It’s really, really hard to create a naturally cool atmosphere for a bar. Most places aren’t. They usually try too hard to be exclusive or they’re crazy grungy or just attracts a lame crowd. Cincinnati’s Bakersfield OTR is naturally a fun place to be . . . it even seems like a party during the weekday lunch crowd! I was very happy to be hosted to experience it.
Like the name implies, a lot of Americana music plays in the background, along with Outlaw Country. They serve an upmarket version of Tex-Mex food, with house made jalapeno pickles, salads with hearts of palm, braised short ribs. People from all over the city love coming in for their various tacos, like mahi-mahi, mole and “huitlacoche”: corn “truffles”, roasted poblano, corn, onion, cotija cheese and cilantro.
Bakersfield is in the city’s Over the Rhine neighborhood — once shunned, but now the place to be!