Nicholson's Tavern & Pub

Nicholson's Tavern & PubNicholson's Tavern & Pub
Nicholson's Tavern & PubNicholson's Tavern & Pub
Bar, Eatery

625 Walnut St
Cincinnati, Ohio, 45202-2516
United States

(513) 564-9111 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 39 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of sholland119
sholland119 from Pennsylvania

4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The pub itself was crowded but we got stools at the bar in the Horse and Barrel cocktail bar that is adjoining. Nice vibe, friendly bartenders. We had some nice snacks. Some good local craft on taps and in bottles and cans. We enjoyed this place.

Apr 13, 2016
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Littrelljoe from Ohio

3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

This place is struggling to maintain it's irish pub roots while competing with a lot of newly opened bars. Other than the decor, nothing is above average here. The menu offers the right selections but the quality of the food falls flat for the prices they want to charge.

Jan 23, 2016
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Vczk2t15 from Ohio

4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

I love their "brave liver", which is a bottle of angry orchard hard cider and any beer on tap. My choice is blue moon or any beer like that. I love the food. I have NEVER had a bad meal. I haven't tried any of their hard liquor, even though they have QUITE a selection. There is a wonderful mix of local, craft, and "typical" beers on tap.

Jul 04, 2015
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TheBeerAlmanac from Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Atmosphere was awesome. Has the traditional Irish pub feel with a more contemporary flair. They had a band play who was good. Beer selection was great. Lots of nice one-offs and a wide variety to choose from. Lots of great food options, I had the Lobster Mac & Cheese. It was alright. For the price, I expected rainbows to shoot out of this stuff, but it was pretty normal mac & cheese. I'd still like to try something else. Beyond the pricey menu, everything else was spot on. Overall, great.

Feb 20, 2012
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Andreji from Texas

4.6/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Was up in the Queen City for a residency interview and decided to grab lunch at this 'gastropub' that caught my eye.

In all fairness, lunch isn't the best time to go to a place for a feel of the atmosphere so I am willing to re-assess that aspect in the future (provided I match or pre-match at CCHMC), because all other aspects were very, very nice.

Old style pub-like, very nice and spacious with a central bar. Few patrons there at lunch at the time I went, and decided to sit at the bar. This in turn was very favourable because the bartender appointed a considerable attention to me, although based on his whole demeanor that would've probably been the case had I been there on a friday evening as well. Kind enough to let me taste the cask available at that moment, advised me on drinking a two-hearted and even gave me some pointers on pouring a proper black-and-tan.

The selection is nice, if not a bit restricted. Some 20 taps I'd guess right now, but it's nice to see they have plenty unusual beers and cask-conditioned ales. Some 15 craft bottles as well but this is including some very, very nice stuff right there. It's not fully specialised but I'd say it's far from short for a good few nights' worth.

Food is sublime. I came from NY having a very skewed concept about reubens outside of the apple but it turns out Nicholson's makes their own corned beef (and I assume their own sauerkraut too) which were beautifully blended between two slices of bread. very, very tasty.

Overall I wish I can go back to Nicholson's soon to try some other deals (namely, their corned beef hash) and have a beer in a more laid back atmosphere. But the place is brilliant day round.

Dec 13, 2011
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Dogbrick from Ohio

3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

(Visited 07/2011): Nicholson's Tavern & Pub is located in the heard of downtown Cincinnati on Walnut between 6th and 7th. Street parking is the best bet in the surrounding area.

The inside features a lot of dark wood with the bar area in the center and table seating elsewhere. Lots of windows looking out to the street.

The bar itself features around 20 taps, primarily from the UK. Brands like Boddington's, Fuller's, Harp, Belhaven, Young's and the like are the focus. There are a few domestic options from Goose Island and Kentucky Brewing for example. As for bottles there are maybe 40, again the focus being on UK brews like Brew Dog and Samuel Smith's. Domestic craft brewers like 21st Amendment and Dogfish Head are also options. Of course they do the whole layered thing too. In addition they have sample paddles.

Service at Nicholson's is pretty good. Not everyone working here is going to be a beer expert but it should not be expected.

We did not try any food on our visit.

Overall this is a good spot to grab a beer and perhaps some fish & chips in downtown Cincy.

Dec 06, 2011
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gobucks1 from Michigan

4.9/5  rDev +17.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I went here prior to talking my wife to see the Nutcracker for lunch and a couple of beers. It has a wonderful selection of both European and American beer-impressed that they even had a beer from Dark Horse (Michigan brewery) on tap. The food was very good (although a little pricey) and both myself and my wife found many things on the menu that looked great. Her fish and chips were out of this world! Great atmosphere and gave the feeling of a true English/Scottish tavern. The wait staff and bartenders were very friendly and knowledgable. Would reccomend to anyone who happens to be in the area.

