Northern Kentucky may have a rich and storied past, but their present is Instagram-ready.
For years our visitors have known that when you’re in Northern Kentucky for Bourbon, you have to trust The B-Line to guide your journey. With a stellar collection of Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® distilleries and legendary Bourbon-centric bars, restaurants and hotels, you’ll definitely want to plan accordingly to take it all in. But it gets better! The B-line recently announced the addition of four new stops on their passport!
“Beyond the five senses, history is a huge part of the Kentucky Bourbon experience,” said Julie Kirkpatrick, President & CEO at meetNKY and the Northern Kentucky CVB. “And the history that surrounds these new B-Line stops is incredible. From historic buildings and urban sports stars to paranormal spirits, these venues have stories of revitalization and resurgence to tell.”
Well – we went there, did that, and have the amazing cocktail photos to prove it. Say hello to the new guys.
Bourbon Bar at Smoke Justis
Smoke Justis | Covington
Located in the historic Citizens Telephone Building in Covington, Smoke Justis is an urban sports bar named after urban legend Walter “Smoke” Justis, who was the opening day pitcher for the Covington Blue Sox on May 9, 1913.
With the goal of bringing people together, Smoke Justis blends casual & lounge space and features smoked meat, Bourbon, and craft beer in the Roebling Point area. Smoke Justis hosts live music, private parties, and events including an annual celebration of National Bourbon Day in June.
“We are thrilled to join The B-Line and work toward expanding Northern Kentucky as a Bourbon place,” said Richard Dickmann, owner of Smoke Justis. “Roebling Point is a prime location at the foot of the Roebling Bridge and the front door of the South and Covington. We look forward to welcoming a lot of new visitors to Bourbon Country.”
Bourbon Cheerwine Slush on the patio | Bourbon bar at Libby’s Southern Comfort | vintage pours
Libby’s Southern Comfort | Covington
Libby’s Southern Comfort is located in Duveneck Square in Covington and features a mouthwatering selection of refreshing cocktails, a vintage Bourbon collection, and southern cuisine including fried chicken, oysters, fried green tomatoes, and goetta hush puppies. Owned and operated by Brad and Michelle Wainscott, Libby’s also showcases a phenomenal outdoor patio.
“The Wainscott family has a longstanding history in the restaurant business, and that experience shows in the passion they pour into Libby’s,” Kirkpatrick said. “It’s another B-Line venue for folks to experience delicious southern cooking washed down with a pick from their impressive Bourbon selection.”
Three Spirits Tavern at night | patio at Three Spirits Tavern | coal black king cube for the Funken Old Fashioned
Three Spirits Tavern | Bellevue
Three Spirits Tavern in Bellevue, Ky. is located in a historic 1880s brick three-story home and features outdoor seating & games in a dog-friendly yard with picnic tables and green space. Owned by Bellevue native Charlie Zimmerman and his wife, Leslie Blair, Three Spirits is also a veteran-owned stop on The B-Line.
“It is very exciting for us and Bellevue to be joining The B-Line,” said Zimmerman. “Only a mile from downtown Cincinnati and a few blocks away from New Riff Distilling, Three Spirits Tavern is an excellent place to relax and unwind after a day of exploring all of the bourbon culture in Northern Kentucky.”
Featuring more than 100 Bourbons & ryes, Three Spirits prides themselves in their house cocktail creations, including the “Funken Old Fashioned” with a coal black king cube, named after Nicholas Funken, a local coal broker, who tends to make his presence known in “spirit” around the bar from time to time.
Menu offerings at the Beehive Augusta Tavern
The Beehive Augusta Tavern | Augusta
The Beehive Augusta Tavern in Augusta, Ky offers farm-to-table dining, live entertainment, and a large Bourbon selection overlooking the Ohio River and Augusta Ferry.
“Some people are put off that Augusta seems far away from The B-Line’s urban core of Bourbon experiences, but I’ve never heard anyone say they regret the scenic drive down Route 8 to Old Pogue in Maysville with a stop in Augusta,” Kirkpatrick said. “You might even luck out and see the Clooneys while in this charming riverfront town!”
The building housing the Beehive was constructed in 1796 on land granted to a veteran of the Revolutionary War. During the Battle of Augusta in 1862, the building was set on fire, then fell further into disrepair after the Great Flood of 1937. In the 1970s, the row houses were saved from demolition and added to the National Registry of Historic Sites before becoming the first incarnation of The Beehive in 1985. In 2017, the building underwent a major renovation that brought a new life to the restaurant and has earned the approval of visitors and locals alike.
Beehive Augusta Tavern at night
These stops join a celebrated list of existing B-Line establishments:
Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® distilleries:
Bars & Restaurants:
About the B-Line:
First introduced in early 2018, The B-Line is managed by meetNKY and was created to help capture the Bourbon-curious audience of millions of people who drive down Interstate-75 and fly into CVG Airport annually. Participants create their own experience by following a self-guided trail and complete the Line Guide by collecting two stamps or check-ins from each category of distilleries, bars, and restaurants.
For more information about The B-Line, to download a digital Line Guide, or to learn more about joining, visit thebline.com