I would like to tell you that my visits to local cocktail joints around Cincinnati are all based on hours of in-depth research prior to walking in the door, but the truth is, this is the second time in a row that my cocktail blog entry occurred because…well, I accidentally ran into the place. This tale begins with the Bootsy Collins concert that was supposed to take place at Washington Park, except Mother Nature wasn’t having it. With just a slight trickle of precipitation drizzling down from the sky and a few scattered lightning bolts, I figured I’d wander down to OTR and see if Cincinnati’s fabled funkster had scared the clouds away with his bootie-shaking bass. No such luck, but on my way back to my car, which was parked a few streets over, I spotted what looked like a cocktail bar. Walking inside Sundry and Vice, located at 19 W. 13th St., I saw people drinking from glasses in all the right shapes. The lighting was soft, and the music was too; a stamped tin ceiling, a wooden bar, and a shelving display of old medical bottles that may have been used when Sherlock Holmes was solving murder mysteries added to the atmosphere. You could sit in one of the large, comfy booths or at the line of bar stools and talk without shouting. One of the things I liked right away about Sundry and Vice was its simplicity. This was a cocktail bar, with its own apothecary theme…and that’s enough. It uses its 1100 square feet well. The servers were friendly and the atmosphere low key. Along with the martini I ordered (gin, dry, good) I was handed a book with a pen, and at first I thought, are they handing me my bill? No, the idea was, here’s an old book with lots of words in it, but drinkers are encouraged to, I guess, add their own post-modern spin to it.
I’m a little weak on histology, but for some reason these lines of poetry came into my head:
All things are a-flowing
Sage Heraclitus says,
But a tawdry cheapness
Shall outlast our days.
I couldn’t remember who the poet was who penned those words, but I ascribed that stanza to Donald Trump—and who knows, maybe I’m right.
Hours for Sundry and Vice are: Monday closed; Tues – Fri 4pm – 2am; Saturday 12pm – 2am; Sunday 12pm – 12am; and its phone number is 513.721.VICE (8423).