KEEPIN’ IT REAL in THE COV: Rosie’s Tavern

First photo: Rosie's Tavern at 643 Bakewell St. has long been known as the friendliest bar in town.

Second photo: Rosie's Jeremy Braun accepting the Authenti-CITY award from Covington Business Retention & Expansion Specialist Patrick Duffy.

(You belong here)

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first of five articles naming the winners of the 2024 Authenti-CITY awards given by the City of Covington at a ceremony last Friday to mark the end of National Economic Development Week. More about the awards can be found at the bottom of this article.)

COVINGTON, Ky. – There’s an electric sign inside Rosie’s Tavern that reads, “You are a stranger here but once.”

Granted, it’s a Stroh’s Beer light, but it seems another way of getting the point across that here in The Cov, “Y’all really means all,” and sets the tone for this historic bar’s welcoming aesthetic.

Plus, it’s in keeping with the City’s manifesto. In fact, if you read the entire manifesto, you’ll see that Rosie’s Tavern pretty much checks all the boxes: “timelessness” … “locally owned” … “diverse”… “rainbow crosswalks” … “all character, no chains” and, of course, that part about “our bars flow with Kentucky bourbon.”

Located around the corner and off the beaten path from the steady pulse of MainStrasse action, Rosie’s Tavern is one of The Cov’s most inclusive places for a libation. The rainbow-colored crosswalk intersection will be your marker that you’ve found the tavern. Built in 1896, Rosie’s has long been serving up a distinctly “unapologetically Covington” vibe, and it was likely among the first venues in town to do so. If you go looking for some of the top LGBTQ+-friendly places in the region, you’re sure to find Rosie’s Tavern among the top venues.

Big windows, warm brick walls, a beautiful bar, a pressed-tin ceiling, and an outdoor picnic area are all part of the backdrop to a place where you’ll get a good sampling of the some of the best people in Covington (as in folks who are accepting of and kind to all). Rosie’s is always an active participant in Covington’s Pride Parade. There’s a reason it’s long been known as the friendliest bar in town.

“I promise you will have a good time and meet some of the best people Covington has to offer at Rosie’s Tavern,” said Covington Business Retention & Expansion Specialist Patrick Duffy. “It’s a bar that has always been accepting of everyone in the community.”

About the awards: The first-annual Authenti-CITY awards were unveiled by Covington’s fun and irreverent Economic Development team in 2021 to celebrate National Economic Development Week in an off-the-wall way.

There were no rules and no criteria – just staffers getting together after hours (maybe over a few drinks, maybe not) and debating fiercely about what businesses, places, events, people and organizations most “kept it real” in The Cov. The fervor had to do with this: Narrowing down the massive list (because, you know, Covington is such a cool place).


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