Ron’s Roost: An Iconic West Side Eatery   

If you live on the West Side of Cincinnati, or have ever visited, you are probably aware of Ron’s Roost. It’s hard to miss the giant rooster on the roof of the restaurant or the equally iconic “chicken-mobile” easily visible in the parking lot. It’s a West Side icon. They specialize in all things chicken with a warm and inviting atmosphere.  I love a nice evening on their enclosed patio with a big group of friends and family and my favorite of their dishes- chicken and waffles.  Ron’s Roost has a big heart for their community, and the community has a big heart for them! A recent picture of first generation owner Olga Larkin with Buddy LaRosa at the restaurant nearly broke the internet. Both are immediately recognizable to their community. I recently caught up with the Larkin Family to learn more about their story. 

Ron's Roost
Photo: Ron’s Roost Restaurant & Bar Facebook

How long have you been in business?  

Since 1960. 

Who is “Ron” and how did Ron’s Roost get started?  

Ron Larkin Sr. and Olga originally started with a Hitching Post. They later left the franchise and went out on their own. 

Tell me about OLGA! I know she loves flowers. 

Olga was born in 1928 in Slovenia (then Yugoslavia). During World War 2, she, as well as other youths, were ordered to Austria to pick crops. After the war ended and borders were closing, returning home to Yugoslavia wasn’t the best option. There was heavy war damage and little or no work. She opted to come to the US through a women’s Catholic work program. Imagine a European countryside, hence her love for flowers! 

This is a family business, what’s it like to work with family every day?  

Yes, Ron and Olga were the first generation to own and operate Ron’s Roost. Their sons, Mark and Ron, were second. The reigns are now being passed to the third generation, Ron and Matt. Most days are great, we are all together. Some days can be a bit challenging. 

My favorite menu item at Ron’s Roost is the chicken and waffles, but what is the best seller? 

Obviously, the fried chicken, followed by our ribs, sauerbraten, and fish! 

Ron's Roost
Photo: Ron’s Roost Restaurant & Bar on Facebook

You have a very unique transportation mode- the “chicken-mobile”, how did you come up with that idea?  

Ron Larkin (Olga and Ron Sr’s son) saw a picture in a California magazine. It was a yellow Cadillac with a chicken in it. He researched a bit and determined an El Camino was a better choice! He found the car, and sent it to Wisconsin where the bird was installed on top. 

Any famous visitors? 

Al Roker, Pete Rose, Mayors Mallory and Pureval, Bill Cunningham, and of course Seg! 

Ron's Roost
Photo: Ron’s Roost Restaurant & Bar on Facebook

What’s the most unique thing a guest has ever asked for? 

To borrow the car!! 

You are very involved in your community, what are some of the ways you’ve participated/given back to the west side? 

We’ve sponsored various schools and their programs. Mostly, Elder! We are always a part of the Harvest Home Parade. We do many church festivals over the summer. 

What do you think sets Ron’s Roost apart from other chicken restaurants? 

Our wide variety of menu choices. We cook to order. And of course, locally owned. The west side is very loyal. 

Visit Ron’s Roost online or follow them on Facebook. 

Looking to experience another amazing restaurant on the West Side? Try this one.