OUR PLAN TO ABANDON FACEBOOK

OUR PLAN TO ABANDON FACEBOOK

I know you’re probably reading this via Facebook, ironic right? This is not meant to be click bait. Gorilla Cinema is actually abandoning Facebook. No, not today, not this week or even in 2017, but by 2018 my goal is for us to stop marketing our bars and events using a platform which has started to show diminishing returns for us as a business. The simple reason we are leaving Facebook; it has become too much noise and we are part of the problem. Between the fake news articles, the ads posing as news articles and every viral video known to man, it has been increasing hard for me as user to filter the messages, let alone try to get my message out and have it stick. 

The bar and restaurant world is a world of slim margins. Advertising dollars basically don’t exist for small business owners. Traditional print and radio still remain expensive and do not guarantee patrons through the door. Facebook was a savior for us trying to make a splash in the now ever increasingly competitive and crowded entertainment market. With one easy click, we could potentially reach thousands of eyes and drive them into our establishments. As much as I believe Gorilla Cinema, The Overlook Lodge and The Video Archive were born on Facebook, it is now time for us to start thinking off the screen. 

GETTING OUT INTO THE WORLD

The first step is always the hardest. The business model for bars and restaurants is open the doors and wait for the customers to come to you. This year we are going on a journey to find our customers and engage with them outside of the four wall of the bars. For our company this means hosting and participating in dozens of events throughout the city, teaming up with brands we like and trying to surprise Cincinnati. The goal of this would be to bring the magic and service of what we do every day and show it to the public out in the world. 

Gorilla Cinema Movie PopUp: 'The Goonies' in Covington's MadLot featuring a free screening with food + cocktails themed to the film

Gorilla Cinema Movie PopUp: 'The Goonies' in Covington's MadLot featuring a free screening with food + cocktails themed to the film

BUILD ON WHAT WE’VE GOT

I tell this to my bartenders every day, “The most important person is the person in front of you.” I think so many of us in the industry get discouraged by slow nights, but sometimes you build an audience one person at a time. So, this year our staff is focusing on making it perfect every time. We are taking the time during our slow periods to put that extra touch on every cocktail and every interaction we have. Talking to our patrons about the events we're doing, talking to patrons about the things they are passionate about and then catering events to actual interactions we’ve had. We will promote these events through cost effective and creative ways around the city using our already talented pool of creative people.

NOT A TOTAL UNPLUG

Don’t get me wrong, I think social media is great. I just think that our company is using it wrong and using it far too frequently. We need to start to look at which platforms reach our audience the best and not which ones reach the largest amount of people. Maybe for us it’s Instagram, or Snapchat or Twitter and maybe it actually is Facebook to a small degree. 

We are in the customer service business and Facebook has removed some of those real world interactions that lead your business to have something more than customers. It allows us to have die hard fans. Tell me what you think? Do you think there are new marketing revolutions right on the horizon? Is it time for Facebook to go the way of Myspace?  What do you think the best way to market online has become?

5 MUST HAVE ALBUMS FOR YOUR NEXT HALLOWEEN PARTY

5 MUST HAVE ALBUMS FOR YOUR NEXT HALLOWEEN PARTY

I feel like Halloween gets the short stick when it comes to music. Every artist you know has a Christmas record, but how do you set the tone for Halloween? At Overlook Lodge, music plays such an important part of setting the scene and impacting the experience, that it seems a shame to not bring out some of the best, underrated, completely spooky albums at this time of year.

So you can either play Monster Mash and Thrilller until your ears bleed, or you can use this handy list of cool records to give your Halloween party a real and unique vibe. This list is far from inclusive- we tried to find crowd-pleasing records but we want your input! Make sure to leave your favorite Halloween record picks in the comment section.

1 / “HOME”- GAVIN CASTLETON

We’ve all had a relationship that falls apart in the worst way possible. It always starts nice: You meet in a coffee shop and fall deeply in love. But then, the relationship over years starts to crumble. Then... ZOMBIES ATTACK! This is the basic premise of Gavin Castleton’s HOME. Created in the aftermath of a very personal breakup, the record tells the creepy, compelling story of hiding out in grocery store surrounded by zombies while you become a monster to someone you used to love, through funky beats, off-time piano, and amazing songwriting.

Download: Bugguts

Creepiest Lyric: “Sometimes I wanna get us caught, to match the outer with the inner rot.”

Custom cocktails from the Gorilla Cinema Presents movie pop-up: HOCUS POCUS

Custom cocktails from the Gorilla Cinema Presents movie pop-up: HOCUS POCUS

2 / “CRY BABY”- MELANIE MARTINEZ

You may recognize Melanie Martinez from THE VOICE, but horror fans will instantly recognize her song CAROUSEL from the promos for AMERICAN HORROR STORY FREAKSHOW. The most haunting thing about this record is Martinez’s voice. She paints haunting songs with hip-hop back beats and unique carnival instrumentations. If Morrissey and Del La Sol had a child and that child was raised by clowns that stalk you in the woods, it would be Melanie Martinez.

