Cincinnati has been referred to as the Queen City or the Queen of the West because of the spectacular growth in its economy during the 1820s. Aside from that, many people who love sports, history, gardens, and food visit the area because the city is a mix of many things.
A photo of Cincinnati at night. (Link: https://www.downtowncincinnati.com/coronavirus/)
Some of the top spots to visit in Cincinnati are the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, the Freedom Center, the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum, the Union Terminal, and many more.
Another reason why tourists flock to the Queen City is because of the fact that it is where one of the oldest bars in the whole of United States is located. People do not just visit because it’s old, it is also due to the rumors that the bar is haunted. This bar is called Arnold’s Bar and Grill.
A photo of a tub outside Arnold’s Bar and Grill. (Link: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Arnold%27s_Bar_%26_Grill_motorized_bathtub.jpg)
The History Of Arnold’s Bar And Grill
Arnold’s Bar and Grill is a crowd favorite because it is the oldest continuously operating bar in Cincinnati, Ohio and because it is reportedly haunted.
A sign on the window of Arnold’s Bar and Grill. (Link: https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2019/12/11/arnolds-getting-first-new-ownership-in-two-decades.html)
In 1838, one Susan Fawcett opened the establishment as a “whorehouse.” By 1861, the new owner of the establishment named Simon Arnold made it into a bar. His family operated the bar for the next 98 years until the year 1959. However, Arnold’s relative, Elmer, sold it to a former professional wrestler named Jim Christakos. In 1976, Cincinnati City Council member Jim Tarbell purchased it from Christakos and continued to operate it as a bar but expanded outside for an outdoor courtyard.
An 1861 photo of people inside Arnold’s Bar and Grill. (Link: https://www.pinterest.ph/pin/271271577533648497/?nic_v1=1a4KaZwlcnltEg%2BBqBVcKR2JfMMrZz3599GYrFRLsgOX%2Bk9AXstLHtvThh0YJT%2By1h)
The management changed once again in 1998 after a longtime server of Arnold’s Bar and Grill, Ronda Breeden, bought it and ran it with her son, Chris. Two years ago, Chris and Bethany became the managers of the bar and grill.
Chris and Bethany Breeden in an undated photo. (Link: https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2019/12/23/new-owners-want-to-preserve-the-heart-of-arnolds.html)
A Visitor’s Encounter With A Possible Ghost At Arnold’s Bar And Grill
During the haunted walks and tours in Cincinnati, Arnold’s Bar and Grill is always on the list. One person wrote about it in a blog and said that they were briefed regarding the “claims of ghost sightings patrons and employees alike have attributed over the years.” One of the stories was about a former employee who already passed away. She shared, “Some people believe they’ve still seen him rushing in past them through the front door.”
The visitor noted that when they went inside the bar to look around and as they were going up the stairs to the second floor, she made eye contact with someone peering around a door frame. She further revealed that during the briefing, a photo of that dead employee was shown and she believes the person peering around a door frame was the former employee because he fit the description. She added, “He was even wearing a similar hat to the man in the photo. We searched all around for the peeking man at the top of the steps, but couldn’t find him anywhere. I’m not ruling out the possibility of the individual being a diner or staff member, but it definitely left me uneasy when we couldn’t seem to locate him.”
This man was identified as Steve Black and he worked as a chef at Arnold’s Bar and Grill. He is very well-loved and was very dedicated to his work. The current owner of the bar and grill said that many have asked her about a man standing outside and looking inside. She said whenever she hears of his apparitions, her heart sinks because he seems to miss working at Arnold’s Bar and Grill thus the frequent visits. The owner also said Black might be the latest spirit watching over them and the bar.
Staff, Managers Talk Of Their Experiences At Arnold’s Bar And Grill
One of the managers of Arnold’s Bar and Grill, Chris, revealed that there have been too many times when visitors come running down the stairs after going to the second-floor bathroom. He shared that there was even one instance when one man was pale and sweaty after going to the bathroom and immediately told his friends they had to leave.
A busy night at Arnold’s Bar and Grill. (Link: https://www.seriouseats.com/places/cincinnati-locals-guide)
Chris continued, “This actually happens a lot,” Chris said. “Customers will come down from the second floor really scared — like freaked out — and they’ll ask, ‘Is this place haunted?’” Even the staffs refuse to visit the women’s bathroom at night after they hear strange noises coming from that room. Some of them also do not want to go to the third floor for an unknown reason. Workers also revealed they have heard doors shutting on their own and lights running on without anyone around. There are also pounds on the wall even if no one is there. Chris talked of his experience one time and shared that he was closing up when he heard the door slamming in the women’s bathroom. He added, “I put my hand on the door, and it stopped. And then I opened it up and there was no one in there. I don’t believe in ghosts. I still don’t believe in ghosts. But it was unexplainable.”
The other manager, Bethany, said that when weird things are happening at the Arnold’s Bar and Grill, one of their bartenders leave a shot of booze on the bar because they believe the spooky things would stop happening after that. Bethany also said that she has had her fair share of spookiness. Whenever she works alone, she sees shadows walking past her especially when she is alone on the second floor of the establishment.
The facade of Arnold’s Bar and Grill at night. (Link: https://www.opentable.com/r/arnolds-bar-and-grill-cincinnati)
She also talked about that one evening when she was washing her hands while in the bathroom. Someone then tapped her on the shoulder and when she looked around, no one else was there but her.
The owner of the bar, Ronda, talked of wine bottles flying off the bar shelf. She revealed, “They don’t just fall off. They kind of go straight out and then go down. A lot of people have seen it.”
Ronda Breeden in an undated photo. (Link: https://www.newsbreak.com/ohio/cincinnati/news/0NiXlqb6/arnolds-bar-and-grill-to-change-ownership-jan-1)
They have no idea who is haunting the bar but believes it could be Arnold’s family protecting the establishment.