Buried beneath the Cincinnati street, in a belly of the earth, a bygone baby burbles. Having haunted a dormant lagering tunnel for nearly two centuries, the Ghost Baby is at long last eased by eclectic whispers and caressed by crushed velvet in a dimly-lit den serving up sweet elixirs and phat beats.
From the urban neighborhood sidewalk, filled with bright homes, cafes, and shops, a comparatively plain storefront coquettishly conceals a soft and seductive segue to the latent lagering tunnel thirty feet below — where time, temperature, and humidity are all carefully curated. The journey, inward and down, is attenuated by the coiling of a switchback stair, each run creating a further sense of distance from the world outside.
In plan, the cellar has been apportioned into two vaulted cavities. The first cavity serves as a public anteroom and bar, while the second, to which access is restricted by a narrow funneling in plan, has been revived as a lounge and live music venue that witnesses a gallimaufry of songstresses, Chopin sonatas, jazz ensembles and house DJ’s. Both spaces feature folds of perimeter banquette seating that envelope patrons in a sense of hushed intimacy throughout. As sound resonates, rolling along the vault, amidst swagged draperies and amber light, the Ghost Baby resumes its slumber.
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
architect - drawing dept
contractor - triversity construction
Custom Millwork: Riverside
Custom Steelwork: Sediment
Custom Seating/Upholstery: Orange Chair
Ron Novak & Alex Dever
Ross Van Pelt