Neighborhood Bars: Kentucky

Southern spots that serve beer, bourbon, and beyond.
Camp Springs Tavern


Camp Springs Tavern

In the shadow of St. Joseph Camp Springs church, Camp Springs Tavern has been a gathering spot for the citizens of northeastern Campbell County since the 1880s. Keith and Amy Neltner bought the place in 2016 and literally plastered the walls with the place’s history—photos from the bar’s past hang inside, and the names of previous owners are painted on the wall outside. Every other Thursday is Bluegrass Night, where local pickers roll up and jam; Saturday brings other regional musicians to the stone room. As they say, “Enjoy the spirits.” 7009 Stonehouse Rd., Melbourne,  

Crazy Fox Saloon

Inside this two-story Italianate at the corner of Ninth and Washington in Newport, owners Carl Fox and Terry Bond Jr. have created a community haven. The cozy front room holds a tiny bar (five seats!), there’s a pool table in the side room (free plays on weekdays!), and out back, the (covered!) patio has plenty of space for smokers. Fox and Bond host frequent gatherings, smoking wings for Bengals games, collecting donations for local charities, and opening on Christmas day. Don’t miss the 25th anniversary party later this summer. 901 Washington St., Newport, (859) 261-2143  

Herb & Thelma’s Tavern

Hanging out here feels like hanging out in your grandparents’ basement, in the best possible way. There’s the collection of local beer memorabilia, the original Heine’s Social Club sign, the pinball machine in the back room, and the big black telephone with a rotary dial on the wall. You’ll find someone to discuss the Reds game with, cold beer, and one of the best burgers in town. Just make sure you bring cash—no cards accepted. 718 Pike St., Covington, (859) 491-6984,

Rosie’s Tavern

A block away from the hustle and bustle of MainStrasse, Rosie’s Tavern offers its own kind of revelry. Large front windows let in plenty of early evening light, warming up the brick walls, pressed-tin ceiling, and long bar. There’s a pool table and plenty of room to spread out, plus tables on the sidewalk outside. The place was built as a tavern in 1896, so it’s not a surprise that it feels so comfortable here. 643 Bakewell St., Covington, (859) 291-9707,  

Don’t Forget to Try…

  • Mansion Hill Tavern→ Live music every night, including a blues jam on Sundays.
    502 Washington Ave., Newport, (859) 360-0667,
  • PeeWee’s Place→ Great breakfasts, a large covered porch, and a sand volleyball court.
    2325 Anderson Rd., Crescent Springs, (859) 341-4977,
  • Prost Bellevue Tavern→ Newly opened in Danyell’s space next to the Marianne Theater.
    615 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, (859) 801-4999
  • Dickmann’s Sports Barn and Brew→ All the sports, plus wings, drink specials, and sand volleyball.
    479 Orphanage Rd., Ft. Wright, (859) 331-8076,
  • Dixie Club Bar and Café→ Super-friendly folks, white chicken chili, and a nonsmoking party room upstairs (smoking allowed downstairs).
    3424 Dixie Hwy., Erlanger, (859) 727-9319

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