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Cincinnati's first gin bar Fifty Fifty Gin Club to open in OTR

The bar also honors a local journalism trailblazer
Fifty Fifty Gin Club.jpg
Posted at 10:28 AM, Jun 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-29 10:28:21-04

CINCINNATI — Over-the-Rhine is gaining another new bar as summer ramps up, and this business is paying homage to one specific liquor: gin.

Fifty Fifty Gin Club — located at 39 E 13th Street — is owned and operated by Julia Petiprin, who also owns and runs HomeMakers Bar, which resides adjacent to Fifty Fifty. The bar will be open to the public on Thursday, June 30 and will be open every Thursday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Petiprin is pulling inspiration from Barcelona gin bars with her new 22-seat bar. She also is pulling inspiration from a Cincinnati journalism legend, Ruth Lyons.

Other than the goal of bringing Spain's love of a great gin-and-tonic to Cincinnati, Petiprin aims to provide other gin-focused classic cocktails at Fifty Fifty, such as the Fifty Fifty gin martini. With a house-made brine for dirty martinis and gimlets, all juice for the gin martini — already a staple at HomeMakers Bar — will be squeezed daily. There will also be other original craft cocktails, beer, wine and locally sourced snacks available for visitors.

"As a Cincinnati transplant, I always get excited to show people my favorite things that I've seen and tasted in other places," Petiprin said. "The Gin Club does just that. The menu is a collaboration with a few of the incredible bartenders at HomeMakers, our beverage director — Michael Nauer — and myself."

Other than its Spanish inspiration — and obviously the bar's namesake cocktail inspiration — Petiprin is honoring Ruth Lyons, a journalism trailblazer in Cincinnati, with Fifty Fifty. Lyons is known as the creator of the daytime talk show, and she remains a broadcasting legend. The 50/50 Club was Lyons' daytime TV series and a seamless tie-in for Petiprin's direction with Fifty Fifty Gin Club.

With an interior lit by red neon, Fifty Fifty features a high-contrast design, dark textured walls, a slate bar face and a black stone bar top. To set the tone perfectly, music will be played via a vinyl record player featuring none other than Motown, old school R&B, jazz and 1960s rock music. Furthermore, the bar's 22 seats will allow for a level of intimacy not accessible at every OTR bar, and reservations will be available for those interested, but they're not required.

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