Bar guide: Keep your night from going stale

Getting sick and tired of the usual bars and restaurants, or maybe just looking to try something a bit different? Then fear not, there are three main entertainment districts packed with bars, eateries and live entertainment just a short drive from Northern Kentucky University. Whether you’re looking for a spot to see the Reds play on opening day, wanting to sing your heart out at karaoke or looking to check out the hottest bands, Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati have a little something for everyone, as long as you know where to look.


While well known for the Mainstrasse bar district, Covington has a few hot spots off the beaten path, if you know where to look. If you’re not quite into looking, then there’s always Mainstrasse, which houses various bars, restaurants and specialty shops that are always a sure shot.

Straus House- 630 Main St.

Throughout the week, you can grab a beer and relax after a long day of classes. On the weekend, grab some drinks and make some new friends. Located on Main Street in Mainstrasse, this popular spot offers a little something for everyone with pay-by-the-game pool upstairs and an open patio with musical entertainment a few nights a week. The friendly atmosphere makes it easy to meet some new faces, or a good place to go with some familiar faces.

Zazou- 502 W. Sixth St.

Just look for the big blue awning, and you’re there. Zazou, a fairly new addition to the Mainstrasse bar district, offers entertainment Monday through Thursday night, including Ladies night on Mondays and a DJ on Thursday. This Mainstrasse spot offers something to quench anyone’s thirst, including a generous selection of draft beer and a special martini menu. Like several of its neighbors, Zazou has a full menu, but its award winning pizza makes them stand out from their rivals. Take in the art deco vibe and vivid murals on the wall while drinking a few cold ones with some friends and see where the conversations wind up.

Cock and Bull- 601 Main St.

Looking for a little taste of England? Then Cock and Bull English Pub is your destination. Featuring a wide variety of draft and import beers, with pub and grub has a very British feel, and a menu full of British foods. With large windows throughout, this hot spot offers a nice view of the bustling nightlife, as well as a warm chair to enjoy a brew or two with some friends. Named as one of the top bars in Cincinnati by CityBeat and others, the chit chat with fellow patrons alone will be enough entertainment for anyone craving a frosty pint.

Fat Shannon’s- 641 Main St.

This bar proves good things can come in small packages. Whether you’re starting off a night of partying or winding one down, Fat Shannon’s can function as both. It has Golden Tee Golf, trivia on the television, a digital jukebox, live acoustic entertainment on select nights of the week, and a pool table in a room that you shouldn’t be able to play pool in, a little something for everyone. The beer is cold, the liquor’s hot and the vibe is friendly and warming. This is the place to get close to someone, literally.

The Mad Hatter

At first glance, it may look like a strip club straight out of “Miami Vice,” but in actuality, this rock ‘n’ roll bar has become a hot bed for all things rock. Featuring performances from both local bands and national acts, the Mad Hatter boasts a wide selection of brews, ranging from $2 Pabst Blue Ribbons to $4 imports, a large selection of top-shelf liquors and even a small menu of bar food, including funnel cakes. Located just a few minutes from the Mainstrasse bar district. Just remember, there’s always a cover of $5 or more depending on who’s playing. Take a look at the schedule at or www.myspace /madhatterpromotions. Located at 620 Scott St.

Willie’s Sports Bar

Don’t have the cash to get tickets for the big game? Here’s the next best option: watching it where you can still see the stadium. Willie’s, which claims to be the Midwest’s premier sports caf