Dec 31, 2009
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Hat from Ohio

4.85/5  rDev +16%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Nicholson's is a frequent Lunch and Happy Hour spot of mine. The only thing better than their beer/scotch selection is their Bartenders; knowledgeable and friendly. The food is great (killer Fish-n-Chips) and either the front or back patio are an excellent downtown outdoor location.

One notable experience at the bar was when I met two gentleman in town from Wales. They commented that Nicholson's had the best beer selection they've encountered in the states. To them, it felt like a bar back home.

Sep 28, 2009
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Beejay from Virginia

4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Went here for the first time the other day to get some sweet brewdog on tap. Nice place.. Looks like waiting room for heaven. Wood everywhere, nice scotch collection, and some decent beers on tap. Most the beers I saw in my brief trip were fairly popular macros, but also had some other stuff on tap, and in bottles. The service was nice, and the waitress, was certainly helpful in making sure the plethora of questions I had got answered.

Food was pretty good, though the prices are a little high!

Good place to have a cigar and scotch (or a beer) in the even that you could smoke inside in Cincinnati.

EDIT: I am really impressed with the staff here. The fiance and I went for a drink post show, and were greeted with excellent service all night. They were out of the beer the fiance wanted so the manager paid for a bomber of a similar beer. I have also been getting updates on availability of special releases from the manager directly by email. This personal touch really is something amazing in this day and age.

Jul 01, 2009
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movingtrain from Ohio

4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This is a nice spot in downtown Cincinnati. I've stopped in a few times before and after catching shows at the Aronoff (right across the street) and the Taft. This review is based on my most recent visit before the Wilco show on the 12th of June.

They are going for the feel of a Scottish-type pub here. When you walk in, there is a massive an island in the middle of the room. The bar is stocked with may varieties of Scotch, and then located around the entire oval of the bar are their many beer taps.

Their draught selection is quite good, with everything from Scottish to English to Belgian to American craft brew offerings. The first time I visited Nicholson's they ha Harvistoun's Old Engine Oil on tap...which was a real treat. They get this seasonally on tap. Their cask ale also rotates. In the past it has been an ESB brewed by Barrel House in Cincinnati...this time it was Red Sky at Night by Clipper City...and it was very good. The other beer I had was Goose Island's Demolition, served in a tall wine glass.

Their food is pretty good, too. It's a bit pricey, but check out the Scottish Egg. I've had their fish and chips, which is exceptional. They have some decent sandwiches and pub grub, but also some very fine entrees and specials...this night they had a salmon filet with roasted asparagus atop some type of basil or something risotto. Didn't try it, but our waitress said it was outstanding.

So, for beer selection...this place is great...and it's nice to see a place that has cask ale. Their pints are a bit pricey, as is the food, but I think it's relative to the area in which it is located. I don't get down to Cincinnati very often, but when I'm downtown for a concert, this is the first place I want to go.

Jun 16, 2009
Photo of Yetiman420
Yetiman420 from Ohio

4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I've been here a number of times over the past three years and finally decided it's time to get a review in.

If you're in downtown Cincinnati and on foot, this is your best good beer option. Don't get too excited, because the "bar" is set pretty low.

It's a micro chain with about three locations in Cincinnati and one I know of in Louisville. The interiors are all very well done and some of the gents working there sport the kilt.

Why I like it...

The best fish and chips I've ever had.
Nice bar area atmosphere
Enough discreet TV's to distract you
Flights of Scotch...tempting even for the beer geek

Solid tap list. While it's mostly English beers, which I'm not a huge fan, they always have an interesting domestic craft on tap. This weekend they had the super rare Goose Island Night Stalker and a cask Heavy Seas IPA. Both big hits in my book. The prices are on the higher side for beer but nothing out of the realm of what you would expect to pay at a nice downtown location.

They also have a respectable bottle list.

Apr 06, 2009
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beerman20 from Colorado

4.58/5  rDev +9.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I stopped by on my typical trip home for Christmas. I was pleasantly surprised with some new beers from the last time I had visited. They had Matilda, Chimay Red, Frere Jaques, Great Lakes Xmas, and Rogue's Mocha Porter on Cask. These along with other UK favorites such as Boddington's and Fuller's ales. My choice for the day was the Rogue Mocha Porter on cask, which was excellent.

I had the fish and chips, which probably wasn't the best to pair with a mocha porter, but that's why I had a water to go along with my beer.