Download: Carousel

Creepiest Lyric: “This horse is too slow. We’re always this close. Almost, Almost, we’re a Freak show.” 

Jacob with Special Events director Chuck Moore

Jacob with Special Events director Chuck Moore

3 / “TOO WEIRD TO LIVE, TOO RARE TO DIE”- PANIC! AT THE DISCO

Time to dance…or at least sway spookily in your living room. Panic! paints this dying scene at an after-party gone wrong along the darker edges of Las Vegas. Sounding completely danceable and upbeat (rock beats infused with light electronica), the record is bleak between the lines. Complete with late nights, weird dance cults, and murderous affairs, this record is great way to get your Halloween dance party started.

Download: Miss Jackson

Creepiest Lyric: There is something beautiful and tragic in this fallout.

4 / “ANTICHRIST SUPERSTAR”- MARYLIN MANSON 

I got this record when I was 13, and I was afraid to listen to it on an airplane for fear that it was so evil that it would make the plane crash. I couldn’t compile this list and not put this record on here. Even if most people wouldn’t call it a “crowd pleaser,” it is absolutely scary as hell. It has classics like BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE and TOURNIQUET, but for me the creepiest song on the album is THE MAN THAT YOU FEAR. If you want to rock the windows off your Halloween party it doesn’t get any better than this.

Download: Tourniquet

Creepiest Lyric: ALL OF IT! LISTEN TO IT AND THEN GO TO CHURCH.

Overlook Lodge "Haunted Hotel" decor by #GorillaCreatives: Erin Fox, Tina Cisneros + Heatherlyn Stickel

Overlook Lodge "Haunted Hotel" decor by #GorillaCreatives: Erin Fox, Tina Cisneros + Heatherlyn Stickel

5 / “BOYS FOR PELE”- TORI AMOS

The sharp notes on the harpsichord. Mrs. Amos’ near disembodied singing. A song about Lucifer being her father, and another about Courtney Love telling Kurt Cobain not to blow his brain out. This record is a quiet creep show from beginning to end, but when it gets loud, it fires on all spooky cylinders. This record is great for your Edgar Allen Poe themed Halloween party lit by candles. The must listen to song is CAUGHT A LIGHT SNEEZE with its pulsing drums and lyrical finesse, but you’ll probably love the Courtney Love hate anthem PROFESSIONAL WIDOW more.

Download: Professional Widow

Creepiest Lyric: “Don’t blow those brains yet, we gotta be big boy, we gotta be big.”

Edited by Christina Glass

5 THINGS WILLY WONKA TAUGHT ME ABOUT RUNNING A BAR

5 THINGS WILLY WONKA TAUGHT ME ABOUT RUNNING A BAR

Gorilla Cinema Presents: The Willy Wonka Experience at Pallet 23

Gorilla Cinema Presents: The Willy Wonka Experience at Pallet 23

“We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of the dreams,”  

I’ve probably heard this line of dialog from Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka in the Chocolate Factory 100 times. That’s not hyperbole, I’ve seen it more than some of the films I consider my “favorites” because its a movie that continues to greatly influenced what I do at Gorilla Cinema Presents, The Overlook Lodge and Video Archive.

Much of it comes down to Gene Wilder’s performance. From his dramatic entrance scene where he tumbles gracefully into frame, delighting the crowd, to the more personal moments where he confronts Grandpa Joe. His performance embodies what we at Gorilla Cinema Presents try to do every day. I sum them up as 5 "Rules of Thumb" that any business owner should practice.

Guests were greeted with Altos Tequila-Soaked Gummy Worms

Guests were greeted with Altos Tequila-Soaked Gummy Worms

RULE #1 : Surprise People

This entire movie rests on the element of surprise. At Gorilla, we consider ourselves magicians. We always want to keep people guessing what’s coming next and when they come into the bars, we want real reactions. So from the design, to the cocktails, to the events we do, we want that element of mystery and wonder. We call it #ProjectingWonder.

There's is a well known anecdote that Gene Wilder improvised his dialog in the childhood-nightmare-inducing tunnel scene. He did this to get real reactions from the cast. Surprising kids is easy, surprising a bar full of jaded adults is complicated. That's the challenge that pushes myself and the team every day- resulting in things like hiring a professional Santa and filling #ThatChristmasBar [The Overlook] with bounds of fresh greenery during the holidays. Or gathering real actors and comedians to do a table-read of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child [guests got sorted into houses by The Sorting Hat at the door].

With every magical thing we do- we still want your experience to be welcoming and approachable. We connect people through the experiences we create. Part of our mantra reads: "for those who seek magic in the everyday" and its that personal touch that makes those experiences even more meaningful. Things like offering to charge your phone behind the bar or the staff noticing when you’re having a bad day. Equal parts magic and heart is a good rule of thumb because you want your guests to feel like they're a part of the magic.

