Ghost Baby

2020 Winner – Interior Architecture

Project Narrative

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.


Project Details

Project Team


Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Date of Completion



Ghost Baby

Design Firm(s)

architect - drawing dept
contractor - triversity construction
Custom Millwork: Riverside
Custom Steelwork: Sediment
Custom Seating/Upholstery: Orange Chair

Project Team

Ron Novak & Alex Dever


Ross Van Pelt