Jan 10, 2009
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mikesgroove from South Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Ok now this place seemed a little out of place downtown. From the outside it really did not look like much, but once I walked in I was literally blown away. This is probably as close to Scotland as I have ever been. The menu looked excellent and my sandwich was superb, the staff was very helpful and the service extremely efficient. Now the beer selection was not the greatest, but was true to the theme here, nice to see cask ale making a comeback as well. The scotch selection was insane, I really do not know much about all that, but I felt I had to try one since there were so many. I asked the bartender for a recommendation, which they were happy to oblige; I could see where people would like this, but not really for me. Overall this was a really cool place that I would love to visit again. Some themed places come off cheesy or corny; this did a great job at really just being a cool place to chill.

Jan 25, 2008
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Philby11111 from New York

4.22/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Stopped in on a business trip last week. Scottish/Irish/English pub atmosphere. Good beer selection (20+) with English, Irish and Scottish ales in the majority. A few Midwest micros added in to round out the selection. Liked the downtown location, as there is not much else for quality beer in the neighborhood.

I would say, however that the focus is on their tremendous scotch selection, with about 100 single malts on the menu. Not bad, especially if you are trying to please a larger group.

Service was pleasant, helpful but not intrusive.

*** A word of caution *** There is more than one 625 Walnut St. in Cincinnati. Nicholson's is actually on the Walnut St in downtown zipcode 45202, not the 625 Walnut street in zipcode 45215 as listed (almost 10 miles away).

Jan 15, 2007
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FtownThrowDown from Ohio

3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

A far too convenient location within a block from my downtown office. A very nice, somewhat upscale Scottish pub. This is a place that is very easy to spend quite some time in. And I do everytime I'm there.
Decent tap selection of about 15-20 different beers. Bottle list in a beer menu. They have a very extensive and expensive scotch selection. Anything you could want and or imagine.
They also have a rotating cask. Some of the offerings I've had on cask here lately are Bells Double Cream Stout and Bells Two Hearted.
I've also ate here a many of times. The food is excellent. Food varies in price from anywhere from $9-20. But is well worth it for the most part. I recommend the beef tips.
This bar is now smoke free, so there is no reason not to go. This is an establishment that I frequent very often, but still not enough.

Jan 05, 2007
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TheBierBand from Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Ahhh.... Nicholson's! One of my favorite places to go in Cincinnati. I love the Scottish atmosphere... right down to the waitstaff in kilts! The attention to detail is wonderful... almost like taking a trip to Scottland without the jet lag!

The bar area is immediately in front of you as you enter. and quite a bar it is. A very impressive selection of British, Scottish and Irish beers (among many others too!) is listed in the menu... broken down by country of origin. Also, the Port, Single Malt Scotches, and Cigars.

The target market here are business executives with no cares about expense (or expense accounts!...hehehe). It is clearly a place to impress a client.

And the FOOD!... quite excellent.

Oct 19, 2006
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Similar to a scattering of other Da Sha's establishments in Cincinnati, Louisville, and Lexington. As the other's Nicholson's is an almost-upscale Brittish pub / resturaunt. A nice balance between rustic and contemporary elegance, albeit a bit pretentious. Very clean and well lighted, the pub has a very nice feel despite the pungent and distracting aroma of cigar and cigarettes. The beer offerings are classicly Brittish, Scottish, and Welsh ales; many on nitrus. The anxiously awaited cask ale was empty on this particular day, quite the disapointment. The food, though good, is unnecessarily expensive. The beers will run basically $4-$5 each. The staff is extremely attentive and well knowleged with their food and beverages. Certainly a quality establishment, but a bit pretentious and pricey for my frequent patronage.

Aug 26, 2006
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Tchuck from Massachusetts

3.93/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

We went here once for drinks, and the other time for a quick lunch. I wish I spent more time here and less at the brewpub, but the time didn't work out. The place was gorgeous--nice bar, tables, and a few different rooms and two outdoor patios. I thought the selection of beers was very good, including Belhaven, Tennent's and the usual English and Irish suspects. I only had time for two beers, so wasn't able to try many of the beers I hoped to try. Great selection of single malt scotch. We went on a Thursday night, and last call was before 11:00, so it's definitely a place you want to start earlier at.

We went back for lunch at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, and our waiter understood our noon check out time. He was friendly and attentive, but was mistaken as to what beer was on cask, resulting in me getting a beer I didn't ask for (I didn't return it b/c we were pressed for time and I liked the beer anyways). We all had sandwiches, and I thought mine (a roast pork on sourdough) was excellent. I would definitely go back for the food, drink, and atmosphere.

Jun 05, 2006
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mcallister from Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

What else can I say except I love Nicholson's. I've went here the past two years with my parents for my birthday including today. I'm a wine fan first with beer a close second and this place has a terrific selection of both not to mention the scotch. I was born in '77 and that was a spectacular vintage for Port which they serve by the glass. Get it every birthday.

From the street Nicholson's looks like it would be a nice yet small little Scottish brew pub but upon entrance it's like a etheral Socttish paradise. Immaculate architecture of supreme woodwork makes up a tremendous bar. Tap handles abound with Scotch on every corner helps get the excitement gurgling up inside.

