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Hang Over Easy brings breakfast and bar concept to Short Vine area

Hang Over Easy, a breakfast joint and bar, will soon be up and running in Corryville. Its regular hours begin Friday, when it will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 2:30 a.m.
 
The Pedros brothers opened Mick’s Diner in Columbus in 2002, and after some fine-tuning of their concept, turned it into Hang Over Easy in 2006.
 
“This is a passion project that has evolved into something much bigger,” says Joe Pedro.
 
The Pedros had the opportunity to work in the Short Vine business district for Bearcat Block Parties, and saw the area’s potential. They opened Dive Bar in 2011, which gave them a chance to get their feet wet. It seemed logical that Corryville would be a great spot for a second Hang Over Easy.
 
The 5,000-square-foot restaurant and bar has 30 beers on tap, 12 of which are local. It also has craft root beer and Jameson on tap. The Pedros get sausage for the restaurant once a week from a local farm, and source as many eggs locally as possible.
 
Hang Over Easy makes its own corned beef in-house for its CBH, which is hoe fries (hash browns) topped with corned beef, two eggs and toast. It’s also known for the Dirty Sanchez—scrambled eggs, chorizo, hoe fries and chili con queso in a tortilla, topped with sour cream, salsa, cheese and more queso.
 
Although Hang Over Easy is known for its breakfast, it also serves lunch and dinner, plus a small bite bar menu. Its Black ‘N’ Blue Burger is a bleu cheese stuffed burger topped with onion jam and candied bacon. There’s also chicken and waffles, which are drizzled with a Frank’s Red Hot maple glaze.
 
“We hope to bring our own style of food and hospitality to Short Vine,” Joe says. “It’s a little off-the-cuff, with the down-home goodness of eating at your mom’s house, but with a house party afterward.”
 
Hang Over Easy will be have its grand opening on April 25, with music and other events throughout the weekend.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Nourish Yourself offers healthy, home-cooked meals to busy clients

After a 15-year career with P&G, Cherylanne Skolnicki became a certified health coach and started teaching people how to eat better. In January 2011, she started Nourish Yourself, a service that will cook dinner for you.
 
“The concept of a home-cooked meal resonates with busy families,” Skolnicki says. “Clients want to feed their families fresh, healthy, unprocessed, seasonal food, but struggle with the time and skills to cook those meals. We take the guesswork and challenge out of it.”
 
Nourish’s core team has three employees who focus on everything from customer care to menu development to marketing. A team of nine cooking partners go into clients’ homes and make the magic happen, Skolnicki says.
 
Clients are matched with a Nourish cooking partner in their area—they shop for and prepare meals in your kitchen. Meals are prepared all at once, and Nourish even cleans up afterward.
 
Nourish offers flexible pricing that starts at $159 per week plus groceries, and you choose the service date. Nourish’s winter menu is available on its website, with 50 entrée choices, many of which are freezable, plus fresh salad greens and homemade dressing.
 
The menu changes seasonally, but favorites include healthy makeovers of restaurant dishes, such as chicken enchiladas, Thai basil chicken and buffalo chicken meatballs. Skolnicki says both Nourish’s risotto with asparagus and peas and bison burger with Cabernet caramelized onions and white cheddar are also popular.
 
“Busy is the new reality for today’s families,” Skolnicki says. “We hope to make dining in the new normal for busy, health-conscious households. And cooking is one of the aspects of a healthy lifestyle that you can now outsource and still get all of the benefits.”
 
Today, Nourish serves the Greater Cincinnati area and northwest Arkansas (because of P&G employees), but Skolnicki hopes to expand to other markets in 2014.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Neighborhood Enhancement Program aims to improve Cincinnati quality of life

Cincinnati’s Neighborhood Enhancement Program, a 90-day collaborative effort between city departments, neighborhood residents and community organizations, focuses on developing the assets of individual neighborhoods.
 
By focusing, integrating and concentrating city service delivery and community redevelopment efforts, the NEP’s goal is to improve the quality of life in Cincinnati. Examples of integrated service delivery include concentrating building code enforcement; identifying and “cooling down” crime hot spots; cleaning up streets, sidewalks and vacant lots; beautifying landscapes, streetscapes and public right-of-ways; and engaging property owners and residents to create and sustain a more livable neighborhood. Targeted areas are identified through an analysis of building code violations, vacant buildings, disorder and drug calls, drug arrests, graffiti, junk autos, litter and weeds.
 
