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Anderson’s oldest pub is Anderson’s newest pub

Township Fields & Tavern
4575 Mount Carmel Road, Cincinnati, OH 45244
(513) 831-0160

Township Field’s & Tavern is Anderson’s oldest pub. I knew the name well, but never considered it as a place to get any grub. I’ve been in a few times over the years, and it wasn’t exactly a place to dine. Or even carry-out for that matter. It was softball. Softball players, fans & friends on the field and in the bar. No one was in the kitchen. Not since it was The Golden Pheasant generations ago.
Proud new owner Bryan, explained “We opened dead set on offering some seriously good food... but we couldn’t even use the kitchen... it took us a lot of work and money just to get it up and running to serve what we are now...” That’s ridiculous! The oldest pub in Anderson, a Little Miami river view dining room, cozy wood decor, fireplace and all, and no food. Oh well, better no food than sh!t food I suppose.
After decades of just beer & ball, there is food again. It’s not a three page menu, but everyone would agree the initial options are ample for a pub. Burgers, Wings, Hoagies, Phillys, Quesadillas, Fish (Corona battered and all) and Cincinnati Chili. I may be forgetting a few other items but you get it, it’s quintessential pub grub. It’s cheap too.
6 bucks buys a man size meal with soda and tax. It’s the Tavern’s daily meal deal. There’s no drive thru but the cost is the same as McClown’s. Naturally, the food is better. This is the place Evans, Bzak, Senco, Heekin, Brewer and other Roundbottom/Route 50 working folks need to remember. Not only is it the closest eatery, it’s becoming one of the best, plus no fast food joint is really any cheaper. Fast food joints don’t serve beer either.
I give them credit. They’re making the effort. House made BBQ, ranch, blue cheese and hot sauces show good merit opposed to the store bought norm variety. Good sauces too. The herb rich ranch is spot on. As is the thickest Blue cheese I’ve ever had. Wings are sauced with; KC style bbq (thick, rich, smoky & sweet), buttery garlic hot (silky, smooth and spicy), and WTF hot (guess). Or any combination of sauces. I say the buttery garlic hot with WTF is my fave. Seriously, try it, at least on a couple. And don’t be scared, the WTF is hotter than Texas Pete for sure but it’s not brain buzzing hot. It’s more about deep flavors.
Cincinnati chili is all about flavor too. There are many copies of that first pot of Empress chili since 1922. If you offer one, it had better be good. While I waited to try Township’s chili I was thinking about my last mom & pop chili experience, Eastside Chili, it doesn’t taste or even smell like Cincy chili. It’s Texas chili with a Cincy texture. OK, but seriously misnamed. I knew when I smelled it, Township’s chili is Cincy chili. Thicker (a great thing) and meatier too. It’s a stick to your ribs version. I like it. It has much merit. You can bet the portion trumps any chili chain as well.
Hand breading their fish with Corona beer batter shows merit as well. It’s big, crispy, tasty, flaky and filling. I shared one and had zero complaints. Often fish is a risk in a pub. Usually it’s Sam’s Club crap. This is the real deal. And, deal? For $6 with fries and a drink, it’s probably not very profitable. But turning new customers into repeat customers is.
Townships Field’s & Tavern new owner is focused on the value of repeat business. He offers a loyalty card for patrons to earn points good for freebie food, no cover charges and discounts on ball leagues come spring. Even half of a team could rack up a field discount if they worked the card hard for a whole winter. If I still lived 12 minutes away (by quad) as I used to, I’d wear that card out.
In an effort to get the pub loud proud and lively again, evening entertainment is offered 7 days a week. Karaoke, DJ, A one of a kind “Sons of Anarchy” night, and popular live bands on the weekends. Don’t quote me, but I suspect they will serve that good food as late as people keep ordering it.
It’s going to be hard to re-wire the local brains to remember that Township Field’s is a grub pub now. It’s not easy to put out good food with slow sales because fresh ingredients go bad. If the locals embrace it as an eatery, the kitchen can hold it’s own and establish a reputation for quality (and price) and thrive.
I’m sure the live bands and week day promos will kick start the nightlife. There isn’t much to do from Newtown to Owensville, not to mention Barg Salt, Tealtown, Sugar Camp, Dry Run, Binning and Perintown. Those folks alone should see this as a oasis of entertainment worthy of the 8 minute trip.
I wonder how many people just like me who drive by all the time and never realize that the old familiar tavern has a new owner, a new menu and a whole new attitude? If even 1 in 100 stopped in for a bite, a drink or a night out, the old tavern would have a new lease on life. Word will spread. If it’s true “You get back what you put in”, the Township Field’s & Tavern will attract locals and bustle busily for the first time in along time.