Habits Café – Cincinnati, Ohio
It’s October and all this month we've been exploring haunted drinking establishments - restaurants, taverns, wineries, any place that serves spirits … and has “spirits.”
Let’s hit the road one more time and discover who or what it is that makes these places so dark and brooding…
Habits Café has been a part of the Oakley community for 35 years. Founded in 1980, this neighborhood bar and grill, located on the eastern side of Cincinnati, offers a quaint atmosphere in which to enjoy outstanding food and after-work drinks. But not all is what it seems at this eclectic eatery.
Long before it was Habits Café, this building was home to a neighborhood bar. In one version of the story, the tavern owner was a notorious person who had spent time in jail. Back out on the street, he quickly returned to his criminal ways of dealing in hot merchandise. A bent cop discovered his secret and the two went into operation together. The cop would keep attention diverted from the bar and the owner would cut him in for a part of the take.
The ruse seemed to be working well until someone became too greedy. One night, the owner lured the cop into the basement of the building and shot him to death.
It was rumored that the bar owner was gunned down not long afterwards in the alley by the café. No one knew the exact details of the shooting and without some tips; the police had nothing to go on ...
In another version of the story - one night, a patron had too much to drink and became belligerent when the management stopped service. The police were called, but the man refused to leave. When the officer arrived, the intoxicated patron was in the basement where he grabbed a shotgun and struck the policeman in the head. The officer died at the scene. The customer was later arrested.
While it is known that a policeman was killed in the basement of the building, the exact details have become sketchy over time. Whisperings, cold spots and the feeling of being watched are prevalent downstairs, though.
Today, customers report that phone and camera batteries drain quickly. Staff members have witnessed the lights being unexplainedly turned on and off, and have seen items thrown through the air by no visible presence.
If you’re in the Queen City for Halloween this year, dinner at Habits Café may be just the thing for a spooktacular evening out.
3036 Madison Road
Hours: 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.