Neighborhoods with the most successful NEPs have taken key steps before the program begins, while it’s taking place and after it has ended. To date, Price Hill, Avondale, Northside, Clifton Heights/University Heights/Fairview, Westwood, Evanston, College Hill, Madisonville, Mt. Washington, Corryville, Over-the-Rhine, Bond Hill, Kennedy Heights, Pendleton, Mt. Airy and Carthage have participated in the NEP program.

East Price Hill and Walnut Hills are participating in the program this year.
 
Before beginning the NEP, a neighborhood must consider its community’s commitment to the program. Stakeholders must agree on what needs to be done in the neighborhood, and want to improve the neighborhood as a whole. An NEP Steering Committee needs to be established, which is made up of a community council representative, a business association representative, a redevelopment agency representative (if applicable) and a resident who lives in the neighborhood, and come up with a list of goals to accomplish within the NEP time frame.
 
The NEP has won numerous awards, including the President’s Award from the Ohio Conference for Community Development.

Check out Soapbox's "Hot 'Hoods" features on Price Hill and Walnut Hills to see NEP practices in action.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Neighborhood Asset Mapping tool focuses on neighborhoods' strengths

The Community Building Institute recently partnered with Xavier University and the United Way of Greater Cincinnati to develop and launch the Neighborhood Asset Mapping tool. It’s an online resource that allows all 52 Cincinnati neighborhoods to create a profile of community-based assets and resources in the area.
 
NAT was made available to the public this spring,and was in development for six to eight months before that. It’s free, and it promotes engagement and resource-sharing among residents. Residents can add assets to NAT, and they’re immediately available to other users.
 
“If you’re new to the community or thinking of moving to a neighborhood, you can find what’s going on there,” says Trina Jackson, program director of the Community Building Institute. “You can find community councils and neighborhood associations. Lots of people don’t know about grassroots organizations, and Nat allows residents to connect with one another through smaller organizations.”
 
The United Way helps support community development and community-based organizations, and NAT is the community engagement arm for Xavier, Jackson says. “We were focused on getting people connected with each other, and helping them see what’s out there.”
 
For example, in Evanston, many people know about the employment resource center. But if you’re not from the neighborhood, you don’t necessarily know it’s there, so you turn to the computer or your phone to find the things you need.
 
NAT focuses on a neighborhood’s strengths, and doesn’t include crime data or vacant property statistics. It's intened to be used by new and potential residents, entrepreneurs and developers as a tool to help find the best locations to live, work and play.
 
The Community Building Institute plans to host a series of “data entry parties” where people can get together and enter assets into NAT and learn new things about the neighborhood they live in. The first one is planned for Walnut Hills, but the date is to be determined.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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UC tech accelerator moves to Short Vine

The University of Cincinnati’s Technology Commercialization Accelerator recently opened at its temporary space on Short Vine. The accelerator’s permanent home at 2630 Vine Street is undergoing renovations, and is expected to be ready next year.
 
The move is due to a partnership between the accelerator and SV ARX, LLC, a Short Vine development group. The collaboration began with the signing of a memorandum of understanding in early 2012 when the accelerator was launched.
 
The accelerator, which was founded to bridge the gap between early-stage technology and investment dollars, focuses on identifying promising, early-stage technologies; assessing technologies to determine viable startup company opportunities; developing commercialization strategies; and facilitating the work necessary to move technology toward commercialization. It offers a number of services, including a number of highly experienced entrepreneurs-in-residence, early-stage grant funding for commercialization, and now, a workshop for teams to meet and further develop concepts.
 
The accelerator has committed $160,000 in awards to four promising projects led by UC investigators. Funding for the accelerator comes from Ohio’s Third Frontier Entrepreneurial Signature Program, UC’s partnership with CincyTech, UC’s 2019 Entrepreneur Grant funds and other outside sources.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Small town feel of Short Vine makes it ideal for new businesses, developments

Corryville business owners see Short Vine as a house, with Bogart’s as the front door. By the end of 2015, the street will be completely transformed, with new buisnesses (including Taste of Belgium, Caribe Carryout, Mio's Pizzeria and The 86 Club), a new Kroger Marketplace, new developments and finished streetscapes.
 
