Maybe it was a dare or maybe I was curious but I felt it necessary to drop into Lachey’s bar while in Cincinnati. The show Lachey’s: Raising the Bar was an expose of the trials and tribulations of opening a sports bar in the US midwest. Of course, the Lachey brothers gained notoriety as two members of 98 degrees. Although hailing from Ohio, the quartet fled to west coast to gain fame as one of many cookie cutter boy bands that were prominent at the time. After a decade’s hiatus, they joined NKOTB and Boyz II Men as members of “the package” tour in 2013. I neither watched the show nor listened to the music (now or then) but I felt compelled to visit to see if the bar warranted the hype.
One of the first thing I noticed about the website (other than Nick’s glistening teeth) was the fact it had a rather long happy hour. One could enjoy a couple of bucks off any draft beer, wine or cocktail until 8 pm on weeknights. Although it was a Monday, I had no idea what to expect crowd wise, so I rushed my daughter so we wouldn’t arrive too late. We probably got there around 630 to a nearly empty bar. The decor was nice enough (my daughter specifically asked me point out how nice the washrooms…err…restrooms were) and we waited and watched one of the many televisions before a somewhat disgruntled waitress came by to take our order. There was no mention of the happy hour or any half price appetizer. I asked about a specific beer and she had no idea where it was from although she did look it up later.
Food wise, we ordered Not Your Nana’s Meatballs ($9), the chicken tenders ($9 plus $2.50 for the tots) and the hair of the dog burger ($12.50 plus $2.50 for the tots). The meatballs were dry and cold (so they clearly were not my Nana’s. The chicken tenders were a bit overdone and the sauces (honey mustard and house BBQ) were mediocre and although I didn’t try the burger, reports from the table were that it was pretty good. The tots were ok.
When I got the bill, there were $2 off my pints as promised although I felt there was a bit of souvenir pricing for the food.
I came to Lachey’s with an open mind and free of any angst caused by exposure to boy band music in my younger years. Despite this, I was generally disappointed by the experience. The chicken tenders with accompanying sauces were average and the meatballs weren’t even 98 degrees. The happy hour beer was a steal but the food was a bit pricey. Service wise, the waitress might as well sung “Was it something I didn’t say?” because she didn’t say much. Unfortunately, in the end, I didn’t leave the place humming “Thank God I Found You”.