RULE #2 : Create New Things

Although the testing room scene is where Willy Wonka claims to hide all his best secrets, it seems that the entire factory is one big inventing floor. I think a bar can be same way. Too many owners stifle creativity because it’s easier to just replicate what others have done successfully. That doesn’t push the industry forward, and is quite the opposite of what we do.

One of my favorite Gorilla Cinema Pop-ups was a screening of Willy Wonka with a coursed cocktail + dinner pairing that was timed to the movie. It was incredibly ambitious and I became obsessed with creating things like a lick-able wallpaper cocktail and a blue cotton candy cocktail suspended in a bubble. I didn’t know how I was going do it, but I knew it could be done. It wasn’t easy, and they were not the best cocktails ever, but I took a risk, and tried something new.

Edible Bubbles: Cotton Candy Infused Vodka / Lime / Ginger Syrup / Ginger Beer

Edible Bubbles: Cotton Candy Infused Vodka / Lime / Ginger Syrup / Ginger Beer

RULE #3 : Be Nice While Bouncing The Trouble-makers

“Where is fancy bred? In the heart or in the head.” 

Even as the troubled children begin to run amok in his factory, Willy Wonka treats the worst of his guests with the best humor and brevity. I think we sometimes forget that as a bar, we serve a drug of sorts that can sometimes turn even the best of us into Veruca Salt for the night. It's important to have patience and make sure your guests get home safe. 

Menu by Chef Martha Tiffany + Jacob Treviño / 7 Food Courses + 6 Cocktail Courses

Menu by Chef Martha Tiffany + Jacob Treviño / 7 Food Courses + 6 Cocktail Courses

RULE #4 : Mentor Someone or Everyone

As a bar owner, I have a particular vision that I'm trying to achieve but I know I cannot and will not succeed on my own. The movie is modeled around Wonka’s quest to find someone to take over running the factory and continuing that magic for the next generation of children.

Like Wonka, I've been preparing for this since day one of Gorilla Cinema and my model to get there is simple: have trust in the team and create a culture of creative leaders. I find people that share my sense of wonder and are as passionate about the brand as I am [beware of the Slugworths of the world, ready to steal your Everlasting Gob-stopper recipe].

When it comes to team members, it's important that everyone have a voice and is given the freedom to be creative. One day [like Wonka] I’m going to run out of ideas and want to pass the torch to the next generation of magic-makers. When that day comes, I will have already built a team of confident leaders ready to bring their ideas to life. As a business owner and mentor, if I can support their dreams and goals [and feel lucky to have their talent, even if they don’t end their career with me], I’ve done my job.

From Left: Erica Correll, Tiffany Wilcoxson, Martha Tiffany, Katie Fraser, Ali Ulanski

From Left: Erica Correll, Tiffany Wilcoxson, Martha Tiffany, Katie Fraser, Ali Ulanski

RULE #5 : Live Happily Ever After

“Don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted…he lived happily ever after.” 

The bar/hospitality industry is stressful. It's physically demanding, highly competitive and peppered with plenty of Slugworths. What keeps me going are those moments when we pull off something fantastic and wonderful. Over this past year, moments like the whole bar singing “Purple Rain” along with the movie, the [sort of] perfect balloon drop New Year’s Eve, or people line up around the block waiting to play Harry Potter Trivia. These things transcend traditional success, but are so rewarding.

As we continue this journey of Gorilla Cinema Presents, The Overlook Lodge and The Video Archive, I’m beyond happy with everything we’ve done. At the core of it all, the magic we create is found in bringing people together for something bigger than ourselves and creating a place where everyone belongs. 

With the passing of Gene Wilder this week, I will probably watch Willy Wonka again; and much like every time I watch it, it will pull the same emotional strings as it did when I was six. I hope that it continues to spark my imagination and inspire the next generation of magic-makers.

VIEW THE PHOTO ALBUM

THE BARTENDER F*#CKING LOVES YOU

THE BARTENDER F*#CKING LOVES YOU

Doug Comer, General Manager

Doug Comer, General Manager

There are so many blog posts and Youtube videos about the bartender hating you, the customer. Don’t believe me? Just do a quick Google search and you will find them with ease. The posts are funny, especially to those of us in the industry, but they really only represent a small amount of our customer base. The majority of patrons that come into our fine establishments worldwide fall into the category of “The bartender is happy you’re here to drink and tip: We don’t love or hate you. We like you, but that’s as far as it goes for the moment.” 

There is a contingent of you, though, that falls into another category altogether. You fall into the top 1% of the bar patrons. You are those that we love. You are those that we are genuinely happy to see and ask real questions about your life, and we care what you have going on.

I know you may think that this love is somehow only connected to tips.

False. 

