Grammer’s bar, established in 1872 and a veritable Over-the-Rhine institution, has announced its closure today. The 132-year-old establishment was known for years as a home away from home for Cincinati’s German population, hosting everyone from the Cincinnati Symphony to the Reds.
Grammer’s re-opened in the late winter of 2008, serving beer and a variety of German foods.
Martin Wade, owner of Relish Restaurant Group, purchased Grammer’s from former city councilman and Over-the-Rhine raconteur, Jim Tarbell, who had owned it since 1984. It was the oldest pre-Prohibition German restaurant to remain in Over-the-Rhine. Although tts recent history is one of hipsters and late night dance parties – a decidedly different crowd than the German Singing Baker society to which the space was once home.
Despite the differences, Grammer’s has been beloved by several generations as a unique neighborhood watering hole. Sources say Wade plans to reopen Grammer’s as a restaurant, though there are currently no details as to what type of restaurant and what timeline that would entail. Staff say that the news came as a shock to them after having worked worked throughout Bockfest weekend, serving scores of people and reportedly making a large profit.
“I’m shocked, insulted and disgusted that immediately following one of the most successful weekends in Grammer’s history, this iconic venue was deemed expendable,” said Gavin Richardson, sales and marketing manager for Grammer’s. “This is the end of an era.”
Jim Tarbell at Grammer’s photograph provided by Joe Wessels.