Wellmann’s Brands is responsible for some of Cincinnati’s favorite bars. Neons, Japp’s, Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar, and The Hearth Room have all been embraced by the people of Cincinnati, and become regular hang out spots for many. Molly Wellmann’s newest baby, Myrtle’s Punch House, is part of the revival in East Walnut Hills.
As Cincinnati’s most well known mixologist, it seems that it’s Molly Wellmann’s job to bring the city the best when it comes to drinking. Neons focuses on craft beer, Japp’s on cocktails, and Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar’s specialty is, of course, whiskey and bourbon. It only makes sense that Wellmann’s next bar would focus on something that many Cincinnatians haven’t has much experience with: punch. And this woman has been doing her research.
The word “punch” is Hindi for five, which is why this drink, that originated in India, perfectly combines five elements; spirit, sour, sweet, spice, and water. After the British reached India, punch was embraced and quickly spread to many other parts of the world. In fact, punch is something that has long been a part of America’s history, and specifically Cincinnati’s. There’s even a punch bowl on display at the Cincinnati History Museum in Union Terminal that belonged to Griffin Yeatman, (yes, that Yeatman.)
That’s why East Walnut Hills was the perfect place for Myrtle’s Punch House. This up-and-coming neighborhood is growing, and the community has been ready for a neighborhood bar to call home. Molly Wellmann likes to tell people that Myrtle’s is “the community’s second living room.” And what a place to live!
There will be two punches on tap at all times, which makes serving this drink a breeze. Punch bowls can be served to parties of four for $20-30 a bowl, but don’t try to order a bowl for yourself. Even the philosophy of drinking in this bar is community oriented.
When Myrtle’s has their grand opening on Friday, November 28, you can try the Fish House Punch, a classic punch dating back to at least 1744, and one of Wellmann’s own creations, Whiskey Ginger Punch. You can expect to try new punches at Myrtle’s in the upcoming months.
The classic Fish House Punch is thought to have originally been served at Schuylkill Fishing Company meetings, where George Washington once drank so much of it that he couldn’t write in his diary for three days. If one of America’s Founding Father’s got drunk on this stuff, then we won’t feel too bad about doing the same. With Rum, Cognac, Peach Brandy, Fresh Lemon Juice, and Water, this punch tastes delicious, and you might be feeling a bit like George Washington if you aren’t careful.
Myrtle’s Punch House will also serve beer, with quite a selection of local brews on draft, as well as wine, kept fresh thanks to Vinotemp. As a neighborhood bar, they want to make sure that there is something everyone can enjoy. There are some simple cocktails that will be served as well, but overall you can expect punch to take the spotlight when it comes to spirited drinks.
The building Myrtle’s Punch House resides in was built in the 1880s, and has hosted a variety of businesses. “Some more respectable than others,” according to Molly Wellmann. Though they don’t have the building’s entire history, they’re researching and working to learn about everything that took place in the building before Myrtle’s got there.
John Back, the architect and designer for all of Wellmann’s Brands bars, is the one we can thank for this visually stunning bar. The lounge upstairs has a very sleek, and modern feeling, with wooden floors and walls, mod light fixtures, and contemporary furniture.
The downstairs, with exposed brick walls, and cozy, nook-like booths is the perfect place to hang out with a group of friends. Soon, Myrtle’s Punch House will host live jazz performances in the lower level.
The name for Myrtle’s Punch House started as a bit of a joke. The bar sits on the corner of Woodburn and Myrtle, and the Wellmann’s Brands team kept joking about how Myrtle sounds like an aunt’s name. They talked about Myrtle, and how she would probably live in a big house and throw lavish parties for all her friends and family. Then they realized, that’s exactly the kind of place they wanted their newest bar to be.
What’s next for Wellmann’s Brands? “It’s all about the time and the place. This was the right place and the right time.” One thing is for certain: we can expect something amazing.
Myrtle’s Punch House will open Friday, November 28 at 4:00 PM. The bar will open Mondays-Saturdays at 4:00 PM, and Sundays at 12:00 noon.