Some of my favorite patrons over the years are good tippers, not amazing. You may think that it's only regulars that fall into this category. Also false. I've had great intellectual conversations on all topics with people I've only seen once. Don’t get me wrong- giving your bartender a good tip or coming into the bar five nights a week is always appreciated, and we generally like our regulars and all of our big tippers. But sometimes certain people just stand out.

A lot of people stand out at The Overlook.

In our brief time at this neighborhood bar, we have gotten to know one of the most tight-knit communities in our fair city. We have seen couples get engaged. We’ve gone on excursions together. We grilled out together and then rode down to Red’s Opening Day (If you’re not from Cincinnati, you don’t understand how big this is). We have taken people boating, had pool parties, gone bowling, to many movies, and have had the opportunity to become a part of each other’s lives. 

You all come in and share your lives, and that makes us love you all that much more for coming in. We enjoy your company and are grateful for our time with you. Thanks for coming in, and please continue to do so. We look forward to your faces bellying up to the bar, because we fu*#ing love you. 

KEYHOLDER SPOTLIGHT / Meet Catherine

KEYHOLDER SPOTLIGHT / Meet Catherine

Catherine Dunwoodie drinking Belleruche Cotes-De-Rhone Rosé

Catherine Dunwoodie drinking Belleruche Cotes-De-Rhone Rosé

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN COMING TO THE OVERLOOK?  

Since it opened. Our goal was to live in a walking neighborhood that includes great bars and restaurants. Pleasant Ridge fit the bill and the Overlook is an ideal addition to our awesome neighborhood.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THE BAR + WHAT MAKES YOU STAY?
  
As a movie buff, I was really intrigued by the concept. But that's a one or two time visit. The staff keeps us coming back. They are amazing.

FAVORITE DRINK?

I got sucked in by the well curated wine offerings but the cocktails are delish as well. Doug concocting something off menu for me is always good.

WHAT’S A GOOD OVERLOOK STORY YOU HAVE?

Too many to name. You know you are in a great place when you walk in the door and people greet you with a huge smile, both regulars and staff.

FAVORITE MOVIE? [WE’RE A MOVIE-THEMED BAR, YOU KNEW THIS WAS COMING].

This is amazingly hard for me as one of the big reasons I married my husband Dennis is that we are both such huge movie people. When I’m surfing cable, I always have to pause and watch (in no particular order) Jagged Edge, Bring It On, Juno, Gone with the Wind and anything Christopher Guest has been in or created.

KEYHOLDER SPOTLIGHT / Meet Alyx

KEYHOLDER SPOTLIGHT / Meet Alyx

Alyx drinking Hudy Delight

Alyx drinking Hudy Delight

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN COMING TO THE OVERLOOK?

I’ve been going to the Overlook a year in November.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THE BAR + WHAT MAKES YOU STAY?

I came to Overlook for the Trivia. I come back because I love the people. They are my friends. Every time I walk in the door I see a friend that I met at the Overlook. 

FAVORITE DRINK?

I constantly drink Hudy delight. Cant beat that $3 tap.

Alyx is a Micro Biologist by day

Alyx is a Micro Biologist by day

WHAT’S A GOOD OVERLOOK STORY YOU HAVE?

Michael [my boyfriend] made a joke once about how every night at the Overlook seems to be the new best night of his life - I completely agree. We have so much fun there. My favorite night was prob the night i got my key! I was so excited! It was the night that Jacob sang at the bar for the first time and we all wanted him to be bad so we could make fun of him – but he ended up being amazing!  

My friends and I ran into a friend of ours from high school that we hadn’t seen in ages and we all did Twins Shots. And then someone ordered a Shot-Ski. Tina was off that night so I did a shot with her and one with Alice as well. Long story short- there were lots of shots. Jason’s band was playing that night as well and we were all singing along to some of the best songs from the 90’s. It was a fantastic night but a miserable morning.

FAVORITE MOVIE? [WE’RE A MOVIE-THEMED BAR, YOU KNEW THIS WAS COMING.]

And the Band Played On

KEYHOLDER SPOTLIGHT / Meet Chris

KEYHOLDER SPOTLIGHT / Meet Chris

Chris Norris drinking an Old Fashioned

Chris Norris drinking an Old Fashioned

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN COMING TO THE OVERLOOK?

Chris has been a supporter since day two, and is quick to remind you it’d be day one if he didn’t have kids. The Norris family had just unpacked their new home in Pleasant Ridge, and immediately pivoted into Halloween candy mode for the neighborhood trick-or-treaters.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THE BAR + WHAT MAKES YOU STAY?

Chris swears when he walked into the bar that predated the Lodge, he heard a record scratch. It was a location that clearly had regulars and wasn’t accepting any applications. He says the Lodge’s welcoming attitude changed that.

FAVORITE DRINK?

Chris swears by two off menu drinks: The Last Word or Corpse Reviver No. 2 (MUCH tastier than it sounds).

WHAT’S A GOOD OVERLOOK STORY YOU HAVE?

