Best New Bars

Whether drinks are a prelude, the evening’s main event, or a nightcap after a pleasant dinner, there are plenty of watering holes to satisfy your needs.

Illustration by Muti / Folio Art

A collaboration between the owners of Eli’s BBQ and Lang Thang Group (Pho Lang Thang, Quan Hapa), The Hi-Mark is a no-frills joint that offers plenty of substance—and sustenance. Try the garlic pepper lime wings, or the pulled pork banh mi. Wash ’em down with a Columbia punch (gin, lemon juice, Hi-C fruit punch), a craft brew (drafts rotate regularly), or even a glass of chianti.

The Hi-Mark, 3229 Riverside Dr., (513) 492-7119,

The brains behind Nation Kitchen + Bar and Rhinehaus opened The Hannaford (as in Samuel, the architect) in Covington nearly 18 months ago. Cocktails are named for Hannaford-designed buildings—their traditional bourbon sour, made with Four Roses, vanilla simple syrup, and egg white, is called the Times Star, after the newspaper building. Craft taps change weekly, and they indicate on the menu what’s out, a nice touch for beer lovers.

The Hannaford at Pike + Madison, 619 Madison Ave., Covington, (859) 261-2178,

Aster Social Sippery, from the Sleepy Bee ownership team, is a sophisticated nighttime concept just upstairs from the breakfast superpower’s newest location on Fourth Street. An ever-changing menu of cocktails and bar bites (we tried the crack kale, which was roasted crisp and coated with a spicy, salty seasoning mix) make it worth a return visit.

Aster Social Sippery, 8 E 4th St., (513) 381-4483,

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