CINCINNATI -- Frank Seta took the slow road to the bar business.
The Finneytown native said he spent 20 years listening to friends and family telling him he should open his own place. Now he has: Seta opened the Lucky Turtle a few days after Christmas.
"I've been walking down this road longer than I knew," said Seta, who worked for Charles Schwab in North Carolina before moving back to the region with his wife, Jessica, in 2012. Since then, he worked from home, got involved with the local craft beer scene and finally quit his job so he could open the bar.
The name of the bar, tucked behind Brentwood Spirits on Winton Road, was inspired by those family and friends as well. Seta's brother gave him a turtle shell medallion 15 years ago. Family and friends used to give him children's books about "Franklin," the cartoon turtle that shares Seta's first name.
Seta said the turtle became a sort of spirit animal for him. When he went to name his place, it only made sense to bring turtles, which Seta also considers lucky, into the mix.
"And, I mean, who doesn't like turtles?" he said.
Having an animal in the bar's name also harkens to a particular philosophy Seta has for what a bar should be. Seta said he wanted his bar to be a place where people socialize over a good drink, akin to the Prancing Pony pub depicted in "The Lord of the Rings."
There are no pool tables or jukeboxes in the Lucky Turtle; just 35 brands of bourbon, 20 different whiskeys and more than 23 beers. The menu provides specific details on each drink.
"I want you to imagine what it tastes like before you order it," Seta said of his beer selection. Those beers include most local breweries, along with a mix of national craft beers such as Stone Brewing. Seta's favorite Stone brew, Arrogant Bastard, will always be available on the "lucky 13" tap, he said. Beers are sold in 16-, eight- and four-ounce glasses. Growler service is available as well.
Seta also included favorite elements that he has discovered in bars across the country over the years. There are more than 40 USB ports throughout the three rooms in the bar for people to charge smartphones. Each bar stool has an accompanying purse hook next to it under the polished copper bar in the main room. The flatscreen televisions hanging on the walls are all Apple TV compatible so people can cast videos or presentations from their iPhones onto them.
There is also an art gallery room, board and arcade game room and an outdoor patio. Each section is decorated with tables made from materials salvaged from Building Value in Northside.
There is also a variety of art that Seta has picked up through the years. The centerpiece is a large polished metal Lucky Turtle bar sign his wife designed and local artist Anthony "Tank" Mansfield produced.
"I really like what Frank is doing," Mansfield said. "He is super passionate about it."
Seta plans to rent out some of the space for small business conferences, tastings and charity events. He said he wants to share his bar as a unique destination that will bring people together in as many ways as possible.
"I finally got to where I was going," Seta said.
The Lucky Turtle
8621 Winton Road, Finneytown
3-11 p.m. Monday-Wednesday; 3 p.m.-midnight Thursday-Friday; noon to midnight Saturday: noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.