In 1948, the only way to get to California from Washington, D.C., was U.S. 50. This made Route 50 something like the east-to-west aorta of travel and business activity, the National Road. But that traffic was taken away by the Interstate Highway System. As a result, a lot of the business around North Bend has faded away, including many bars and eateries. Seems everything gets taken away from this area, including barge loads of salt—you can watch them chug away regularly from Cargill and Morton Salt on the banks of the Ohio River. The one thing that hasn’t been taken away is Rohrer’s Tavern. You can still get a burger here like you did back in ’48. The place has been freshened up, but the attitude that you can see in the smiling faces of original owners Sadie and Ken Rohrer, whose photos are on the walls, hasn’t changed in all these years. This a place to brush off the dust of the day and sink your teeth into a half-pound Angus burger, fried Cod, fried Jack Salmon, or jumbo shrimp. Those in the know whisper “Can’t go wrong with the fish,” especially to strangers. The cole slaw is unique (creamy with even more sauce poured on top) and the beer cheese soup needs its own food group. You can eat it with a spoon, dip your onion rings into it, or be creative if you’ve had a few. It’s nice that a place like Rohrer’s survives and thrives. When things get busy, they even have a special door for carry out, or as they say elsewhere: take away.
418 Three Rivers Parkway (U.S. 50)
Prices: About $8 for something filling
Lunch and dinner Tues–Sun
Originally published in the January 2011 issue.