Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Turfway Grill & Bar, Florence, Kentucky/Cincinnati Airport -- REVIEW
Florence, KY 41042
There is nothing worse than checking in to a crappy airport Hilton close to midnight and seeing that their overpriced “lounge” has already been closed for two hours. I figured why not ask the guy behind the front desk if there was any place close that’s still open at 12:00 am on a Monday night...assuming he would say no. Without hesitation he said a place called Turfway stays open until 2:30 am every night, and it’s right up the street. My choices were to go to bed and risk getting bitten by bed bugs while sober, or, making the short trip to Turfway for a few beers before returning to a bug-infested hotel room. It’s safe to assume we all know which option I picked.
First Impressions: Why am I at the Cincinnati Airport Hilton but I’m in Kentucky? Anyway…I’m not even 10 feet from the door and I can smell some serious cigarette smoke coming from inside. I make my way through the wall of smoke to find the place pretty packed for a Monday night and everybody is hammered. On the plus side, this crowd seemed like happy drunks, so being the only sober person in the place didn’t bother me too much.
The Bar: A no frills bar area. The bar itself seats maybe 10 people, but the rest of the place can easily handle 100 people. Beer choices were the usual Bud, Bud Light, Blue Moon sort of fare. This is clearly a shot and a beer type of place, but for what it is, it’s pretty big and pretty clean-looking it almost looks new on the inside. (A little detective work once I got home revealed that Turfway had been completely remodeled during the summer of 2010)
The Crowd: A mix of all day (and all night) older drinkers along with people in their twenties. Much like the bar itself, the crowd was a no frills bunch that didn’t have a whole lot to say…well not to a stranger anyway. Most people seemed to hang out in groups of 3-5 and didn’t really seem to have an interest in talking with anyone else. That’s fair enough, it’s late…you’re drunk…and your plan to get drunker. Fine with me.
Service: Bartender Joy was fantastic. She was cute in an “I’ll kick your ass” way. Kind of a modern-day Carla Tortelli from Cheers, just better looking. As fast as I (or anyone) could knock one back, she was ready to go with your next round. And this was even while watching the Monday Night Football game and checking her phone for incoming text messages.
Prices: Everything seemed to be two bucks. The beers I had that night were $2. The signs on the wall for happy hour prices said $2. Even ladies night Smirnoff Ice drinks were $2. If the local strip mall by your house has a $1 store, I guess we could call this the $2 bar. And, in my book, that’s never a bad thing to call a bar!
Food: This is the Turfway Grill & Bar, so they did have a pretty extensive menu of the usual bar food including wings, burgers and sandwiches. I didn’t order anything and couldn’t smell anything either through all the smoke. You may want to eat elsewhere if you’re not a smoker…it’s that bad in there.
Entertainment: Six big TV’s and a dartboard. This looks like it would be a great place to watch a sporting event…especially if you’re a Bengals fan. They also seem to have the usual Karaoke on Thursday nights and live music every Friday night. Plus they have most of the usual DirecTV sports packages as well, so it seems there’s always something to do here more than just drink and reek of cigarette smoke.
Restrooms: The place has recently been remodeled and that must have included the rest rooms too. Not very big, but very clean and new looking. That was kind of a shock.
Bartender Chat: Not much really. Like I said, Joy was great but not much of a talker. But, I did overhear one of the other bar staff comment that he doesn’t usually doesn’t consider the thought of leaving a bar until he’s had 8 pitchers. If nothing else, they hire the right kind of people to help out around the place. Hard drinking regulars served by hard drinking employees.
How Far Did My $20 Go: Since this is the $2 bar…that’s an easy question. 20 bucks buys you 10 beers…even I can do the math on that one. Just make sure to save a few dollars to tip Joy, if she's your bartender, I’m sure she’s earned it.
Final Impressions: If you’re ever stranded at the Cincinnati Airport for a night I would definitely recommend this place. Or, if you somehow stumble across this review and you live in the area (and don’t mind smoke) this is a decent little place. I would come here to watch the Steelers kick the Bengals ass if I lived in the area. Again, the big warning with this place is the smoke. I forgot just how disgusting your clothes can smell in the morning after marinating in smoke for an hour or two. But, in any case, HIT THIS DIVE.