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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Bourbon, Antiques, Long-Haired-Eighties-Rock Nights, and More at New Bar

The Highlander Bourbon and Wine Bar is part of the #FTMFamily

Does your local bar serve a selection of wine, craft beer and bourbon? Of course. Do you have the option to take your glass and watch the television posted on the wall or listen to live music? Sure. How about moving from the bar to see 17,500 square feet filled with antiquities, repurposed furniture, and collectibles? Rob Robinson, owner of Fort Thomas Antiques and Design Center, is offering all of these options at the newly-opened Highlander Bourbon and Wine Bar.

It's located in the Fort Thomas Plaza as the anchor tenant in the old Fischer Homes building.
Robinson decided to open the Highlander Bourbon and Wine Bar inside of the Antiques and Design Center, which also serves a full range of coffee drinks, to offer more selection for customers browsing the antiques collections. After scoping out other antique markets and noticing they only offered limited-service coffee products, he wanted to provide more.

“Having a full-service coffee bar was one of the cornerstones of the whole business plan,” Robinson said.

After writing the lease covering the building and parking lot where Fort Thomas Antiques and Design Center sits, he wanted to take the coffee bar even further. He worked with the City of Fort Thomas to apply for a liquor license in November and received in February, which is when the bar opened.

“The Highlander Bourbon and Wine Bar is a really unique concept, in the fact that it’s in an antique and design center, so it’s not like going to a typical bar,” he said. “You can get a glass of wine, you can do a bourbon flight, …you can have a craft beer, and then just walk around.”

Ryan Eten, the Chief Bourbon Officer at the Highlander Bourbon and Wine Bar, works with Robinson to organize events, maintain the bar, and showcase some of the more than forty bourbons that they currently have in-house. The plan is to have as many as 200 different bourbons for customers to choose.

“Anytime there’s a new bourbon, we just buy it,” he said. “We’re just trying to get as many options as possible.”

The Antiques and Design Center hosts a variety of events through the week to provide a night out for locals.

“With the Highlander Music Series on Friday nights, we choose (somewhat randomly) a different genre of recorded music,” Robinson said.

Recent Friday nights from the Series have included Frank Sinatra, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and long-haired-eighties-rock night.

Saturday nights showcase local live music.

“The acoustics in here are just ideal for live music,” Robinson said.

To learn more about the Highlander Bourbon Bar, you can visit it at the Antique and Design Center between 9 a.m.- 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m.- 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Sunday. The bourbon starts flowing after 11 a.m.

Whether the antiques, coffee, music, or bourbon suit you, there is sure to be enough to see and more.

“People are just amazed at how constantly entertained they can be,” Eten said. “There are so many different options. Rob always says it’s like a museum where you can drink and touch things. Where else can you do that?”

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