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Oregon brewery brings mobile beer bar to Cincinnati

Greater Cincinnati will host Deschutes Brewery’s traveling bar, Woody, at several stops throughout the week. Although the company’s beer has been available in Ohio since 2014, it’s the first time the 29-foot-long, 3-ton keg will visit.
Woody will have six Deschutes beers on tap and will bring along cornhole boards, a disc golf basket and a disco ball. The beer list is still being finalized but will for sure include Pinedrops IPA, Jubelale, Black Butte Porter, Mirror Pond Pale Ale and Fresh Squeezed as well as a limited beer release.
All beers available from Woody’s taps are $5.
Woody will be at four events around town:

• Wednesday, Oct. 21 (4-8 p.m.): Happy Hour at The Pub at Rookwood, 2692 Madison Road.

• Thursday, Oct. 22 (5-9 p.m.): Pint Night at Jungle Jim’s Eastgate, 4450 Eastgate Dr. South.

• Friday, Oct. 23 (5-9 p.m.): Jungle Jim's Eastgate, also featuring vintage bottles of previous Deschutes releases and specialty draft offerings.

• Saturday, Oct. 24 (12-8 p.m.): Jungle Jim’s Fall Smash, 5440 Dixie Hwy., Fairfield.
Deschutes began operations in 1988 as a small public house in Bend, Ore., and now operates three pubs and distributes to bars, bottle shops and restaurants across the country.
Follow Woody’s travels on Instagram @dbwoody.

Fall festivals kick into gear this weekend

Now that the region's big-name September celebrations are over, Greater Cincinnati’s events calendar still has plenty to offer on the first weekend of October. And it might just start feeling a little like fall.

Enjoy the last of the season’s Oktoberfest celebrations this weekend and start gearing up for pumpkins, costumes and candy. Or if getting scared is more your speed, head to one of the region’s haunted houses: Dent Schoolhouse, King’s Island Halloween Haunt, Land of Illusion Haunted Scream Park or U.S.S. Nightmare.
Donauschwaben Oktoberfest
6 p.m.-midnight Oct. 2; 2 p.m.-midnight Oct. 3; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Oct. 4
Donauschwaben Park, 4290 Dry Ridge Road, Colerain Twp.
Cost: $3
Like most traditional Oktoberfests, the Donauschwaben event features German music and dance, plus a pit-roasted Bavarian pig and chicken and sausage as well as over 25 German and domestic beers.
Friday Fright Nights
7 p.m. Oct. 2
Washington Park, OTR
Bring a blanket along for a horror show double feature of Scooby Doo: Spooky Space Kook and Mars Attacks! A full bar and concessions will be available.
Sunflower Festival
10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 3-4
Gorman Heritage Farm, Evendale
$8 for adults, $5 for kids
In its 12th year, the Sunflower Festival is about all things fall. Take a stroll through the fields of sunflowers or take home a bundle of fresh-cut flowers. There’s also a pumpkin patch, where you can pick up a pumpkin to carve at home or to launch in the pumpkin fling. A hayride, carriage rides, a corn maze, face painting and food trucks round out the fun.
Weekend of Fire
11 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 3; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 4
Jungle Jim’s, Fairfield
$10 for adults, $1 for kids, ages 5 and under are free
Make sure to bring some water, because this event will set you on fire. There will be hot sauces from all around the country, ranging from mild to wild. If you dare, try the hottest sauce that you can find.
12-5 p.m. Oct. 3-4 (and every weekend until Oct. 26)
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, Avondale
Regular zoo admission
Don your costume and go trick-or-treating among the animals. The zoo’s two rides, the carousel and train, will transform for the Halloween season into the Scare-ousel and the Hogwarts Express.
Bend in the River Music Festival
5-11 p.m. Oct. 3; 12-6 p.m. Oct. 4
The Sanctuary, 2110 St. Michael St., Lower Price Hill
$7 for one-day passes, $10 for two-day passes, free for Lower Price Hill residents and Oyler School students
The two-day festival has a lineup of 12 bands, including Michael Moeller, Sassafras Gap, Royal Holland, Pike 27 and Part Time Gentlemen on Saturday and Todd Lipscomb, Gypsy Stone, Buffalo Ridge Band, Noah Smith, Billy Brown Band, Phoenix and The Almighty Get Down on Sunday. No Cincinnati music festival is complete without food trucks and craft beer, which will be served up by a number of city celebrities.
Hyde Park Art Show
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 4
Hyde Park Square
Cincinnati is known for its arts scene, and Hyde Park hosts the largest one-day art show in the city. This year, 207 exhibitors will be showcasing their wares, everything from paintings, sculptures, photography, ceramics, jewelry, fiber, crafts and multi-media art. After you walk among the artists, grab a meal or a pint at one of the restaurants on the Square.
Art on Vine
12-6 p.m. Oct. 4
Fountain Square, downtown
Held once a month, Art on Vine is another chance for local artists to get their names out there. This is the final one this year to be held on Fountain Square; the event will move indoors on Nov. 8 to its winter location at Rhinegeist Brewery.