In 2013, 14 buildings on Short Vine, including Bogart’s, will receive money from the Cincinnati Neighborhood Business District Association for façade improvements.
 
The music venue already renovated its bathrooms and dressing rooms, and added a smoking patio with a fire pit to the back of the building. There are plans to add another bar, renovate the upstairs bar for VIPs and hire a mixologist. Bogart’s was also recently acquired by Live Nation, which has made ticketing easier for concertgoers.  
 
“We’re getting more artists than ever before—they’re thrilled by the changes made to the building and can’t wait to come back,” says Karen Foley, Bogart’s general manager.
 
In the next three years, Uptown Rental Properties will add about 1,000 new residential bedrooms on Short Vine, says Dan Schimberg of Uptown Rental. And on Sept. 24, its newest property, Views on Vine, a five-story apartment complex complete with clock tower, will open. One-, two- and three-bedroom apartments are still available.
 
“It’s been fun to see what has already happened, but we’re only in the beginning stages of what will be created,” says Schimberg.
 
Beginning in December, new streetscapes will be added along Short Vine. The streetscapes will bring a bit of nostalgia to the area, and Short Vine will look like it did in the 1800s—think cobblestone streets, rolling curbs and antique streetlamps. Changes will be made to parking as well, including efforts to preserve on-street parking, and additional parking for the public and residents. Sidewalks will also be widened for outdoor dining.
 
“It’s great to see the enthusiasm of the business owners over the progress on Short Vine,” says Foley. “The best thing is that Short Vine will now be part of the college experience at UC.”
 
Short Vine will be hosting several events during the next few months, including a Welcome Back Weekend for students on Aug. 30 and a block party on Oct. 12, which will include shutting down the whole street for outdoor music, street vending and a rock wall. Corryville held its first farmers market this summer, and it will continue to operate every third Sunday through October.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Artbeat brings unique artwalk concept to Short Vine

Janet Berberich and Ben Jason Neal of Eye Candy Design wanted to find a way to introduce people to the businesses on Short Vine and artwork at the same time. Their solution was Artbeat on Short Vine, which is held the first Friday of each month.
 
“In the past, Short Vine survived because of the entertainment options it offered, but we want to give people another reason to visit,” says Berberich.
 
The idea is to showcase different pieces of artwork in each venue, and people walk between venues to see the full show. Venues like Bogart’s, the 86 Club, Neihoff Design, 71 Gallery, Beelistic Tattoo and Eye Candy participated in the August Artbeat.
 
“Artbeat is about walking a path,” says Neal. “It implies the beat of music and the heartbeat of the street.”
 
The dead end in front of Kroger gives Short Vine the feel of a neighborhood within a larger town, says Berberich. It has a little bit of everything—entertainment, food and art.
 
“Our goal is to bring in a crowd that’s outside of the area’s demographic, and bring new energy and rejuvenation,” says Neal.
 
The next Artbeat is scheduled for Sept. 6. If you’re interested in participating, contact Neal at 513-371-3782 or ben@creativeeyecandy.com. Display art, live music, the spoken word, performance art and pop-up gallery projects are all encouraged.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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New online tool aims to keep Cincinnati residents engaged in their neighborhoods

On July 24, the City of Cincinnati adopted Nextdoor, a free, private social network for you, your neighbors and your community. The goal is to improve community engagement between the City and its residents, and foster neighbor-to-neighbor communications.
 
Each of Cincinnati’s 52 neighborhoods will have its own private Nextdoor neighborhood website, which is accessible only to residents of that neighborhood. City administrations and several city departments will also use Nextdoor to share important news, services, programs, free events and emergency notifications to residents, but they won’t be able to see who is registered to use the site or the conversations among residents.
 
Founded in 2010 in San Francisco, Nextdoor’s mission is to bring back a sense of community to the neighborhood. The site was tested in 175 neighborhoods across the country, and results showed that neighborhoods had some of the same issues, plus a variety of different issues.
 
“We all remember what our neighborhood experience was like as kids, when everyone knew each other, looked out for one another and stayed in the community longer," says Sarah Leary, co-founder of Nextdoor. “We want to invoke that nostalgia for neighborhoods.”
 
To date, Nextdoor is being used by about 17,000 neighborhoods across the country. In June, Nextdoor partnered with New York City and Mayor Bloomberg to communicate with the city’s 8.3 million residents. The site plans to roll out in other major cities like Cincinnati over the course of the next several months.
 
