The Video Archive is a small, brightly lit video store on a quiet block in Cincinnati, Ohio.
But if you’re lucky enough to pull the correct B-grade horror flick tape off the shelf, the walls open up to reveal a hidden speakeasy. And not just any speakeasy – one dedicated to the life and work of director Quentin Tarantino, who worked at a store called The Video Archive before hitting it big.
The bar is the brainchild of Jacob Trevino, a longtime Tarantino fan. “The bar pays homage to not just his films but films that inspired his films,” Trevino tells CNN Travel.
While speakeasies are trendy now, The Video Archive manages to feel fun and exclusive without hitting the theme too hard, meaning that non-movie buffs will have just as good a time as hardcore Tarantino fanatics.
The easiest place to spot the theme is on the drinks menu, which features cocktails such as the Jackie Brown (bourbon, elderflower liqueur, blackberry purée and salted honey) and the Bloody Mia (a Bloody Mary with lemon juice and celery salt on the rim).
There’s also sake, wine, milkshakes and a healthy representation of beer from the Cincinnati area, including local favorite breweries MadTree and Rhinegeist.
And, of course, the menu wouldn’t be complete without food – specifically, a Royale with Cheese.
Tarantino movies play on a loop behind the bar, and there’s a jukebox surrounded by photos of people dressed as Mia Wallace, the Uma Thurman character in “Pulp Fiction” best recognized by her black bob and crisp white button-down.
On a wall opposite the bar, a wink at Tarantino’s love of violent movie sequences takes the shape of a neon “Bang Bang” sign on a black background.
While the bar has already become a must-visit spot for in-the-know locals and movie buffs, there’s still one VIP who hasn’t yet had the chance to pull a lucky VHS tape off the wall: the director himself.
“Mr. Tarantino has an open invitation at the bar that we hope he takes us up on,” says Trevino. “We’ll have a shot of green chartreuse waiting because, as he famously said, “green chartreuse - a liquor so good they named a color after it.”
The Video Archive, 965 E McMillan St, Cincinnati, OH 45206