the-Rhine’s Findlay Market and is inspired by its owner and CEO Jacob Treviño’s heritage.

Photographs Courtesy Gorilla Cinema

“My grandparents were from Mexico, “he says,” so this is very personal.”

Opposite the bar, an ofrenda (Spanish for “offering”) displays framed pictures, rosaries, and candles—an homage to Día de los Muertos, a day when families create altars in their homes with flowers and family photos in remembrance of their deceased loved ones.

“We want to encourage people to visit this ofrenda and bring pictures of their loved ones that have passed away,” Treviño says. “[We want to] make this a place to celebrate life and the people that matter the most to us.”

Unlike most traditional ofrendas, this one will come to life via projection mapping, the technology used to project animations at Blink Cincinnati, but on a much smaller scale. The interior of La Ofrenda is a blank canvas for a permanent lightshow installment that will change over time. The project is spearheaded by Hambone Collective, a video agency in Over-the-Rhine.

Treviño and his team chose Hornitos Plata as the house tequila, also featured in the house margarita. “We started off with a hundred different cocktails and we worked it down to 12,” he says, including a twist on the Manhattan (tequila substituted for whiskey). The beer list will exclusively feature Mexican cervezas, along with mezcals and sotols and one of each spirit in the well to appease the tequila-averse.

A handful of food options will be offered to soak up all that tequila, including tamales for meat-eaters and vegans alike, chips and salsa in place of the common peanuts or popcorn, and caldo, a Spanish broth-based soup.

La Ofrenda Tequila, 30 Findlay St., Over-the-Rhine

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