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MANSFIELD, Ohio (WCMH) — Caverns unearthed in central Ohio five years ago are now home to an upscale restaurant offering an eight-course fine-dining experience. 

(Courtesy Photo/Prohibition at the Caverns)

Prohibition at the Caverns welcomes guests at the rear of 51 E. Fourth St., across from The Warehouse Tavern and City Grille in downtown Mansfield. The restaurant sits nearly 30 feet underground in two caves built by German immigrants during the 19th century. 

“It’s a very unique experience,” said owner Rick Taylor. “The caverns are made from sandstone blocks that were [quarried] in Richland County, and it’s just an amazing structure.” 

The caves were found in 2018 when construction was underway for Hudson & Essex, a premier restaurant also owned by Taylor featuring a deli and a winery. Taylor said the caverns were built around the Civil War for fermenting and predicts there are several other caves in the area that have been filled in or are waiting to be rediscovered. 

Now, after waiting three years for city approval and months of renovations, visitors can travel by elevator down below Hudson & Essex for reservations at Prohibition on Friday and Saturday evenings. The space can hold 40 guests and is available for private events, including wedding rehearsal dinners. 

Prohibition’s menu boasts a rotating selection, including fry bread and goat cheese, charred trout with lemon aioli, Peking goose, blackberry sorbet, apple cake, and gingerbread ice cream. The experience is available for $190 per person with wine pairings or $165 per person without wine. View a sample menu here

“The menu changes, but it’s an eight-course gourmet meal,” Taylor said. “We use local produce, meat, fish, vegetables, and we prepare it in the kitchen right above the caverns.” 

Learn more and make a reservation at Prohibition at the Caverns here