The beer menu could be bigger but it is quite impressive. A cask conditioned ale made for Nicholson's as well as a rotating cask (tonight Harpoon IPA) as well as a plethora of great Scottish, and English or of that style on draught; as well as a good bottle selection. The Scotch selection is second to none. I tried a glass of '77 Glenmorangie and it was fabulous, very smooth and quite satisfying. Their wine list isn't too shabby either yet could have a bigger selection.

The food is to die for. No pun intended either it's all fattening as hell and I try to watch what I eat but going to this place you need to make room for the occasion. Especially considering I'm with my parents and they're paying I'll take the sacrifice.

If in downtown Cincy visit this place. If not for it's food and drink than experience it's atmosphere.

Apr 16, 2006
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cproioi from Ohio

4/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

This is one of my favorite bars to go to when I have the money. Not just for their beer selection but also because of their scotch. The atmosphere is wonderful the servers are extremely friendly and very quick. However, what made me truely fall in love with this place is the background music they gave on. They have a constant play of celtic music ranging from the traditional like The Chieftains to the folk ie. The Dubliners to Celtic rock and punk rock The Pogues and Flogging Molly. So save your money, be greated by the man in a kilt, order some scotch and then some beer and emjoy the music and food.

Apr 09, 2006
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frazbri from Ohio

3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I stopped at Nicholson's Tavern & Pub Saturday evening. At first glance, this is looked small and cozy, but most of the seating was behind the front room. We sat at the bar for beer and appetizers. Our server was quick and friendly. The beer selection won't astonish, but there are many quality choices. Most of the beers are from the british isles, but Edmund Fitzgerald and a few other american craft brews are available, and they do have cask ale. (this weekend was Clipper City? I believe.)

This is an excellent choice for a night at the theatre. Nicholson's is a very nice, upscale scottish inspired pub.

update 9.19.06

Just wanted to say this is still a quality place.

Dec 13, 2005
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euskera from North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Had dinner here last Sunday during my trip to Cincy....

Love the atmosphere, very inviting..
Excellent selection of beers on tap, although they didn't have the Old Engine Oil I chose; settled for an Edmund Fitzgerald instead.
Mind-boggling selection of Single Malts for those, like me, who love the stuff. Service was just OK; it was a slow night and things were a bit lackadaisical...

Food was great. I had the Edinburgh Osso Buco and it was very tasty. This is definitely a place I'll go back to when I return..

Mar 25, 2005
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nortmand from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Wow, very cool design, beats the hell out of any themed bar I've been into. They even made the waiters wear kilts. We went here twice during a 4 night stay and it was awesome! They have a huge selection of UK beers, some that I had never had elsewhere. Plus they had a real ale. Not to mention their single malt and wine selection. The food was good, but balanced by price, not worth mentioning. I would definitely recommend this place to those travelling through or to Cincinnatti. Great atmosphere and beer selection.

Jun 01, 2004
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Bierguy5 from Ohio

4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Located directly across from the Arnoff Center downtown. We were greeted at the door by a man in a kilt who open the door for us, and welcomed us to Nicholson's. Nice touch! Inside, the focal point is the bar, and what a bar it is. Beautiful wood bar with around 16 taps in sections on all sides of it. This is a very nice place inside with high ceilings and woodwork. Great selection of beers from the UK, and other places around the world. They also have some rotating taps which tonight included Great Lakes Ed. Fitz. Porter. They have their own cask beer (which is brewed by Barrel House.) They also feature a cask beer from England, however on this night, it was not yet ready. One word of caution, this place became very crowded very quickly when the show let out across the street! I will certainly have to go back and try the food after looking at the menu.

Jan 25, 2004
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DrewBeechum from California

4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Very nice place and a welcome find since it was right around the corner from where I have to conduct business in Cincy.

Absolutely beautiful place with high ceilings (20 feet?) and wood and tile with a lot of hustle and bussle. Small rooms off to one side give folks an intimate setting.

The bar area is tremendously well appointed with a beautiful huge old fashion double backed bar set in a U. Bar looked like mahgony, which for something as monstrously big and Victorian as that one would be ghastly old and expensive.

Fine and impressive list of English and Scottish beers in draft, bottles and on cask. Several standards are there, but the rotating list included beer from British micros like Mordue and Coniston. (They do however have the requiste bottles of the Big 3 for your non beer drinking buddies)

Food is rich and will bowl you over, as will the dinner prices, unfortunately. Only downside to the joint, but man alive.. beautiful place

Nov 29, 2003
Nicholson's Tavern & Pub in Cincinnati, OH
Place rating: 4.18 out of 5 with 39 ratings