Bike Month promotes bicycle safety, healthy lifestyles

The tristate area is increasingly becoming more bike-friendly, with new bicycle lanes in many neighborhoods and Red Bike locations throughout the city, with expansion coming soon. May is Bike Month, a time to reconsider healthy lifestyles and the use of bicycles as transportation.
Bike Month is organized by Queen City Bike, but a number of local organizations and businesses offer bike-related deals, lead bike rides and host events throughout the month. Things kicked off May 1 with a poster show at Coffee Emporium that runs through May 26; and on May 2, a ride to various pubs in the basin area.

If you missed these events, though, don’t worry. There are plenty more coming up — 21 below, to be exact.

Bicycle Happy Hour at The Brew House, 1047 E. McMillan, Walnut Hills: Ride your bike to The Brew House and, if you’re wearing a helmet, get a free appetizer during happy hour. May 4, 11 and 18 at 5-8 p.m.

Urban Basin Bicycle Club, meet at Fountain Square: Join the club for a slow, interesting themed ride for all skill levels that begins and ends in the basin. Every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

Hump Day Hill Challenge, meet at greenspace by the old SCPA building in Pendleton/Over-the-Rhine: A difficult ride up and down Cincinnati’s hills. To check out the routes, use the Hill Challenge App in the Google Play Store. Every Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Thursday Night Slow & Steady Ride, meet at Hoffner Park, Northside: These rides are open to anything with wheels and take about 1.5 to 2 hours. Every Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Eastside to Findlay Market Ride, meet at Coffee Emporium, 3316 Erie Ave., Hyde Park. Every Saturday at 8:30 a.m.

Findlay Market Bikegarten, Findlay Market, OTR: Learn more about the bike-friendly changes that are coming to the city, pick up free bike maps and lots more. Every Saturday at 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Ride for Reading, meet at Coffee Emporium Warehouse, 12th and Walnut Streets, OTR: Join in the bike parade, then distribute books to students at Chase Elementary in Northside. May 8 at 10 a.m.

The Color Ride, meet at Washington Park: Grab the kids and dress in a single color from head-to-toe and take a short ride through OTR and downtown. May 9 at 4 p.m.

Element Cycles City Ride, meet at Element Cycles, 2838 Observatory Ave., Hyde Park: This casual ride will end at the Growler House in East Walnut Hills. May 9 at 4 p.m.

Bike Happy Hour, Fries Café, 3247 Jefferson Ave., Clifton. May 12 at 5-7 p.m.

Trivia Fundraiser for Mobo, The Brew House, 1047 E. McMillan, Walnut Hills. May 13 at 7:30 p.m.

Breakfast on the Bridge, Purple People Bridge on the Newport side: Pastries and coffee will be available, and there will also be a station set up with a mechanic to help you fix up your bike. May 15 at 7-9 a.m.

Bike to Work Day: All rides are free on Metro, Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) and Clermont Transportation Connection for those with bicycles. All day May 15.

Bike to Work Day Celebration, MainStrasse, Covington: Rides will be led to Fountain Square and back. May 15 at 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Bike 2 Baseball: Ride to Great American Ball Park for the sixth annual event. A free bike valet will be available, hosted by Red Bike. Tickets must be bought in advance. May 17 at 1 p.m.

Second Annual Preservation Ride, meet at Rhinegeist, 1910 Elm St., OTR: The Cincinnati Preservation Collective is celebrating Bike Month by hosting a slow riding tour of some of the urban basin’s historic sites. May 17 at noon.

Trivia Fundraiser for Queen City Bike, The Brew House, 1047 E. McMillan, Walnut Hills. May 20 at 7:30 p.m.

The Pink Flamingo Bike Ride: Ride from Covington to Bellevue Beach for this family-friendly event that touts Northern Kentucky pride. May 30 at 10 a.m.

