A Prescription for Nighttime Fun in Cincinnati
Apothecary-themed Sundry and Vice lives up to its hype
The food and beverage industry is a crowded space. In order to stand out, some businesses have taken to themed venues. Sundry and Vice in Cincinnati’s trendy Over-the-Rhine (OTR) neighborhood is one of them.
The Midwest bar is modeled after an old-fashioned apothecary, with bartenders’ spin on classic drinks like the Corpse Reviver as well as the Penicillin. On the menu, you find them as Sapphire (gin, Cocchi Americano, blue curaçao, lemon, absinthe rinse) and Amber (blended Scotch, honey, lemon, ginger, Laphroaig float), respectively. There are also a number of draft cocktails as well as original concoctions.
The cocktails are made the same way a medicinal remedy might be crafted—by adding a few items to best “treat” a patient. In this case, it’s not someone with an ailment; instead it’s a consumer with a taste for something tailored to them. But don’t be deceived. Just because it’s packaged into an easy-to-digest and curious concept does not mean it lacks a serious, artisanal punch.
Like its namesake, the bar displays a decent amount of glass bottles that look like they could have been a part of Harry Potter’s potions class. And wallpapered on the interior are vintage prescriptions.
“The bar is unlike any other in OTR,” says Anisha Bhirud, a marketing exec and Cincinnati native. “It has a speakeasy feel with a cozy ambiance and unique cocktails. It’s where you go for something grown up, yet casual.”
Owned by Stuart King, Sundry and Vice holds its employees to a high standard, evidenced by a 25-page guide book. The process to creating and training for a new bar menu is so rigorous that the drinks are only updated twice a year.
Each cocktail is made with house-made syrups and simplicity in mind in order to serve the high volume of customers each weekend. Sundry and Vice opened in 2015 and continues to rack up accolades. Thus, it proves that sometimes a “gimmick” can work, when there’s a sufficient amount of detail and execution placed behind the marketing copy.