Nextdoor also recently released its iPhone app. “We’re really putting the lifeline of the neighborhood into the palm of the residents’ hands,” says Leary. “The common thread is an interest in using technology to make connections with neighbors. But it doesn’t stop there—once people have an easy way to communicate, they’re more likely to get together in the real world.”
 
You can sign up for Nextdoor on its website, or download the app in the App Store.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Five Uptown organizations receive awards for community commitment

On Friday, members of the Uptown community gathered for the Uptown Business Celebration, presented by Uptown Consortium and Uptown Rentals/North American Properties. Five Uptown organizations walked away with awards for business excellence and commitment to the community.
 
In order to be eligible for an award, businesses demonstrated strong commitment to the Uptown community, success in meeting the organization’s mission and sustainable businesses practices. They also encouraged others to follow their lead. Awards were given in five categories: Small Nonprofit of the Year (25 of fewer employees), Large Nonprofit of the Year (more than 25 employees), Community Champion, Small Business of the Year (50 or fewer employees) and Large Business of the Year (50 or more employees).
 
The Small Nonprofit award went to the Clifton Heights Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation and Large Nonprofit to Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center. Avondale resident and avid volunteer Patricia Milton won the Community Champion award; the Small Business award went to UC's DuBois Bookstore; and the Large Business award to Uptown Rental Properties.
 
Keynote speaker Benjamin Carson, Sr., M.D., overcame poverty and a rough childhood, and is currently a full professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He has directed the pediatric neurosurgery program at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center for more than 25 years. Carson's many awards include 60 honorary doctorate degrees and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the highest civilian honor.
 
Carson encouraged those at the awards ceremony to “elevate themselves” to make things better. He also shared his philosophy of success, which is “THINK BIG—talent, honesty, insight, nice, knowledge, book, in-depth learning and God.”
 
Uptown neighborhoods are Avondale, Clifton, Corryville, Clifton Heights, Fairview, University Heights and Mt. Auburn.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Craft beer bar on tap for late summer at U-Square at the Loop

About a year ago, Cincinnati native Mic Foster started thinking about opening a craft beer and cocktail bar in town. In the end, he decided to open a Brass Tap franchise at U-Square at the Loop.
 
“Cincinnati is having a craft beer renaissance, and I felt Brass Tap was a good match, and this was a good place to start developing the bars,” says Foster.
 
Jeff Martin founded Brass Tap in Tampa, Fl., and traditionally, most of the bars are in Florida. But soon, a few of the beer and wine bars will start cropping up in the Midwest, Foster says.
 
Cincinnati’s Brass Tap doesn’t have an official opening date yet, but Foster hopes to have it up and running by the time the school year gets underway. He wants Brass Tap to be a destination for those who love craft beer, as well as a place for students to hang out with their friends.
 
Brass Tap will focus solely on craft beer—there will be 80 craft beer taps, with 20 of them designated for local brews. The bar will also offer 300 bottles of craft beer. While the menu doesn't include liquor, there will be a wine list for non-beer-drinking patrons.
 
The beer-centered bar will also have a limited food menu that includes pretzels and mini pizzas on pretzel crusts. Patrons can also catch live music at Brass Tap Thursday through Saturday.
 
“Brass Tap is a bar bar where people can go for happy hour,” says Foster. And if you want to catch a game, Brass Tap will have 25 hi-def TVs and a projector, he says.  
 
Foster also wants to bring more beer education to Cincinnati. “There are lots of educated beer drinkers in town, but craft beer can be an intimidating situation for someone who doesn’t know what they’re looking for,” he says.
 
Foster is spending a lot of time educating his staff and hiring knowledgeable people who can help patrons learn more about craft beer in a relaxed environment.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Food truck to open restaurant at U-Square at the Loop

Mr. Hanton’s Handwiches started serving up hotdogs out of a food cart to Cincinnatians in 2010. A year later, Brian and Awilda Hinton upgraded to a food trailer; in May, the couple will open a brick and mortar restaurant in Clifton to satisfy late-night cravings as well as devoted followers.
 
Because food carts, trailers and trucks are, for the most part, seasonal mobile restaurants, the Hintons did open a storefront in White Oak a little over a year ago. They then talked to a group of investors and decided to expand Mr. Hanton’s into a chain of restaurants.
 
