Arnold's is a historical, legendary downtown Cincinnati destination with a reputation for good food served in friendly surroundings at moderate prices.
The two buildings that make up Arnold's Bar and Grill were built in the late 1830's. The bar room at 210 East 8th Street was originally a barbershop and the other building, 208, first housed a feed store with the adjacent courtyard used for a stable and carriage house. Simon Arnold opened his tavern in 1861 in the same room that continues as the oldest bar in the city of Cincinnati. Since that time the bartenders have changed, different rules allow women to enter through any door now, and the cost of a beer has increased slightly.
During prohibition a kitchen was added and Arnold's was converted to a cafe. The second floor living area became dining rooms and second generation owner Hugo Arnold lived on the third floor with his family. Legend has it that he left the bathtub on the second floor to be used for bathtub gin. The bathtub became somewhat notorious and remains today (without the gin).
Three generations of the Arnold family lived upstairs and operated Arnold's for ninety-eight years. Since then Arnold's has had only four other owners. The current owner, Ronda Androski purchased the bar from Ronda's long time employer Jim Tarbell and our continuing to run Arnold's as a family business with the help of Ronda's son Chris and her daughter-in-law Bethany.
Over the years Arnold's has achieved and maintained a wonderful reputation for good food served in friendly surroundings at moderate prices. Throughout most of its history it served primarily as a daytime tavern and restaurant. In 1976 Mr. Tarbell added a dinner program and opened the now treasured courtyard (downtown's first outdoor dining in several decades). A stage was built and live music began on the weekends.
All of this continues today and with its wonderful sense of history and cultural diversity Arnold's has secured an important niche in this beautiful city.
Thank you for your visit and come back soon.