Barcade at The Banks closes before it opens

Posted at 4:21 PM, Dec 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-23 16:23:11-05

CINCINNATI — People can stop asking when Two Bits, the planned arcade and bar at The Banks will open. The answer: It won’t.

William Hodges, with the Nashville-based company who also owns Tin Roof at The Banks, confirmed the status of the “barcade” via Twitter on Tuesday.

“We are no longer pursuing the 2 Bits (sic) project,” Hodges told WCPO reporter Evan Millward. “And I cannot comment further on it."

Two Bits’ owners announced plans in December 2014 to open Two Bits in the space once occupied by WG Wine Kitchen. The owners promised a menu of craft beers and comfort foods, alongside a mix of shuffleboards, board games, trivia contests and video games.

The goal at the time was to open the bar by Reds’ Opening Day in April. That opening was contingent upon the owner signing a lease agreement with NIC Riverbanks.

Reds’ Opening Day came and went without an opening. The barcade briefly opened during MLB All-Star Game week in early July. Owners and staff said they received a special permit for a “soft launch” of the bar during the baseball festivities, but would not be prepared to open permanently for another several months.

Multiple requests asking what was delaying Two Bits afterward went unanswered.

Two Bits now joins the former Johnny Rockets and Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar as vacant spaces in Phase I of the Banks, before it even opened. The news also comes days after The Banks developers, Carter + Associates and the city triumphantly announced Taste of Belgium as the first new tenant of Phase II. That restaurant is scheduled to open in the spring and occupy a portion of 20,000 square feet of new retail space in the 18-acre riverfront project.

A message was left with The Banks seeking comment about the Two Bits announcement.