CINCINNATI -- Jacob Trevino was a bit surprised when someone from Playboy Magazine contacted him in July asking for information about his movie-inspired bar, the Overlook Lodge.
Playboy told him it was compiling a list of the hippest new bars across the country and wanted to include his Pleasant Ridge business, Trevino said.
"We actually don’t really know how anyone gets on these lists at all," said Trevino, whose bar also has been included in lists on MTV.com and other national sites since it opened in November. "We didn’t even know there was going to be a contest thing."
The contest, as Trevino learned last week when it launched, is part of a Playboy.com interactive that lets readers help rank 50 watering holes across the country for the magazine's "Best Bars 2016" edition, which publishes in November. Online voting in the competition ends Wednesday.
While Trevino said he was surprised to be included on a list with bars in cities such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, he sees the Overlook's appeal. It is one of the few, if not only, bars in the country to draw inspiration from the horror film "The Shining," featuring hatchets on the walls and other bar decor.
The movie-inspired angle was an outgrowth of Gorilla Cinema, another project Trevino is a part of in Cincinnati. Gorilla Cinema aims to create interactive film experiences, and that mission is also reflected in the bar.
"We always try to do really interesting things at the bar beyond just going to the bar and getting drinks," Trevino said of the Overlook.
The bar has hosted burlesque shows, movie-themed trivia nights and, most recently, an evening where actors held a "Harry Potter" script reading.
Basically, the Overlook makes it easy for publications to write something interesting about the bar, Trevino said.
"For us, we see what other bars have done," he said. "They all have the same line-up of stuff, and we try to think outside of the box. I think that’s the biggest thing from day one I told employees -- there is no dumb idea."
And if the Overlook makes national headlines along the way, even better.
"It’s a little bit of luck and the magic of what we do," he said. "It’s nice that Cincinnati can get recognized and noticed."