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From left: Happy Amber (MadTree), Dad (Rhinegeist), and Storm (Braxton) / Image: Phil Armstrong, Cincinnati Refined // Published: 12.7.16

This Downtown Bar's Business Model Is Inspired By The Stock Market

Alright, here’s the thing: I’m not going to pretend like I understand the how the stock market functions.

That’s right. I’m unwilling to put on the façade of a savvy businessman who’s knowledgeable about a thing, even though I have the tiniest sliver of a shred of understanding of how it actually works. All I know is it’s, like, the most economically powerful thing on the planet and little Christmas-colored arrows either point up or down, making grown men in slick suits and loosened ties excitedly throw piles of paper in the air in either anger or jubilation.

And I’d be willing to bet that, aside from a handful of CR readers, you don’t either. And you know what? That’s perfectly fine. It’s not the end of the world to not understand that NASDAQ isn’t a sport involving super-fast motor vehicles that’s popular in rural areas of the United States.

Kidding. I know NASDAQ isn’t NASCAR. I definitely did not Google it to make sure.

But all that NYSE/NASDAQ/IDK stuff aside, there’s a newly-opened bar on Court Street that’s actually built like the stock market model. It’s called Queen City Exchange, and its premise is far less complicated than you think.

It prices beer like it's a stock on Wall Street, with fluctuating costs based on popularity. The most popular beer has the highest price tagged to it, while the least popular beer is just the opposite. Simple as that. No paper throwing, no angry investors, no eight blocks of Lower Manhattan infuriating Bernie Sanders.

Just beer. 41 taps of it, to be precise.

QCE is also stocked (sorry, had to) with growlers, cocktails, wine, and all the good drinking you’re used to. The rest of the bar is decked out in TV screens and comfortable places to sit. A hanging projector hits a blank wall with whatever sport is currently airing, and local art (at the time of this writing, it’s predominantly vintage-themed Reds paintings) lines the walls from front to back.

Speaking of which, Queen City Exchange is deceptively huge. You can very likely squeeze a large group into QCE instead of an OTR bar on a Friday night. Court Street is only across Central, after all.

But enough of this gobbledygook about stocks and beer! Go check out the gallery above and also invest some honest drinking time in Queen City Exchange. I’d be willing to bet my exorbitant hedge fund you’ll enjoy it.


Queen City Exchange is located at 32 W Court Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202.