Chris will tell you to Youtube Five Dollar Friend, and wait for a reaction. It’s worth it.

FAVORITE MOVIE? [WE’RE A MOVIE-THEMED BAR, YOU KNEW THIS WAS COMING]. Wrestling with the decision for full minutes, ‘Gangs of New York’ is narrowly beaten out by With Honors.

KEYHOLDER SPOTLIGHT / Michael

KEYHOLDER SPOTLIGHT / Michael

Michael Daniel drinking Hudy Delight

Michael Daniel drinking Hudy Delight

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN COMING TO THE OVERLOOK?

Remember when Rob Naylor told us about sneaking into the soft opening on Halloween? Mike was the costumeless vagabond that made it all happen. His grand ruse to get into the private event? Tell the door guard “I know Mike inside.” 

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THE BAR + WHAT MAKES YOU STAY?

While Mike spearheaded the operation, he claims Rob Naylor recommended the bar to him, and his peer pressuring made him wander in. He says he stays for the events and staff, both of which are “top tier” to him.

FAVORITE DRINK? 

The Elevator is my favorite to drink, but as a member of the “Hudy Crew,” the Hudy Delight is king.

WHAT’S A GOOD OVERLOOK STORY YOU HAVE?

A best friend in town, a dog named Tsunami, and fellow regulars Rob and Rachel all made for a great day at his favorite bar. The trio getting their Room 237 keys that day made it the best day.

FAVORITE MOVIE? [WE’RE A MOVIE-THEMED BAR, YOU KNEW THIS WAS COMING].

Wedding Crashers

KEYHOLDER SPOTLIGHT / Meet Ryan

KEYHOLDER SPOTLIGHT / Meet Ryan

Ryan Cabyabyab drinking an Aviation

Ryan Cabyabyab drinking an Aviation

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN COMING TO THE OVERLOOK?
Ryan has been coming since the soft opening, Halloween 2015.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THE BAR + WHAT MAKES YOU STAY?

Ryan met Jacob at Japps, when Jacob had first moved to Cincinnati. The two happened to cross each other at the subsequent bars Jacob would work at until the Lodge finally opened. He then followed his favorite, “super rememberable” bartender here.

FAVORITE DRINK?

The Garden Maze! It’s easy to drink, but high on alcohol content.” He also recommended an off-the-menu Aviation for being sweet and- can you guess it?- high on alcohol content.

WHAT’S A GOOD OVERLOOK STORY YOU HAVE?

Ryan claims, on either side of the bar, you’re guaranteed to meet a friendly face, which is a good representation of Overlook’s atmosphere. He says it brings back the idea of a neighborhood bar.

FAVORITE MOVIE? [WE’RE A MOVIE-THEMED BAR, YOU KNEW THIS WAS COMING].

Back to the Future: "yet to get tired of it!”

KEYHOLDER SPOTLIGHT / Meet Dennis

KEYHOLDER SPOTLIGHT / Meet Dennis

Dennis Dunwoodie drinking an Anderson Valley Gose

Dennis Dunwoodie drinking an Anderson Valley Gose

[Spoiler alert: In true Dennis form, he injected his own question to himself. It was wilderness-related so we let it slide].

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN COMING TO THE OVERLOOK?

Catherine [my wife] and I have been coming to The Overlook since Day One. We were actually hoping to get to the soft open a week before, but couldn’t get near the place.  
 
WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THE BAR + WHAT MAKES YOU STAY?

So many answers. I’m a movie buff and a Stephen King fan, so the concept intrigued me on those levels. We also like to frequent neighborhood establishments, so it was great to have another option right near home. I think of The Overlook as an upscale experience, rather than an upscale bar. It’s not snooty or pretentious, the staff is uniformly terrific and there’s a consistent attention to detail. Plus they told me that if I didn’t keep coming in I’d never see my kids again.      
 
FAVORITE DRINK?

I’m a beer guy, but I’m not a IPA fan. I’m not afraid to try something new on draft. But draft, bottle or can; I gravitate to wheats, lagers, sours and porters.  I love Madtree’s Shade as a summer beer, and could drink Breckenridge Vanilla Porter all winter long.
 
IF YOU WERE A TREE, WHAT KIND OF TREE WOULD YOU BE?

A poplar. Definitely a poplar.


WHAT’S A GOOD OVERLOOK STORY YOU HAVE?

I can’t think of any good stories, but I do have some favorite moments: I loved getting milk & cookies at closing time. I loved [finally] finding the ‘Easter egg’ in the men’s bathroom. I loved [finally] seeing the subtle, subtle pattern in the tile on the face of the bar. I loved the house music suddenly shutting off in favor of The Shining theme when I got my Room 237 Key.
 
FAVORITE MOVIE? [WE’RE A MOVIE-THEMED BAR, YOU KNEW THIS WAS COMING].

