I love it when an atmosphere of art and food collide. That’s what you get when you dine inside a former pottery kiln at The Rookwood Pottery Food and Beverage Company.
You may have fond memories of dining at The Rookwood, the previous restaurant located in this building that closed back in 2016.
In early November of 2021, Rookwood Pottery Food and Beverage Company opened their restaurant in the same historic building that dates back to 1892.
*Unfortunately this restaurant has permanently closed since my visit.
The new owners of the restaurant worked on renovations for two years. The changes they made still honor ties to the historic facility.
Rookwood Pottery was one of the first female-owned manufacturing companies in the United States headed and founded by artist Maria Longworth-Nichols in 1880.
Rookwood Pottery gained international respect by receiving a Gold medal in Paris in 1889.
If you want to learn even more about Rookwood, I would definitely recommend taking a Rookwood factory tour downtown.
You can also view pieces of Rookwood pottery on display at the Cincinnati Art Museum located down the road in Cincinnati’s Mt. Adams neighborhood.
Honoring Rookwood History in the Renovations
The renovation included restoring tables and chairs that were used in the previous Rookwood Pottery restaurant.
The tables now include the date that The Rookwood Pottery Food and Beverage Company opened.
The new owners also discovered gorgeous stain glass windows of Cincinnati landmarks in the basement.
They have been restored and are now displayed throughout the restaurant.
You can Dine Inside One of Three Former Pottery Kilns
I love unique dining experiences and dining inside a former pottery kiln is definitely unique!
Inside the Dining Kiln
Each of the pottery kilns looks different on the inside.
One of the kilns has a nod to all of the incredible Rookwood pottery artists throughout the years.
The former pottery kiln does give you a lot of privacy which is nice if you want a dining experience that is a little more intimate with friends or on date.
The barrel-shaped lighting fixture and light colored wood on the inside resemble a larger barrel. The sound is more insulated because of the wood and the lighter grain tones make it appear more open than the previous design.
The pottery kilns are typically reserved for larger groups but we arrived at a later time that wasn’t very busy and they were able to accommodate our special request.
You Can Make a Reservation to Dine Inside a Pottery Kiln Ahead of Time
They do take advance reservations of the pottery kilns. These are very popular and limited because there are only three kilns in the restaurant.
How the Kilns Previously Looked During The Rookwood Restaurant Era
You can really appreciate the renovation changes when you see previous pictures of the inside of the kiln.
I like that the inside of the kilns are lighter inside now instead of the black walls and ceiling as they previously were. My husband said the dark inside of the kiln made him feel a little claustrophobic during our visit in 2015.
Other Seating Options at The Rookwood Pottery Food and Beverage Company
If you get claustrophobic, dining inside the pottery kiln is probably not for you. There are plenty of other seating options within the restaurant dining room.
There is both booth seating and tables for a variety of party sizes throughout the restaurant and crow’s nest (on the second floor).
Rookwood Pottery Food and Beverage Company is one of the few new restaurants that can accommodate large parties easily. There is a large space with seating for up to 80 in the basement, which is perfect for private parties because it offers it’s own full service bar.
There is also a great outdoor patio space with a bar and two levels of seating areas that are great during warmer weather.
You can even see views of downtown Cincinnati in the distance. If you walk to the edge of the parking lot there is an even better view.
The Menu at The Rookwood Pottery Food and Beverage Company
It might be a little overwhelming at first when choosing what to order.
You’ll find both classic American cuisine and Thai cuisine on the menu along with breakfast that’s served on weekends. The new owners formerly owned Teak in Mount Adams which explains the Thai/Asian influence for some of the menu items.
They also want to honor some of the previous favorites on the menu. Their hours will eventually to stretch from breakfast time to late evening which explains the large breakfast menu. Their menu will also be expanding in the coming months.
The new restaurant also has a coffee bar and dessert shop.
What We Tried at The Rookwood Pottery Food and Beverage Company
My friend and I have a strategy of always sharing our food so that we can try two menu items. After owner Brian Michaud / head chef’s recommendations, we technically tried a few more.
We started with the Rook porridge which is complimentary with your meal.
Next came a bonus pancake because we had a hard time narrowing down our savory and sweet options. The pancake reminded us of the fluffiness of a cake with crisp edges.
We split the chicken hoagie and the pork chop which are both marinated for several days because great flavors take a lot of time. The chicken hoagie is topped with peppers and onions that are prepared on a wok.
They also make their own XO and tartar sauce, which is perfect for dipping your fries in.
The glazed pork chop is a premium cut, glazed 10 oz. flame-grilled pork. It was tender and had a wonderful flavor.
For our sides we opted for the wok-broccoli and wok-asparagus that were flavorful and crisp.
*As of 1/5/22 they do not yet have their liquor license. That is subject to change any day now. Check their website or call for more info.
More Information on The Rookwood Food and Beverage Company
The Rookwood is a great place to visit for a date night or evening out with friends and is open 7 days a week.
You can find out more about their evolving menu from their website.
Where is the Rookwood Pottery Food & Beverage Company Located?
The Rookwood Pottery Food & Beverage Company is located in the Mount Adams neighborhood at 1077 Celestial St., Cincinnati, OH.
Parking at the Rookwood Pottery Food and Beverage Co.
There is a free parking lot available for restaurant patrons. In fact, this is one of the few restaurants that has a dedicated parking lot. It’s easier to access the parking lot if you are approaching the restaurant from the right direction of the road.
In the evenings, restaurant patrons can also use the additional parking spaces available in front of the office buildings next door.