The Hintons closed the White Oak storefront and are using the space as a commissary to serve as their prep location for the trailer, parties and events. Awilda left her full-time job at P&G to run the restaurant; and Brian will be focusing most of his time on their mobile business.
 
“We had lots of customers in Mt. Adams who were UC students, and they wanted a store in Clifton,” Brian says. So it was an easy decision for the Hintons when a location opened at the U-Square at the Loop development.
 
Mr. Hanton’s is slated to open the last week of May, with an official grand opening around June 13. The menu will be slightly different from the food trailer. For example, they won’t offer a gyro at the restaurant, but there will be a gyro-inspired hotdog, which will feature a sausage made from lamb and seasoned with Mediterranean spices and topped with celery salt, tomato, onion and tzatziki sauce, Brian says.
 
“We’ve been hearing that Clifton doesn’t have a large variety of late-night options, and we plan to bring a new late-night option to people,” Brian says. “And it will be something different. You can get a hamburger, tacos, burritos and cheese coneys anywhere in town, but you won’t find anywhere in Cincinnati with a menu like ours.”
 
Mr. Hanton’s offers around 30 different hotdog options, plus a create-your-own dog.
 
The Hintons also plan on bringing a food truck to the streets of Cincinnati soon, and have big plans for their brand coming next spring.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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La Terza Coffee Roasterie relocates to Short Vine

La Terza Artisan Coffee Roasterie began 10 years ago when owner Chuck Pfahler began roasting coffee out of his house. Eventually, La Terza moved to a warehouse in Northside; in January, it relocated to Short Vine, and is now inside the 86 Club.
 
About 15 years ago, Pfahler started roasting coffee in a hot air popcorn maker, and fell in love with the process. He has studied time and temperature relations and knows how to cup and taste coffee like a pro. He’s also found a way to roast coffee that maximizes the beans’ flavor.
 
“It’s been a labor of love,” Pfahler says. “I love sharing coffee with people, and over the years, I’ve gotten very positive feedback.”
 
La Terza isn’t a coffee shop, but a wholesale coffee roaster that provides coffee to local coffee houses, restaurants and community groups. In February, La Terza partnered with Christian Moerlein to make a coffee-infused Baltic Porter for Cincy Beerfest. The beer was made with La Terza’s Brazil Daterra Estate Villa Borghesi, which was cold steeped in the Baltic Porter.
 
“We want to be a catalyst for the community,” says Pfahler. “We really believe that community is a ‘third place,’ and we want to support coffee shops that serve as a community’s ‘third place.’”
 
Pfahler wants La Terza to help bridge the gap between the coffee bean farmers and the communities that buy their crops. When a customer places an order, the coffee is roasted the next day and then shipped, so it’s very fresh, Pfahler says.
 
“Many people have never had freshly roasted coffee, and it’s cool to see them experience it for the first time,” he says. “Coffee should be handled like bread or produce. It can’t sit around for six months and hold its quality.”
 
Although coffee beans change with the seasons, Pfahler says La Terza’s Sumatra was very popular this year. The roasterie always offers a variety of light, medium and dark coffees, but its inventory changes.
 
“We try not to get people locked into one coffee,” says Pfahler. “Although one coffee is great this year, it doesn’t mean it will be great [next] year, or have the same flavor profiles.”
 
La Terza also offers coffee equipment sales and services, ongoing barista training and public coffee tastings. Along with wholesale, La Terza also sells coffee as retail through online orders
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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West Side restaurant relocates, brings Caribbean cuisine to Short Vine

As of March 4, West Price Hill’s Caribe Carryout is now near Bogart’s on Short Vine. Several people who wanted to buy into his business had approached Basil Balian, the restaurant’s cofounder, but the traffic at the West Side location didn’t justify expanding.
 
Balian chose to move to Short Vine because of its potential for a higher customer base. “It’s all about location, location, location,” he says. “I’m excited and encouraged by all of the housing and restaurants sprouting up along the street. I believe the street will become a magnet for food lovers, and I trust that we’ll get our fair share of foot traffic.”
 
Caribe’s menu much the same; it features homemade empanadas and rice and stews prepared daily. But Balian and his business partner Russell Laycock have amped up the spice. Laycock is known as “Mr. Spice,” and he’s brought his expertise to Caribe’s spice mixtures and sauces.
 