I can’t single out a favorite. I like most of the classics; Vampire Hookers (or really anything John Carradine did in the 70s or 80s), Manos: Hands of Fate, Batman (the classic from the 60s, not any of those gloomy Christopher Nolan pieces), Megaforce, Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze, any of the later Toho Godzilla movies (but only in the original Japanese).  More recent stuff would be any or all of the Twilight series, or one of Adam Sandler’s fart movies.

KEYHOLDER SPOTLIGHT / Meet Autumn

KEYHOLDER SPOTLIGHT / Meet Autumn

Autumn Heisler drinking a Summer Caretaker

Autumn Heisler drinking a Summer Caretaker

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN COMING TO THE OVERLOOK?

I think since Day 1, but Week 1 for sure. Ryan [my fiancé] and I have been regulars since the beginning. He got his key first, but I try to Overlook that. See what I did there? Hilarious. I assume he got his key first because he always pays the tab, but I am obviously everyone’s favorite. 

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THE BAR + WHAT MAKES YOU STAY?

We live in the neighborhood, and I love craft cocktails that aren’t served by terrible, pompous, human beings. Overlook is the place to get that, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s right around the corner from our home. The cocktails are wonderful, but the bartenders and service are the reason I enjoy spending time at Overlook. They are knowledgeable, friendly, and make me laugh often. They help me expand my palette, but also don’t judge when I just want a vodka soda or a glass of rose or even a mojito [I know I’m the worst.] Because I don’t get to tell them often between drinks, and you know… the fact that they’re working… I love them. 

Erin, has a contagious laugh and seems to always make the perfect drink, she may be the sweetest person I know. If sunshine were a person [but not in an annoyingly sick way], it’s Erin. Jermey has amazing reactions, always looks fabulous, and doesn’t hold back on being honest [a quality some may say we share.] Tina makes every Sunday scandalous. I look forward to conversations about anything and everything with her, she’s no frills and that’s just what you need before going back to work on Monday. 

Doug has a sarcasm that I obviously enjoy, who wouldn’t. Becci resorts to spontaneous dancing behind the bar that I appreciate, and has grown so much as a bartender since I first met her, it’s truly impressive. I don’t see Sam & Miranda quite as often as I would like, but they are equally fantastic too. And then there’s Jacob and Katie… great people, doing great things. We could always use more of that.

FAVORITE DRINK?

My favorite drink on the old menu was the Red Rum, new menu is the Summer Caretaker. I wish everything was made with habañero simple, the spicier the better. I also suggest letting the bartenders make you their favorites. Warning: If Jermey makes it, it will likely be your last drink of the evening. 

WHAT’S A GOOD OVERLOOK STORY YOU HAVE?

Well, there are lots of Overlook moments that are certainly memorable… But the big one was a surprise engagement + birthday party that Ryan planned for me. After the proposal, I was under the impression we were meeting a couple of friends at the bar for a birthday drink. When we pulled up to Overlook, there was a random guy standing in the lot, I turned to Ryan and said, “If this weird guy is part of another surprise of some sort, I’m not into it. I’m emotionally exhausted.” Yet another example of me being the worst. Ryan didn’t say anything, silently freaking out and probably regretting weeks of planning. We got out of the car and headed into Overlook, and of course… SURPRISE! All of our family and friends were there, a complete shock to me, cue the tears. That moment is one I will never forget, and it certainly would not have been possible without the Overlook team. 

FAVORITE MOVIE? [WE’RE A MOVIE-THEMED BAR, YOU KNEW THIS WAS COMING].

My favorite movie ever is 'The Fox and the Hound'. Probably a surprise to some, maybe not, because dogs are everything to me. My miniature dachshund Chief is actually named after the old, grumpy, grey dog in that movie. 

I’m also a fan of almost anything by Tim Burton, that probably makes more sense to many of you. Little known fact: Tim Burton was a storyboard artist and concept artist on the Fox and the Hound. That’s probably why the story is pretty dark and emotional, but the animation is so light and colorful… you don’t let a guy like that put the finishing touches on a children’s movie. Let’s be honest, black and grey are the only colors you really need, anything else is a waste of time. 

KEYHOLDER SPOTLIGHT / Steven

KEYHOLDER SPOTLIGHT / Steven

Steven Patterson drinking Doug's off-the-menu Corpse Reviver #5

Steven Patterson drinking Doug's off-the-menu Corpse Reviver #5

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN COMING TO THE OVERLOOK?

Steve says he knew Jacob pre-launch of the bar, and started frequenting after being laid off, eventually being with us six of the seven days.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THE BAR? WHAT MAKES YOU STAY?

“As long as the drinks are good, and the people behind the bar are nice, I’ll keep coming back.”

FAVORITE DRINK? 

Steve had difficulty narrowing it to one, so we cut him some slack: He recommends either the Writer’s Block (“There’s not a lot of bourbon cocktails. It’s easy to have a heavy hand and over pour.”) or an Aviation, a drink he always comes back to.

