Magazine names OTR bar among best in U.S.

Posted at 1:04 PM, May 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-26 14:08:11-04

CINCINNATI — National magazine Esquire gave mixologist, bar owner and bourbon enthusiast Molly Wellmann a major shout-out Thursday when it ranked Japp's Since 1879 one of the top 18 bars in the country.

Reporter David Wondrich anointed Wellmann the “bar queen of Cincinnati” as he praised her for turning Japp’s, a former wig shop located in Over-the-Rhine, into a “civilized cocktail bar” in 2011.

Wondrich recommended visitors to Japp’s try the “Cool Jules, a gin-and-port stunner. (Unless it's Tiki night — in which case, pick something rummy from the chalkboard.)” He also said the best time to visit the bar was on Tuesday or Wednesday night for the live music.

Since opening Japp’s, Wellmann has expanded her alcohol-infused kingdom in the region to include the Famous Neon’s Unplugged in Over-the-Rhine, Myrtle’s Punch House in Walnut Hills and Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar in Covington.

Wellmann also recently announced she is expanding offerings at OTR’s former Picnic and Pantry. She is renaming the catering and sandwich shop to Bottle & Basket, and the place will start selling alcohol next week. There is an official launch party planned for June 4.

Wellmann also purchased Northside’s Melt Eclectic Cafe earlier this year. She partnered with Melt's former owner, Lisa Kagen to bring tailored food options to most of her bar locations.

Japp’s is located at 1134 Main St. in OTR. Read Esquire's rundown of all 18 top bars here.