Streetscapes: You’ll find craft cocktails, old-school luxury, even axe-throwing on this bar crawl

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This story originally appeared in the June 30 edition of the weekly LINK Reader. To get these stories first, subscribe at

NKY’s bar scene is ever-changing, and two of the newest additions have taken over and become must-visit destinations this summer. For patrons who have yet to experience two of the hottest bars of the moment, join us as we head to Covington for a mini bar crawl.  

Second Story 

Second Story may have been the most-anticipated bar opening of the past year. With an original opening date in March, Second Story  curated a following that was eager to visit. After a few months of delays, its long-anticipated arrival was worth the wait.

Second Story is situated on the second story (hence the name) of an old firehouse. As soon as guests walk up the steps, the first thing they’ll see is an enormous faux tree behind the bar. 

Due to the popularity of the bar and the craft nature of each cocktail, drinks take a little longer to create. Each drink is specially crafted, which is an interesting process to watch. The menu consists mostly of cocktails, a few mocktails and some bar basics in cans.

First-time guests should consider a craft cocktail rather than something they could order anywhere. Save the High Noon for another time, for example, and opt for a Columbines in Your Hair, a pretty lilac-colored drink with a sweet and refreshing aftertaste.

Second Story offers a laid-back, bohemian escape ideal for summer evenings. Guests wanting to capitalize on that, and sit in the swing seats, should arrive closer to opening time to enjoy a more relaxed ambiance. For those wanting to meet new people and mingle, Second Story gets busier as the night progresses, making for the perfect environment to socialize. 

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Flying Axes Covington

As much as we all try to take advantage of warm summer days, there are times that everyone could use a break from the sun. Flying Axes is the perfect place to escape the heat and have fun. The original tenant at 100 W. Sixth St., on the bottom floor, Flying Axes lets guests have the fun and somewhat scary experience of throwing axes. 

The staff at Flying Axes ensures that all participants are taught the proper technique for throwing axes, both for safety and scoring. Even though it may seem daunting, as long as guests follow directions, there is no real risk involved. Once the coaches certify that each individual can safely throw, two guests at a time throw axes in an attempt to stick it in a target. 

There is a bar at the back of Flying Axes where guests can choose from seemingly endless canned options from local breweries to international choices. However, guests cannot drink while actively throwing; drinks remain on tables behind them and can be enjoyed after a victorious throw.

Dinner-and-drinks is always a fun option for catching up with friends, but this is a great option for those wanting something more active, without overindulging in the sun. 

Knowledge Bar & Social Room

Another new addition to Covington’s bar scene, Knowledge Bar & Social Room offers a relaxed upscale escape with craft cocktails at the center. Located just around the corner from West Sixth Street, in North by Hotel Covington, this is a stop for those wanting to indulge in excellent drinks, light bites and impeccable service. Drinks are on the pricier end, but they are equally as beautiful as they are delicious. 

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Knowledge makes for a good place to enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail or a post-dinner dessert wine. It offers  six featured cocktails for guests looking to try something new, as well as an ample list of liquor to accommodate guests’ tastes  or customize drinks to their liking.

As with the entire experience at Hotel Covington, Knowledge Bar & Social Room has a classic, old-school vibe. Luxury feels more attainable and authentic here, even if it’s only for one evening or one drink. Every Wednesday, it features live music, a great way to celebrate making it halfway to the weekend.

Much like Second Story, there has been a huge anticipation around its opening. Luckily for guests, the atmosphere at both places is welcoming and relaxed, yet the two places are still vastly different –  making both of them must-visits. 

Have a street, city or business you want to see covered next? Email Maria Hehman at [email protected] and it could be featured on the next installment of LINK Streetscapes. 

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