Queen City Bike+Dine: Email info@parkandvine.com for more information about the 10th annual event on June 6.
There will also be three Blinkie Light Distributions throughout the month:

• Kenton County Health Center, 2022 Madison Ave., Covington, May 10 at 3 p.m.
• Campbell County Health Center, 1098 Monmouth St., Newport, May 17 at 3 p.m.
• Boone County Health Center, 7505 Burlington Pike, Florence, May 24 at 3 p.m.

"Everyday kind of place" featuring Southern comfort food comes to O'Bryonville

Margaret Ranalli, owner of Enoteca Emilia, opened her second restaurant in O’Bryonville, Son of a Preacher Man, on Feb. 7. The property at 3009 O’Bryon St. features a menu of Southern comfort food and a bar menu with a plethora of bourbon.
The 2,500-square-foot restaurant is in the space that was formerly Eat Well Café & Takeaway, whose owner, Renee Schuler, maintains a limited interest in Son of a Preacher Man and helped develop the fried chicken recipe.

Renovations included back-of-house plumbing and kitchen equipment as well as retro light fixtures, vintage wallpaper and a bar in front.
Ranalli landed on the Southern restaurant concept after extensive travels in the South. She’s always used music as a reference for Son of a Preacher Man.
“When I think of the South, I think of Memphis and Nashville and the musicality of those cities,” Ranalli says.
The name stems from the 1968 Dusty Springfield song “Son of a Preacher Man,” and at one point Ranalli had a number of employees who were sons of preachers. So the concept stuck.
The menu’s staples are traditional fried chicken and biscuits. But there’s also a bourbon BBQ meatloaf, low-country shrimp and grits and sandwiches served on biscuits. The bar menu has already expanded since opening, featuring about 25 rotating bourbons and 12 bourbon cocktails.
Son of a Preacher Man also offers takeout. Ranalli says she wanted to focus on the physical restaurant space as well as carryout in order to be an all-around neighborhood place.  
“I wanted to bring more casual food and a fun bar scene to the neighborhood,” she says. “People are always looking for an everyday kind of place with good food.”
After Easter, Son of a Preacher Man will be opening at 11 a.m. for lunch seven days a week.

E+O Kitchen opening in popular Hyde Park spot

The restaurant most recently known as Dancing Wasabi will soon be a new concept when E+O Kitchen, whose name is taken from Chicago-based Chef Rodelio Aglibot’s restaurant Earth and Ocean, opens later this month.
The restaurant, located at 3520 Edwards Road off Hyde Park Square, has seen a number of different concepts in the past few years, including Beluga and sushi restaurant Dancing Wasabi. Owners Mike Hama and Lee and Nick Grammas like to redesign the space every few years to keep things interesting.
Aglibot is designing the menu, which will be Asian-inspired with a Latin flare. Local Chef Owen Maass will head up the kitchen. He's the former chef at Cumin in Hyde Park and is returning to town after a stint in Columbus.
The restaurant space is being redesigned to let in more light and will be more organic and rustic looking. The building used to be a house, and the ceilings have been raised and the windows have been opened up.
E+O Kitchen will serve lunch, brunch and dinner and will have a moderately priced menu.

Kentucky-based juice bar opens shop in Hyde Park Square

Kimmye Bohannon discovered cold-pressed juices after running a marathon in New York City. She began juicing at home and started The Weekly Juicery out of her kitchen two years ago. She now owns three locations — one each in Lexington and Louisville and the newest on Hyde Park Square, which opened Dec. 6.
“It’s a wonderful experience to have cold-pressed juice available, and I feel so much better after drinking it,” she says. “Starting my business has been a way to make juicing available to a broader audience.”
The Weekly Juicery has 16 different cold-pressed juices, and the average price is $9 for a 16-oz. serving. Some of the juices are for veteran juice drinkers who are used to drinking vegetables, and others are more transitional and geared toward those who are new to juicing. The Orange You Happy has an orange juice flavor, which enhances the taste of the beets in it.
Each cold-pressed juice comes with a 30-minute education session, which customers can utilize before or after drinking their juice.
“Everyone who works at the juice bars are certified juice guides who understand the juicing process,” Bohannon says. “It’s all about education and making the transition to a healthier way of living.”
The menu also features a variety of raw foods, including a vegan veggie wrap, sweet potato hummus and a made-to-order salad bar with vegan dressing. There’s also super food oatmeal for breakfast. Bohannon plans to have kombucha on tap in 2015.
The Weekly Juicery also offers three levels of customized juice cleanses: a beginner, middle and deep detox. There’s also a juice delivery service, which is how Bohannon first started out. Among the three locations in Lexington, Louisville and Cincinnati, she has about 200 customers who use the delivery service.
“We want to make juice convenient for busy people,” Bohannon says. “We also want to teach lots of people about the health elevation of drinking juice every day. You can feel better, have more energy, and give your body the fuel that’s designed to make it perform at an optimal level. So many people operate somewhere in the middle, and they don’t know what it feels like to feel really good. We want to teach them what it feels like to be there.”
Currently The Weekly Juicery is open 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Sunday-Saturday, but based on business trends Bohannon says the hours may change. The store is at 2727 Erie Ave.

