Jackson on Local Fare

Cassie Graves

Pompilio’s Italian Cuisine

From the second you walk in to Pompilio’s you are confronted with an icon of local history. From the old style cherry and mahogany bar–a throw back to when saloons were the gold standard – to the uncomplicated ingredients that dress the menu, Pompilio’s has remained a cornerstone of Northern Kentucky Italian fare since its opening in the 1930s. While the United States was entangled in the throws of a Great Depression, Pompillio’s was a newly established and thriving Italian restaurant catering to the heart of Newport.

The menu at Pomp’s offers a wide assortment of dishes. From lasagna and toasted ravioli, to the ever popular paninis, the restaurant boasts freshness and hand-crafted sauces for nearly every option. Whether you are eating the cannelloni, the tortellini, or the manicotti, the name of the game at this restaurant is simple.

The spaghetti is a heaping mound of pasta with rich tomato sauce, lightly seasoned and miraculously unAmericanized – which is to say it is void of pomp and show, but is served to feature the natural flavors and substance of the minimal ingredients used.

The seating is even undemanding, presenting tables that seat four offered in the barroom, main dining area and in the outdoor patio venue, each topped with white parchment paper, accompanied with complimentary basket of sliced Italian bread.’

Situated on the corner of Washington and East 6th Street, the orange bricked building lies smack dab in the middle of the original ‘Sin City,’ once showcasing a multitude of high-end casinos, eventually giving way to the strip clubs and peep shows of the 1970s. Stardom has even touched the relic of Newport, when, in the late 80s, Charlie Babbott (Tom Cruise) and his brother Raymond (Dustin Hoffman) fumbled over a stack of toothpicks in the barroom of Pomp’s, only to discover the hidden trappings of Raymond’s autism. The cast and crew of the Oscar-winning movie frequented the restaurant throughout the taping.
But today, the surrounding area has undergone lengthy transformations to promote a higher quality living and commerce experience. However, through all the change, Pomp’s has remained nearly the same for 76 years.

Once inside the doors, it is quickly realized that while many restaurants attempt to create ambiance through the entropy of stucco, and the display of Italian trinkets – with hopes of recreating a back-alley bistro setting–Pomp’s has managed to deliver the rustic environ the old fashioned way – through time and cultivation. So, whether you are looking for a tasty dinner, or a hasty lunch, Pomp’s should satisfy your appetite and your wallet, for at least another 76 years.


Touted as a bar and grill, Arthur’s is located in Hyde Park Square, on the eastside of Cincinnati. Not exactly a bar, but truly not just a grill, the establishment is a unique blend of both – offering a wide assortment of cheap drinks and reasonably priced upper scale bar-type grub.

The staple of Arthur’s menu is the burger. Served in a vast array of styles, from the standard ‘frac12; pound Arthur’s Burger ($7.50 – lettuce, tomato, pickle) to their famous Boursin Cheese Burger ($9 – topped with creamy garlic herb cheese) the restaurant remains one of the last burger bastions that will still cook a burger to your temperature preference (well done, medium, and rare-hope your shots are up to date).

Arthur’s infamous burgers have gained enough popularity over the years that they began to offer a ‘Burger Madness’ night on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday where you can buy any burger with any combination of their 13 toppings (fries included) for only $7. During the warm parts of the year the restaurant opens up the back patio area where you can enjoy a multi-tiered deck setting, overgrown with decorative ivy (steer clear of kamikaze birds in search of your fries).

Also each summer the menu will feature a unique blend of food concoctions, such as the hummus pizza ($7.50 – garlic hummus, black olives, tomatoes, feta and red onions) or the Ahi Tuna Taco ($9.50 – two ahi filled tortillas with cabbage, tomatoes, cilantro and sour cream).

During the rest of the year you can enjoy the indoor barroom which offers a full line-up of mixed drinks and draft beers (Guinness, IPA, Bass, Blue Moon) while taking in the distinctive sports caricatures that adorn almost every wall.

Arthur’s is a busy place, speaking volumes of the high ticketed restaurants surrounding this cheaply priced oasis – so, go early, or prepare for a long wait.