'Pokemon Go' Pub Crawl set to take over Over-the-Rhine, Downtown

Posted at 9:49 AM, Jul 15, 2016

CINCINNATI — Hundreds of Pokemon Go players are expected to swarm through Over-the-Rhine and Downtown this Saturday for a pub crawl inspired by the smartphone game.

Pokemon Go is an augmented reality app that allows users to track, trap, train and battle the 1990s cartoon monsters with other players in real-world locations using a phone's GPS and built-in camera. Cincinnati resident Heather Wyatt said she organized Saturday’s pub crawl, which starts at 5 p.m. at 16-Bit Bar+Arcade, after seeing a similar Columbus event on Facebook.

Related: How 'Pokemon Go' is taking over Cincinnati

“I made my own public event page, and everything from then on has been a bit of a whirlwind,” said Wyatt.

Since Wyatt created the Pokemon Go Pub Crawl: Cincinnati/OTR page on Monday, more than 800 people have signed up for the event.

After Wyatt contacted 16-Bit about serving as the event's starting point, other bars expressed interest in being stops on the pub crawl. Participating bars include MOTR Pub, The Famous Neon’s Unplugged, Taft’s Ale House, Arnold’s Bar & Grill and gaming parlor the Rook OTR. Each bar will offer drink specials, and some also will host Pokemon-themed tie-ins.

For example 16-Bit will kick off the evening with costume contests at 5:30 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. for players dressed as their favorite Pokemon characters. Then people will split into teams assigned separate pub crawl routes.

“We thought that our venue was right up the alley for this particular event since we specialize in gaming,” said Rook owner Zach Leopold, whose game parlor is also hosting an afterparty. “We also have lots of employees who are into it (Pokemon Go) and we just thought we would be a good, fun fit.”

Related: The 9 most inappropriate places to play 'Pokemon Go' in the Tri-State  

The bar also will offer $6 Pokemon-themed mixed drinks and snack plate specials. Leopold said he expects to see about 100 people, maybe more if the weather is nice, come in three separate waves throughout the crawl. 

“Watching people join together through this app has really been a pretty thing to see, and I’m proud to be a part of it,” Wyatt said. “I’m constantly in between being super excited about planning this and being a part of this event and freaking out a little because I’m a bit out of my depth here.”

For more information about the pub crawl, routes and specials offered by each bar, visit the Pokemon Go Pub Crawl: Cincinnati/OTR event page on Facebook.

Other Pokemon Go-Themed Events

There are many other ways to enjoy Pokemon Go with other players. Here's a list of events:

  • Pokemon Go Dance Party: Energy Nightclub at 700 W. Pete Rose Way is opening its doors to all the late-night Pokemon hunters on Friday from 10 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. For more information visit the event page on Facebook. 
  • Pokemon Go Battle Royale: Can there be only one? The Northside Yacht Club plans to find out when it hosts a Pokemon gathering at 9 p.m. July 22. For more information visit the event page on Facebook.
  • Pokemon Clean and Go: Spruce up the area around Mirror Lake while collecting Pokemon with friends from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 23 at Eden Park. For more information visit the event page on Facebook.
  • Pokemon Go Picnic: The word is spreading that Washington Park is a hot spot to catch Pokemon. That’s why the Over-the-Rhine park created a special picnic event 11 a.m.-7 p.m. July 24 to bring Poketrainers together. The day will include food trucks and the park’s open bar. For more information visit the event page on Facebook.
  • Pokemon Go Cincinnati: This is a public Facebook group where players can share events, tips and other Pokemon-related information. A second league with event listings also can be found on Facebook here.
  • Pokemon and Politics: Even Hillary Clinton’s Ohio presidential campaign team is getting into the Pokemon spirit with upcoming local meetup events. Go here for more information.