"We've had great success with the bourbon followers we have in the store," said April Petri, general manager for the Oscar Event Center. "We offer a Whiskey Night festival and, over the past two years, we've started our bourbon dinners, so we've developed quite a following."
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Designed by hand and built with reclaimed wood, the bar is open to the public from 4 to 10 p.m. every Wednesday and Thursday. When not open as a bar, it is available to rent for private events.
The bar employs an overhead conveyor belt to deliver 45 selections like Pappy Van Winkle and Elmer T. Lee Kentucky Straight Bourbon. Purchased four years ago from a going-out-of business dry cleaners in Mason by “Jungle” Jim Bonaminio, the revolving rack is aimed at drawing attention to hard-to-find bourbon brands.
“What Jungle really likes about it is when you’re here at the bar … and you see someone else order a drink, all of sudden this turns on and it captures your attention,” said Zack Cobb, the Jungle Jim’s creative services director. “You’re seeing the rotating selection from right where you’re standing.”
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A full bourbon list is available on The Oscar Station's website with a cocktail menu available at the bar. Shots range from $5.50 to $150.
Besides whiskey, the bar also offers a host of other spirits, plus wine and craft beer. Metal guard rails cover the bottom portion of the bar, and tables are crafted from former bowling alleys.
The Oscar Station is connected to The Oscar Event Center by a monorail purchased from Kings Island. It operates during select Junglefests and private events, weather permitting.
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An area once used to store extra monorail cars has been converted into a covered outdoor back patio, accessible through open garage doors in warmer months.
The new facility debuted in November during Jungle Jim's International Wine Festival and, by December, every weekend was booked for weddings, birthday parties and corporate events, Petri said.
If the Oscar Station ends up a profitable venture it would be expanded as part of a planned second phase of the project, according to Phill Adams, Jungle Jim’s director of development. That means room for a a kitchen, larger bathrooms and a fenced-in area to accommodate festivals serving alcohol, Adams said.
An event from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday will feature live music, raffles and giveaways with food available to purchase via interactive stations and drinks available for purchase at the bourbon bar. Admission is free, and the monorail will be available to ride Saturday as a way of celebrating the new venue.
“Everyone’s always said ‘I want to ride the monorail. It’s never running.” Adams said. “Well, here you go.”
For more information, visit www.Junglejims.com/the-oscar-event-center.