WHAT'S A GOOD OVERLOOK STORY YOU HAVE?

Steve refuses to give specifics, but something involving Opening Day, a party bus pole, and Jacob Trevino led to a good time.

FAVORITE MOVIE?

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

KEYHOLDER SPOTLIGHT / Meet Richard

KEYHOLDER SPOTLIGHT / Meet Richard

Richard Duncan drinking an "Erin Foxtail" Margarita

Richard Duncan drinking an "Erin Foxtail" Margarita

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN COMING TO THE OVERLOOK?

Richard has been coming to the Lodge since before it was the Lodge. Jump back to the location’s “smoky and tobacco-stained” days in 1977, and you’ll still see Richard on his quest to “always look for something interesting.” Good energy and good vibes have made sure he’s always done that here.

FAVORITE DRINK?

While it used to be bourbon, you can now find Richard at the end of the bar with a glass of wine, usually a Malbec.

FAVORITE MOVIE?

Closely Watched Trains

KEYHOLDER SPOTLIGHT / Meet Rob

KEYHOLDER SPOTLIGHT / Meet Rob

Rob, along with many of the other Keyholders, made his debut on Halloween night, our soft opening. Rob, along with some of the other Keyholders had no place being there: They snuck in.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THE BAR + WHAT MAKES YOU STAY?

I read an article in CityBeat about the bar, and it sounded awesome! They let me in on the soft opening, and it was great. I keep coming back for the amazing people, community feel, and great events.

Rob Naylor drinking MadTree's PSA

Rob Naylor drinking MadTree's PSA

FAVORITE DRINK?

The rotating craft selection is always great. That or a tried and true Hudy Delight.

WHAT’S A GOOD OVERLOOK STORY YOU HAVE?

Probably the best night I’ve had here (Rob claims to have been to Overlook at least 100 times since that faithful All Hallows’ Eve) was a night of live music that essentially turned into a drunken 90’s singalong. Absolutely fantastic night.

FAVORITE MOVIE? [WE’RE A MOVIE-THEMED BAR, YOU KNEW THIS WAS COMING.]

High Fidelity!

KEYHOLDER SPOTLIGHT / Meet Val

KEYHOLDER SPOTLIGHT / Meet Val

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN COMING TO THE OVERLOOK?

Started coming right when they opened back in November, sometimes I feel like I’ve never left.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THE BAR + WHAT MAKES YOU STAY?

A cool new bar in the area that was close to home is what initially brought me to the Overlook. We … were so desperate for another bar in Pleasant Ridge after Molly Malone’s closed and while the Gas Light Café is great as well, we needed a fresh breath, a change of pace, a new venue and people with whom to create memories and cause shenanigans with.  That’s exactly what the Overlook brought with them. Came for the proximity and lure of a ‘Shining’ [eh, see what I did there?] new bar, stayed because of the knowledgeable, fun, friendly, hilarious, creative, and welcoming staff that truly makes this the bar I want to call “my home bar.” Jacob and Katie, as well as the staff, never stop keeping things interesting either, with exciting and ingenious events that always draw me in just to see the amazing experience they are going to create for the patrons, regulars or newbies.  Did I just write the charter for the “Overlook Lodge Fan Club”?

FAVORITE DRINK?

My go to beverage is a vodka soda with a lime [or Hudy/Miller High Life, depending on my bankroll that month]. However, when I’m feeling froggy I jump at the chance to have a Red Rum or a classic Aviation. They are able to make any number of classic, quality cocktails while also being knowledgeable about all of the products they carry and having the capability to adjust a classic to suit your taste. But I suggest not messing with the list, those ingredients are tried, true, tested, and terrific!

Valerie Keeney drinking a classic Aviation

Valerie Keeney drinking a classic Aviation

WHAT’S A GOOD OVERLOOK STORY YOU HAVE?

I feel like this is a question we should answer about the other Keyholders! However, I will say that the night my husband’s band, Lullaby Crash at the time, played a Friday night “acoustic” set was the best night I’ve ever had at the bar.  Not only did I get to watch them perform, we were treated to a real gift that night: Mr. Jacob Trevino busted out his acoustic guitar and serenaded a full bar to roaring cheers! All of the bands performed excellently to a packed house and that’s when things really escalated, in the best of ways! After Lullaby’s set, Jacob and members of the other two bands then began a raucous sing along to all of the audience’s favorite pop punk, emo, 90’s, early 2000’s music and we sang until the wee hours of the morning. I’ll never forget that night.

FAVORITE MOVIE? [WE’RE A MOVIE-THEMED BAR, YOU KNEW THIS WAS COMING.]

The Horse In The Gray Flannel Suit. It’s classic. Watch it.

ROOM 237 CLUB

ROOM 237 CLUB

When it comes to bar owners + bar-goers, the relationship can be a tad one sided. 

