“We want to keep the integrity of the building,” said Knecht, Charred Oak’s general manager, of why the building, previously home to the iconic Mount Adams bar, still bears its name.
Longworth’s longtime management group, led by Art Lykin, vacated the building at 1108 St. Gregory St. this summer after 17 years in business, following multiple nuisance calls that led the Cincinnati Police Department to formally object to a transfer of its liquor license.
The Longworth's sign, though, also honors the 125-year-old history of the building, which started as a Cincinnati firehouse, Knecht said.
Knecht promises that Charred Oak guests will see that the new owners have dealt with the issues that the former tenant faced during evening and DJ events, which will continue.
“We cleaned house completely,” she said of the former staff. “We have new security personnel and a detail now.”
Knecht said Charred Oak will have a lot of high-end bourbon behind the bar and specialty cocktails.
Neil Quinn, president of the Mount Adams Business Guild, said he met with the owners and investors of Charred Oak, LLC, the group behind the new restaurant and bar that Knecht manages.
"It’s a complete flip-flop," Quinn said of the atmosphere and offering that Charred Oak's owners bring to the neighborhood. "It’s a pleasant shock for the neighborhood."
During daytime hours, Charred Oak will try to be more neighborhood- and family-friendly by bringing food back to the location. Charred Oak will open at 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and begin serving food at 5 p.m. The bar will begin serving lunch at noon Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“They didn’t have food running in here for years,” Knecht said. “We’ll serve smoked meats, brisket, barbecue and other food items.”
Knecht said Charred Oak signed a multi-year lease to operate at the location, which will be honored if the owners of 1108 St. Gregory St. sell the property. The building went up for sale in July for $2.9 million.
While the awning outside the bar has Charred Oak's name on it, the business is working to get a bigger sign to accompany the red Longworth's letters.
“It’s very exciting,” Knecht said. “We are trying to turn around the reputation. We want to give back to the surrounding community.”
Charred Oak grand opening
5 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday
1108 St. Gregory St., Mount Adams
8-11 p.m.: Live music by Los Honchos