Covington bourbon bar serves up cocktails & knowledge
The Globe in Covington is a bourbon bar that welcomes you with comfy seating and good conversation … but it wows you with a back bar filled to the ceiling with bourbons and ryes. Click here for the video version of this story.
Bars on The B-Line are required to have 100 kinds of bourbon, but I guess you could say The Globe is an overachiever: it has more than 200 bourbons and ryes ready for you to try.
Tony Milburn and his wife Amy are the owners of the bourbon bar, and they’re no strangers to Covington real estate. They own a nearby property and had their eye on The Globe’s building on 5th Street for years.
“We opened The Globe four years ago. We’d been trying to buy the building for about 17 years. It had been a strip club forever,” Tony said.
They pay homage to the Venus Club with the old signs that were once outside, right inside the bar.
But it’s a photo on the back wall that explains how this spot got its name.
“That is my great-grandfather standing, and his brother,” said Tony. “They’re taking a load of bourbon across the harbor for a party down in Florida. So we were talking about what to name the bar and we were going through some old family pictures we saw that and it just kind of made sense to call it The Globe after the boat.”
The Globe serves all kinds of drinks and cocktails, but, of course, its known for its bourbon. And being a part of the B-Line, Northern Kentucky’s bourbon trail, has been a huge draw.
“It’s a great way to market Northern Kentucky and we really need to get more Kentucky in Northern Kentucky and obviously bourbon makes perfect sense to do that. People are looking for experiences – and the Bourbon Trail has been very successful,” said Tony.
“But we also have a great bourbon history here in Northern Kentucky, so the idea of working on that, introducing it to visitors that come here, to make it more interesting when they come here, it’s just a great feature.”
It’s tough to own a bourbon bar – and yet, not be a big bourbon drinker. Amy Milburn, though, loves The Globe’s bourbon slush, always churning at the corner of the bar.
“The thing that’s so wonderful about bourbon – it’s so versatile,” Tony explain.
The hot seller at The Globe is the 5th Street Manhattan, made with New Riff bourbon. “I think New Riff makes a wonderful cocktail. It’s wonderful to support New Riff, they do a wonderful job up here.” It’s also a fellow member of The B-Line, Northern Kentucky’s bourbon trail.
So, of course, I had to try it, and I was glad I did. Along with New Riff bourbon, it includes sweet vermouth, Meletti Amaro and black walnut bitters, which cuts the sweetness.
My favorite cocktail on The Globe’s menu is the Pass the Buck. It starts with Buck bourbon, plus honey, lemon juice, peach bitters and salt.
It’s perfect for summer.
And you know It’ll be made perfectly because every bartender at The Globe – and all B-Line bars – have to go through a special Stave and Thief training at “Moonshine University.”
“Moonshine University is sponsored by the Distillers Association – the KDA,” Tony explained. “Individuals can take classes there, bartenders can take classes. It’s an opportunity to learn more about bourbon from bourbon experts.”
And that’s the best part about B-Line bars like The Globe … they’re part entertainment, part education.
“We want people to learn more about bourbon, and we love to talk bourbon with people. We love to share things with them,” said Tony. And they also love to learn from their customers.
The Globe’s inventory of bourbons is constantly evolving, partially because of new offerings from the industry, and partially because of input from the customers themselves, who belly up to the bar armed with a great deal of knowledge.
“(Bourbon) is America’s signature spirit,” Tony explains. “And it’s just that’s what Kentucky’s known for.”
And that’s what The Globe is known for as well. Stop by for a cocktail – or try any of The B-Line stops – and find your sipping point.
Bars are just the beginning of the fun on The B-Line. Check out the rest of my series – A Taste of the B-Line – with a behind the scenes tour of the Neeley Family Distillery, and a peek inside the history of the Tousey House Tavern.