The Hub bar and bicycle shop opens in Over-the-Rhine

Posted at 7:00 AM, Jan 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-27 15:05:18-04

CINCINNATI — Neighborhood bar up front. Bicycle shop in the back and local art installations throughout.

That is how Lindsey Swadner described her business, the Hub, which opened Saturday at 1209 Main St. in Over-the-Rhine.

“I wanted to create an experience where you walk in and say, 'There is no other place like this in Over-the-Rhine,'” said Swadner of her bar and bike repair shop when she first announced plans for it in January.

The Cincinnati native said hiking and ski trips to Colorado inspired the mashup business model, which she began putting together in January 2016.

“I noticed a lot of bars out there were like a bar and a ski shop or bar and a bike shop,” Swadner said.  “It was wonderful. Everyone should operate like this. So, I thought this would be so cool to bring to Cincinnati.”

As an avid cyclist who regularly participates in group rides Downtown, Swadner said she also knew a lot of other riders who would love to see a combined bike shop and bar in Over-the-Rhine.

Casey Coston, founder of the Urban Basin Bicycle Club in Cincinnati, agreed. His group regularly organizes Tuesday night group rides from Fountain Square during the summer and hosts more informal gatherings during the winter.

“Anything that combines the concepts of bike shop and bar would be more than welcome in the Cincinnati biking community,” he said.

The Hub, which was originally a hat shop, takes its name from the glazed tile that marks the front entry into the bar. It serves a variety of beer and liquor and can seat 60 to 90 people, Swadner said.

“We want to create a space at the bar where everyone feels welcomed,” Swadner said. “We are going to have Miller High Life. We are actually looking at selling 40s.”

Quirky and bicycle-inspired murals created by local artists and friends of Swadner accent the bar area as well.

“We want to also have you inspired,” Swadner said. “Even if you aren’t a cyclist, we hope the space convinces you to get out there and get into it.”

The bicycle shop takes up the back portion of the Hub and closes each day at 4 p.m. while the bar remains open.  Swadner said the reason for the shorter hours for the shop, and the physical divide from the bar, is to remind people that drinking and riding can be a serious issue.

Swadner promised, though, that is the only thing serious about the Hub.

“This place is really going to make you smile,” she said.