This winter, through a back entrance off an alleyway in the heart of Over-the-Rhine, you’ll be able to make your way downward, far beneath the streets of Cincinnati, to a covert sanctuary. This is not a historic tour we’re talking about, but a nightspot unlike anything the region has yet seen.
The conception of Josh Heuser, of Agar, Transept and BLINK notoriety, Ghost Baby is backed by a group called The Academy, referred to as “a society of scholars, artists, socializers, observers, and the like, intent on establishing a space focused on inclusion and belonging and creating an inviting, one-of-a-kind experience.”
Ghost Baby is not intended to be your usual nightclub, but rather “an urbane theatre of people that is restaged every evening into an ever-changing, unexpected and unforgettable haunt; a dimly-lit den swaddled in crushed velvet and unpredictability; a clubby, grainy hideaway where every guest making an entrance transfigures the room.”
The subterranean space was originally created as a tunnel for Champion Brewing in the 1850s, and features high ceilings and stone arches. Movers & Makers enjoyed a tour of the raw space earlier in 2019.
According to Heuser, “The Ghost Baby space was instrumental in bringing our concept to life. The space is exceptional; it has been around for a very long time and we are honored to care for the space, celebrate its beauty and pay homage to its history while also creating new experiences, stories and memories.”
Among Ghost Baby’s reported partnerships is one with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, which will curate exclusive programs for an intimate concert environment that is an important feature of the space.
“We’re excited to partner with Josh and the Academy to curate intimate, alternative musical experiences just for Ghost Baby,” said CSO President Jonathan Martin. “CSO musicians and our visiting guest artists often love to get outside of Music Hall, and the CSO and Ghost Baby have a shared goal of bringing brilliant talent to new audiences in unexpected spaces.”
Heuser conceives an eclectic array of intimate musical and other performance experiences, expanding beyond chamber music to a wide range of popular music styles, performance art … the door seems open to ideas.
And beyond the concert experience is a separate space for subterranean socializing – champagne, cocktails, craft beers and more.
Plans are to open before the end of the year.