When discussing where to go this week for Dives Without Wives, we realized that a good old bar on the Westside hadn’t been included in our trips yet. This seemed like a travesty to me. I’ve only spent a limited amount of time on the west side of Cincinnati, but from what I know, you can’t go more than about two blocks without finding some hole-in-the-wall sports bar. The question becomes, “How do you choose which to visit first?” When one offers a buy-one-get-one-free burger night, that pretty much settles which to visit first. Thus, last night we dined at Maloney’s Pub.
Well, you don’t go to Maloney’s Pub for its curb appeal. In fact, I didn’t even take a picture of the outside. It’s just not worth talking about. But inside Maloney’s you find the atmosphere of a classic bar: sports stuff on the walls, dart boards, pool tables, a popcorn machine, and a nice long bar. According to our west side buddies, this place is normally packed on burger night, but last night it was a ghost town. Apparently, the low crowd meant they thought one server would suffice. Barbie, as I’m told, has worked at Maloney’s for over ten years, but she was outmatched by the little crowd last night. As empty as it was, serving everyone with just one person was a tall order. She tried her best, but I would have drunk at least one more beer had I believed I could get it refilled in a timely manner. No knock on Barbie here, but a knock on whoever thought she should be stuck there by herself.
Much like Quatman’s, our orders were simple: burger and beer for pretty much everyone. I think Drew got a tea or something, but to each his own I guess. Hilly was the only person to deviate from the order a slight bit when he told Barbie to, “make it how she’d make her own.” As you can see from the picture, his burger came on Texas toast and had a little extra flare to it. Paired with each of our burgers were criss-cut fries that took me back to my Skipper’s days. The only complaint about the food would be the portion size of the fries. The portion was probably an “appropriate” portion, but here in the good ol’ USA we assume an appropriate portion at a bar like this would be a heaping pile of at least 2,000 calories. I actually didn’t feel that guilty about my meal since the burger wasn’t huge and I think I had about seven fries, but I go to places like that to gorge myself on greasy food and beer and feel guilty after.
Overall, the burger was pretty good. Nothing crazy… normal size, normal quality. It won’t win any best burger awards this year, but it could win an award for its price: $8.25 for a burger, fries, and a giant 32oz beer. Are you kidding me? Less than ten bucks for what would be nearly fifteen almost anywhere else? I can’t go to Subway for under nine bucks, and you better believe Subway frowns upon drinking beer inside their establishments.
Thanks to Nate, one of the guys in our group, we were also given a brief history lesson about the place. It used to be divided up quite a bit more with walls and what not, but over the years it had evolved into a more open concept. The only exception was the room with the pool tables. It has a giant “Eddie’s” sign above it, and according to Nate this used to be a different bar altogether. Eddie’s had a unique place in bar history as it hosted St. Dominic’s events while the church was being renovated. It’s these little tidbits of information that give a place like Maloney’s its unique character. Nate was quick to mention, “This is the only place beside my house that I have been going to for more than twenty years.” In twenty years, two places have remained steady in Nate’s life… his house and his family’s favorite bar & grill. His family barber came in a close third in the “places I’ve been going the longest” contest. I have to respect every part of that.
The low-down on Maloney’s is simple: good prices, friendly service, and plenty of space. Don’t expect a huge pile of fries with your meal but at under nine bucks I feel guilty complaining. Also don’t expect super quick service when the manager only schedules one poor soul to work the place. (Oh and in case you’re wondering, BOGO burger night is always on Tuesdays.)
Maloney’s Pub 408 Greenwell Avenue, Cincinnati OH