Most of the support goes one way: You come in, you tip your bartenders, you tell your friends about us, and you entertain us between orders. We owe you, our neighbors, patrons, and friends, for our success. Leave it to bar owner Jacob to flip this system on its head and do something no other bar is doing.

The Room 237 Club was born from the idea that people come to a bar for a sense of belonging. It’s the modern answer to the dated idea of a country club and its been a pivotal part of filling the bar with friendly faces that make new guests feel welcome. And we're pretty sure it contributes to that "just one more drink" magic that The Overlook possesses. 

It’s the most inclusive exclusive club in town. Guests that love our bar are nominated by the staff and once chosen, [yes, there’s a sort of secret initiation ceremony that happens] receive a replica of the key from ‘The Overlook Hotel’, a lifetime 10% discount and access to Keyholder-only events.

Richard Duncan + Steven Patterson

Richard Duncan + Steven Patterson

Over the past 11 months, we’ve met some exceptional key holders: Richard, the man who has been coming to our bar since before it was our bar, for the past 40 years. Ryan, a designer/developer who shouts praises from the rooftops about us, and expects to meet a friendly face every visit on both sides of the bar. Steve, who became a regular after being laid off, and stuck around to tell stories like Jacob pole dancing on a party bus. Or Chris, who bonded with Jacob at a Christmas party by listening to The Refreshments, and talks up the “off menu” drinks.

Chris Norris + Ryan Cayabyab

Chris Norris + Ryan Cayabyab

The club is a group of unlikely friends from all walks of life that find commonality in belonging to something bigger than themselves. They embody The Overlook's unspoken mantra: "Everyone is welcome @ The Lodge."

Check back here daily, we'll be featuring spotlights on the Keyholders all this week!

ERIN FOX TALKS CINCY BAR SCENE

ERIN FOX TALKS CINCY BAR SCENE

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT THE CINCI BAR SCENE?

I love that everyone is extremely supportive of one another. Running a small business is hard so support from our peers and competitors is awesome, we really all have each other’s backs. New bars and restaurants are popping up everyday and seeing whats coming next is refreshing and exciting.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DRINK?

A dirty vodka martini. If a genie granted me a personal Über driver, I'd be drinking them all the time. I love olive juice + vodka. And I’m easy- blue cheese olives are nice, but not always necessary. 

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE DRINK TO MAKE?

Honestly, it’s the one my patron wants to drink; A Foxtail per say (what I call my on-the-fly surprise-me cocktails.) The gratitude I get from seeing how happy it makes people is almost selfish! But if I had to pick one, Id pick The Manhattan. My dad + his father were drinking them way before I was around but he taught me at a young age the type of love that goes into them. 

WHAT’S THE WORST “BOTTOM-OF-THE-BARREL” DRINK THAT YOU SECRETLY LOVE? Jack + Coke is one of my long time loves. It’s my go to “Hole in the Wall” I don’t know what to drink, drinks. You can usually count on just about any bar to have those two ingredients. Its nice to be fancy but sometimes its good to be simple. FUN FACT: She has the #OverlookOwl tattooed on her ankle!!

WHAT’S THE WORST “BOTTOM-OF-THE-BARREL” DRINK THAT YOU SECRETLY LOVE?

Jack + Coke is one of my long time loves. It’s my go to “Hole in the Wall” I don’t know what to drink, drinks. You can usually count on just about any bar to have those two ingredients. Its nice to be fancy but sometimes its good to be simple.

FUN FACT: She has the #OverlookOwl tattooed on her ankle!!

WE'VE GOT A DATE WITH DAYTON

WE'VE GOT A DATE WITH DAYTON

The second largest Oktoberfest in the world. Famed craft breweries like the historic Christian Moerlein, the juggernaut Rhinegeist, and the expanding MadTree. Hu-Dey, the Hudepohl tribute to your Cincinnati Bengals. 

Cincinnati loves its beer, and you can’t go a block on Vine Street without someone ready to boast why. As it turns out, though, a neighbor to the north shares our pride.

During our Gamma Bomb event in May we got to talking with Marc Codispoti, a representative from Warped Wing, the Dayton brewery responsible for the Hulk-inspired IPA. Ever passionate about the craft beer scene, he told us all about the Dayton landscape, which, per capita, has more microbreweries than anywhere else in the country.

At The Overlook we believe in a simple, well-crafted drink and place high value in vendor partners who produce a quality product while keeping it local. Our Dayton friends, like Warped Wing, are shining examples of both.

In the spirit of simple sips done well, we’re happy to announce an on-going project that we’re super passionate about: With Marc as our guide, we’ll be going behind the scenes of Dayton breweries to learn more about the great local craft beer scene just outside Cincy’s city limits. 

Check our BLOG weekly to follow this series and maybe even become part of the journey! If there’s a brewery, bar or restaurant you’re dying to visit or learn more about, send us a note through the WRITE US page of our website and tell us why!