Nicholson’s and the Pub at Rookwood Mews Closed for Renovation

…though I’m a bit suspicious. A tipster sent me an email stating that they had heard that Nicholson’s, the Pub and DeSha’s were all closing. I took a few minutes to call around and see what was up. I was just at the Pub on Wednesday, and there was no notice that they would be renovating. Nicholson’s, when I called another Tavern Group restaurant, “is closed for the evening”– which is very different than what the Tavern Group’s PR contact told me when I called, which was “They’re closed indefinitely for renovations”. Generally, when a restaurant renovates, they give a bit of notice– and an end date. That is, of course, if they have no intention of reopening. Both Nicholson’s and the Pub are favorites of mine (and a lot of other people I know) for their fish and chips and beer and Scotch selection. I’d be sad if they were to close. DeSha’s as well as the Pub in Lexington and Crestview Hills remain open.

ETA: Just got contact from Nancy Parrott at the Tavern Group, and she’s preparing a statement that will be released shortly. I’ll keep you updated.

The restaurants closed due to a problem with their Ohio state liquor licenses. Both will get new menus and a new look while they work out the issue.

Here’s the text of the press release:

Nicholson’s and The Pub At Rookwood Mews are closing for renovations while resolving issues that impact the liquor license for each establishment.  At this time the state has not renewed the license for each restaurant due to an error that was made in filing necessary paperwork with the state of Ohio’s Division of Liquor Control.  Nicholson’s will be remain open for lunch only Monday-Friday 11am-3pm.

“We expect that we can come to a quick resolution with the State of Ohio and will use this time to move forward with planned renovations at each restaurant,” says Nick Sanders, Owner.  “Our intention was to provide adequate notice to our staff and customers regarding the renovation schedule, but unfortunately the procedural issues involved with our renewal are now dictating the timeline. I apologize for the last minute notice. We are making every effort to ensure that our employees will not be burdened financially during this time and I am grateful for their support and loyalty.”

Nicholson’s is scheduled to begin renovations on Monday, August 30th.  Inspired by the new look and feel of Walnut Street, the building will be updated with a fresh, modern appearance. The centerpiece of the renovation will be a Nana wall that will open the front walls of the building to the outside, blending the inside with the out.  In addition to cleaning and repairs, The Pub At Rookwood Mews will be completely repainted inside. We are working towards an exciting addition to the Pub and hope to announce more details soon. Nicholson’s and The Pub were also scheduled to introduce new menus in September and will proceed as planned upon re-opening.

Our staff is working to contact guests with dinner or private party reservations.  Customers with questions or concerns can call

Nicholson’s at 513-564-9111 or The Pub at 513-841-2748 between the hours of 11am or 3pm.

36 thoughts on “Nicholson’s and the Pub at Rookwood Mews Closed for Renovation”

  • @winemedineme I was surprised last night to find Nicholsons closed for renovation. I thought I’d missed reading it somewhere.

  • My son cooks at both DeSha’s and Nicholson’s and the employees were told that there was a problem with the liquor license renewal at Nicholson’s and that they would not be open for dinner last night and tonight while it was being corrected…

  • This is really sad-I really liked Nicholsons, it had the most beautiful bar in the area, and a hell of a draught beer selection. Unfortunately, I bet that they are gone for good. The Wife & I had noticed that Nicholsons had gradually gone down hill a bit over the past couple of years; they stopped carrying imported cask ales, they no longer had employees trained in Cellermanship as they once did, the food had gone downhill somewhat and they couldn’t keep knowledgeable quality bartenders employed (i.e., ones that knew how to make a decent cocktail and knew about the beers and whisky selections). I think that they grew to too many locations and lost focus on their flagship operation. I’ve also noticed that Nicholson’s haven’t been drawing the big after work crowd that they used to.

  • My girlfriend works for the company. They did not renew their liquor licenses. Which, to me, spells trouble. Even the renovation excuse is not right. What corporate restaurant group would close 2 of their restaurants at the same time for renovations? Never heard of that.

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  • So the owners knew that they were closing for more than 90 days and yet didn’t say anything to their employees so that they would have some lead time to look for a new job? How f’ing shitty of them. Good riddance to both joints.

  • Some of you guys are jumping to way too many conclusions. And Craig has had one too many beers…

    Nicholson’s was busted on Wednesday morning. Liquor control guy ordered a Bud Light from Nate. None of the employees knew what was happening. Includes Mary, Tony, etc. They have been planning a new menu for some time now, adding more bar type appetizers. This unfortunate incident has just excelled things.

    They’ll be open again soon. Possibly as early as tomorrow afternoon.


    • Nick,

      I certainly hope that you are right and I’m mistaken, however there are some inconsistencies in your account. Why are both Nicholson’s & Rookwood Mew’s liquor licenses (which are separate licenses btw) listed as Inactive and non-renewed by the Ohio department of Liquor Control? Why is Rookwood closed for a violation that allegedly happened at Nicholson’s? Why doesn’t Ohio Liquor Control list this alleged violation in their Permit Holder Violations Database?:

      Lastly, a violation that occurred Wednesday of last week would not result in a license suspension within one week. Ohio permit holders are entitled to a hearing in front of the commission as well as appeals. See the case histories of any of the establishments in the link above and you will understand how these things work.

      I hope that I’m wrong, but I’ll bet a round of beers that I’m not. BTW DeSha’s did renew their license according to the Liquor Control website.

  • I’m with Nick. Keeping hope, at least.

    I’ve been visiting Nicholsons since 1997 when they opened and I agree with a few comments that some quality has declined over the past few years. But, it’s still a gorgeous space, good fish & chips, good salads, good beer (though smaller draught selection), and Jack the kilt-wearing doorman (though we didn’t see him last week – hmm). I was there on Friday night and the two private rooms were packed and they had just rolled out a new menu. I’m not in the restaurant business, but if they were planning on going out of business, would they put that much effort into a new menu (and presentation style of the menu)?

    Here’s to Nicholsons!

  • I don’t know when Kentucky licenses expire but if I worked at the Crestview Hills Pub I would be looking for another job ASAP.

  • This means they have been sold folks, and the new owners messed up on the paperwork. Look at the same list of cancelled licenses. On the list Mr. Hochsheid supplied, I count at least 5 other sold or long closed businesses that let their licenses expire and be cancelled. Dutch’s – new owners – this is the old corporate name……Glendale Pub – old name, new owners now….Latitudes in Milford……on and on. Somebody just pooched the transfers.

  • Both Nicholson’s and the Pub have been illegally buying alcohol at the Pub in Crestview Hills and transporting it over state lines and selling it in Ohio. They for some reason thought this would by go over. Both of their liquor licenses were not renewed and DeSha’s got renewed some time in late June. I would venture to guess they are going to stay closed.

    • I don’t know if I fully believe this story as there are no violations listed for either restaurant on the Liquor Control website. Liquor licenses are not simply ‘not renewed’, license holders are entitled to due process of the law- they would have been charged with violations of the Ohio liquor code and the Liquor Commission would have issued a punishment , which could be anything ranging from a fine to a suspension of their license to revocation of their license (which is the equivalent of the death penalty in our industry).

      Julie, have they ever issued a formal statement?

  • My rehearsal dinner was scheduled to take place there on Saturday September 25th! I was just in there on Monday to see the space. I can’t believe this!

  • :sigh: The Pub was my favorite haunt when I was a city-living-single-girl. You just can’t get that pub feeling anywhere else. Hope they come back better than ever.

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