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Cock & Bull Public House opens new location on Short Vine

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Posted at 8:39 AM, Jul 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-25 08:42:35-04

CINCINNATI -- As he prepared to open English pub chain Cock & Bull Public House's fourth location, founder and co-owner Scott Roseburrough seemed worried.

Cock & Bull founder Scott Roseburrough stands in front of the new location's entrance. (Photo by Garin Pirnia)

“There’s a lot of anxiety leading up,” Roseburrough said. “This one has been very smooth, and that kind of scares me a little bit.”

When the pub opened Friday at 2801 Vine St. in Corryville, everything went fine. Several TVs light up the dining room, and the 36 taps are filled with local, regional and national beers.

The new Cock & Bull location's dining room has both American and British flags in it. (Photo by Garin Pirnia)

This location has less dark wood than the others, with a simple design of steel, grays and stone pillars. Another big difference: The space allows light to pour through the windows, offsetting the usual darkened pub ambiance.

Same menu, fewer taps

The new locale has the same menu as its predecessors but features fewer taps: The Hyde Park location has 60, Mainstrasse's has 50 and Glendale's has 24.   

“Each time we open one of these, we want to take a big step forward and not repeat pitfalls,”  Roseburrough said, adding that the Clifton location also offers 25 cans/bottles of beer, eight to nine wines and “the usual suspects as far as liquor.”

It features the same weekly specials as the other locations, such as Thursday pint night (buy the beer that’s on special and keep the glass), half-price wine bottles on Wednesdays and a weekend bloody mary bar.

The dining area. (Photo by Garin Pirnia)

As far as indoor space, the 6,500-square-foot, 270-seat dining area makes the Clifton pub the most ample location. (Half of Hyde Park’s capacity is outdoors.) It also marks the first time the restaurant chain has opened a location near a college campus.

One of the reasons Roseburrough — and his ownership group of Scott Stacey, Chris Penn and David Brooks — chose the Views on Vine apartment-plex was because Short Vine is growing. Next-door-neighbor Taste of Belgium moved in three years ago, and Ladder 19 opened down the street in 2015. Cock & Bull also hopes to benefit from the late-night Bogart’s crowd by staying open until 2 a.m. almost every night. 

It all began in Mainstrasse

On Aug. 13, 1999, a broke Roseburrough opened the first Cock & Bull, in Covington’s Mainstrasse Village.

“Everything we had went into that location,” he said.

The Glendale Village location came in 2008, followed by a location on Hyde Park Square in 2011.

The back patio of the new Cock & Bull. (Photo by Garin Pirnia)

Roseburrough said when he opened the first location, he felt Irish pubs were practically on every corner, which is why he wanted to try his hand at an English pub.

“It was much more of a bar than the restaurant it is today,” he said.

Cock & Bull offered only 15 items, as opposed to more than 60 today. Originally named Cock & Bull English Pub, the menu originally focused too much on British pub grub and not enough on American vittles, he said.

“As we quickly found out, chicken wings and burgers and the Americana portion of our menu is what people wanted,” he said. “The bangers and mash and mushy peas and some of our English items quickly became nonexistent.”

The story of Cock & Bull's namesake is on the wall. (Photo by Garin Pirnia)

Today, the British-inspired fish and chips remain the chain’s best-seller, and now it also offers shrimp and chips and a baked cod version. Some European beers are on Cock & Bull’s tap list, but craft beers have usurped the imported brews.

Soon after the Mainstrasse location opened, The Pub at Rookwood opened and then came Nicholson’s, downtown. (Tavern Restaurant Group owns both places.) In some ways, Cock and Bull was the forerunner of Cincinnati’s pub trend — yet Roseburrough isn’t taking time to look back on his accomplishments.

“It feels like it’s been a lot longer than 18 years,” he said. “This industry is too hectic to sit back and reflect.”

Cock and Bull Public House Clifton
Address: 2801 Vine St., Clifton
Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-midnight Sunday
Information: cockandbullcincinnati.com

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