Weekend in the City: Picture-worthy Somerset in OTR

Whew! The weekend has arrived and you’re looking for something new and a little more upbeat to do than usual.

It’s Saturday night, the heat has finally let up and you’re ready for a night out on the town. There’s a bar you read about that you have been meaning to check out called Somerset.

Some digging informs you that it was created by an entrepreneur named James Fisher, whose mission with his company “Lost Co.” is to “create dramatic spaces that celebrate the unknown,” according to his LinkedIn page.  
The mission of Lost Co. is to “create dramatic spaces that celebrate the unknown.”
It seems Somerset is a result of that mission. The bar’s website says that Fisher wanted to create a space that “feels like the neighborhood hang while simultaneously invites guests to venture out and step into the unexpected.”

Somerset is tucked off of Liberty Street on E. McMicken in OTR in an old warehouse that Fisher began to renovate in 2018 before opening in the summer of 2021.

What first piques your interest is that it’s a little tricky to find. In fact, if it weren’t for the thump of music and a few people I saw walking toward it, I would have missed it. The fact that it blends into the neighborhood makes you feel like you’ve stumbled onto something secret.

When you arrive, you walk into what can only be described as an oasis. There are various plants and vines that adorn the entry patio that instantly make you forget you’re in Cincinnati.

Somerset teamed up with local eatery Mazunte taqueria to help create a menu that was inspired by street food from across the globe. The food is served out of a repurposed double-decker London food bus.

A smaller lounge area connects off the bathroom hallway with a secondary bar and comfy seating options. It’s perfect for that chilly evening or when the Midwest decides that 6:23 p.m. is the perfect time for a surprise rain shower.

The main bar area resembles a large greenhouse as vines wrap themselves up the exposed framework and hang down from the ceiling.

Somerset offers creative cocktails, infused liquors, wine, local craft beer or alcohol-free choices.A menu board hangs next to the orange liquor shelf. As you read through the menu of house-made cocktails, you land on the “El Compadre,” a mix of mango reposado tequila, Campari, and mango-vanilla-coconut cream soda. It’s cool, delicious, and dangerous because it tastes just like a Creamsicle.

And fret not, they offer more than creative cocktails. You can choose from a variety of infused liquors, wine, local craft beer or even something alcohol-free. There’s something for everyone.

Walking out the door into the side patio made me feel like I had climbed into a portal and popped out in a jungle safari. More greenery encases the yard and there are various sections that offer more intimate and private seating.

The highlights of Somerset are definitely the atmosphere, creativity of the menu and the wait time at the bar. No matter how many people were there, I found it easy to get the attention of a bartender and they were prompt in serving me.

So, if you’re looking for a picture-worthy spot to start or end your night, look no further. Somerset has it all.

It’s summer. Treat yourself.
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Read more articles by Amy Briana Counts.

Amy Briana Counts is an aspiring young writer in Cincinnati. When she's not writing you can find her climbing rocks, traveling out west, and being "mom" to her cats, Fred and George.