“Even though Caribbean food isn’t generally spicy, with the exception of Jamaican cuisine, we had a few customers say our empanadas weren’t spicy enough,” Balian says.
 
Balian and Laycock have also recently added a Jerk Chicken Empanada to their lineup. It’s something they introduced to the menu before relocating because they wanted to satisfy their Jamaican customers, Balian says. The pair plans to introduce new recipes to their customers as daily specials, and then add them to Caribe’s menu based on demand.
 
“We want to add to the variety of quality food already on Short Vine,” Balian says. “And we intend to help make Short Vine a hungry person’s instinctive destination.”
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Plans for Old St. George rise from ashes

Five years after the destructive fire that left Old St. George Church in Clifton Heights dormant, plans are now surfacing to convert the historic building into a boutique hotel.

The fire, which destroyed both of the church’s steeples, occurred Feb. 1, 2008. With restoration underway, it’s clear that the building’s future incarnation will take it far from its past.

“We put about $600,000 into improvement,” says Matt Bourgeois, director of the Clifton Heights Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (CHCURC), a nonprofit dedicated to revitalizing Clifton Heights. “We want to make sure the building is preserved so we can pursue [construction of the hotel].”

Repairs and improvements are only the first steps to restoring Old St. George, however.

CHCURC plans to have a full understanding of a time frame and funding by late summer, with hopes to start construction of the hotel soon after, says Bourgeois, who estimates the space will include 60 to 70 beds.

While he can’t estimate room prices yet, Bourgeois hopes the project help attract more visitors to the surrounding developments and redefine the neighborhood’s dynamic.

Making Clifton Heights a destination is one of CHCURC's major goals—to bring more people to the neighborhood and see what it has to offer, Bourgeois says.  

Construction of the hotel will follow the opening of U Square at the Loop, Old St. George’s neighboring multi-story development, where businesses are scheduled to open in March and apartments in July.

By Kyle Stone

Taste of Belgium expanding, using SoMoLend to fund venture

Jean-François Flechet opened Taste of Belgium in Findlay Market in 2007; four years ago, he expanded his restaurant venture to Columbus’s North Market, and a year and a half ago, he opened a full-service Belgian bistro on Vine. In the next few months, there will be two new Taste of Belgiums in the Cincinnati area—a full-service restaurant on Short Vine near UC, and a waffle counter at Friendly Market in Northern Kentucky.
 
The Short Vine location is on the first floor of a brand new building that includes 120 apartments. The waffle counter at Friendly Market is the only food vendor in the first phase of the market. It’s right on the edge of phase 2, which is ideal for future expansion, Flechet says.
 
Taste of Belgium on Short Vine will have a menu very similar to the one on Vine Street, says Flechet. But it will have more affordable options at dinnertime, such as chicken and waffles and bar food.
 
“There will be a bigger focus on the bar, with both Belgian and Belgian-style beer sourced from local breweries,” he says. Flechet wants to attract the college students who live around Short Vine, which is a different demographic than his customers at the bistro and Findlay Market.
 
Taste of Belgium is slated to open in early May at Friendly Market, and on Short Vine during the first week of July.
 
Flechet isn’t going the traditional route for financing his new business ventures. Instead, he’s working with local crowd-sourcing start-up SoMoLend to raise a portion of the funds for the restaurant. He wants to promote crowd-sourced funding as a viable alternative source of financing for small businesses.
 
“When I opened Taste of Belgium on Vine, it was hard to get financing,” says Flechet. He wasn’t able to obtain a loan from the bank, but the building’s landlord got one through 3CDC. In turn, the landlord charges high rent to recover the loan. The North Market location was financed by a loan from a small business lender who Flechet has been working with for four years.
 
SoMoLend connects small business owners who are in need of a loan with investors who are looking to make a return on their investments. The organization allows borrowers to get loans from customers, friends and family members. It allows lenders to make a difference on a more local level.
 
“SoMoLend has been promoted on a national level, but not much on a local level,” Flechet says. He’s trying to get the word out to his customers that he’s using SoMoLend and bring more users to the lending service.
 
The Taste of Belgium crowd-sourcing campaign launches March 11. If you want to contribute to the campaign and are a customer, friend or family member, sign up on SoMoLend’s website.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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