Over the Rhine

Over the Rhine, aka OTR, is a staple in Cincinnati culture. OTR started out in the 1800’s as an ethnically diverse neighborhood. Nearly half of its residents were German immigrants. 
OTR resembled a Little Germany with people pouring in from several different European and German regions. The area got its name from residents saying that crossing over the Miami and Erie Canal – which is Central Parkway today -- felt like crossing the Rhine River that led into Germany.

The most common language in OTR was quickly established as German as well as the most popular foods, newspapers, and of course, beer. Also, much of the architecture in OTR has German heritage that you can see the many 19th century churches, warehouses and homes still standing today. 

In fact, according to the Over the Rhine Foundation, “The neighborhood’s 360 acres is one of the largest, most intact, nineteenth century urban historic districts in the United States and is believed to contain the nation’s largest contiguous collection of nineteenth century Italianate architecture.” 

Rhinegeist’s OTR brewery and taproom are located within what used to be a bottling plant for the Moerlein Brewing Company - which has had roots in Cincinnati since 1853. This historic building can be traced back to the late 1890’s. Back then, the city was home to more than 38 breweries and dozens of biergartens. Moerlein’s brewery closed around 1920, due to Prohibition. The Moerlein brand resurfaced in the early 1980’s.

You will find a lot of great street art in OTR thanks to ArtWorks Cincinnati. This foundation has made OTR home to some of the most beautiful murals Cincinnati has to offer. ArtWorks Cincinnati partners with several different fine arts foundations and businesses to create beautiful murals and paintings in the area. These murals in OTR also play a key role in Cincinnati’s city-wide art display and installation, BLINK Cincinnati.

When you plan your visit to the NKY / Cincy area, be sure to leave time on your schedule to explore this historic neighborhood chock-full of some of the best shopping, restaurants, bars, and things to do. 

otr restaurants