Inside Somerset, An Otherworldly Drinking Destination in the Heart of OTR


Something extraordinary is growing roots in Over-the-Rhine, but if you're not looking for it, you just might miss it.

Tucked away at 139 E. McMicken Ave., a sprawling new drinking and dining destination is almost ready to open its doors, offering an immersive escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Somerset features two bar spaces — one in the plant-filled and glass-roofed conservatory and another in the cozy lounge space.

The grounds are also home to a double-decker bus that has been converted into a kitchen with a rooftop seating area (run by the team behind Mazunte); and, the pièce de résistance, Somerset's awe-inspiring garden space, loaded with tropical plants, unique seating nooks and imported pieces from co-founder and creative lead James Fisher's collection, as well as the collections of his friends and family.

Fisher, the visionary behind Somerset, was inspired by a destination — also called Somerset — his family would visit on childhood vacations while living in England.

"It’s a weird place with druids, huge solstice celebrations, Glastonbury Festival (our Burning Man) and all kinds of general monkey business. We usually went on long trips to Africa or the Middle East, but when we had less time and needed to get away somewhere a little closer to home, it was always Somerset," Fisher tells CityBeat via email.

"We want our Somerset to be that for our guests; a place that’s just on your doorstep, where you can go to recharge and feel like you are somewhere far away, even if just for a little while."

Read our full feature on Somerset at

| Photos by Hailey Bollinger