Tri*Metro campaign providing entertainment buses Sept. 13

This fall, Metro is launching the tri*Metro campaign, which will encourage young professionals to incorporate Metro into their lives. The three-pronged campaign focuses on learning about Metro, experiencing Metro and challenging riders to go car-free during the month of October.
Cincy YP and Give Back Cincinnati wanted to form a partnership with Metro to better educate others about riding the bus. They didn’t want to go to more meetings, but instead created a video about riding Metro, which shows riders how 20- and 30-somethings use the bus.
As part of the campaign, Metro is providing three entertainment buses for riders on Sept. 13. The bus will circulate to hotspots in Hyde Park, Mt. Lookout, Oakley, O'Bryonville and Over-the-Rhine. The bus will run from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., and will stop at designated bars and restaurants.
“Riders can get on and off the bus all night long, and will give everyone the opportunity to experiment with the buses,” says Kim Lahman, ridership development manager for Metro.
A specific route will be drawn up for the night that will circle the neighborhoods involved in the event, and there will be a bus schedule specifically designed to fit the route.
Volunteers from Cincy YP will be at each of the designated bus stops to help riders figure out where they’re going and how long they will have to stand and wait. Riders will also receive special discounts at participating bars and restaurants.
Venues include Cock & Bull Public House and Unwind Wine Bar in Hyde Park; Mt. Lookout Tavern and Millions Cafe in Mt. Lookout; Animations and The Oak Tavern in Oakley; O’Bryon's Bar & Grill and Uncorked in O’Bryonville; and The Drinkery and MOTR in OTR.
“It will be great for ridership, as well as for economic development because we’re supporting businesses along the way, and helping get people familiar with the Metro system,” Lahman says.
If you’re interested in riding Metro’s entertainment buses on Sept. 13, tickets are $5. For more information, visit Metro’s website.

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
Follow Caitlin on Twitter

Breadsmith raises funds for ArtWorks youth programs

On January 18, the new Breadsmith location in Hyde Park raised $1,600 to benefit ArtWorks. One hundred percent of the funds raised during the sneak preview and open house went to ArtWorks to benefit its summer youth development programs.
The event included a behind-the-scenes tour and free samples of Breadsmith’s award-winning breads, muffins and sweets. Customers got a look at the bakery’s European-style interior design, and the handmade, hearth-baked process of Breadsmith’s products.
ArtWorks’ summer program, Adopt-an-Apprentice, will directly support the 120 teen apprentices who will be hired this summer to work on 10 new community murals and other creative projects throughout the city. To date, ArtWorks has provided opportunities for more than 2,500 youth artists and 650 professional artists, and has graduated 175 creative entrepreneurs and artisans from SpringBoard, the organization's 9-week business development class.
Breadsmith currently has 30 independently owned retail bakeries across the country. It has received awards for its European-style breads, including top honors from Bon Appeit magazine, Modern Baking, the International Culinary Salon, the National Restaurant Association and “Best of” awards nationwide.
The new Cincinnati location, which is located at 3500 Michigan Ave., is open Tuesday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
By Caitlin Koenig
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Keegan's Seafood to open second location on Hyde Park Square

Keegan’s Specialty Seafood Market is opening a second location on Hyde Park Square at the end of January. They work directly with fishermen, seafood auction houses and purveyors to bring the best seafood from around the world to Cincinnati.
Keegan’s also stocks a variety of specialty foods with an emphasis on local products, including salads, spreads and soups, which are prepared in their Anderson Township location’s kitchen. They will also continue to host private dinner parties in addition to their weekly Thirsty Thursday wine tastings in Anderson. During the wine tastings, customers can purchase a selection of four wines for $12, along with seafood, meat and cheese. Sometimes there are impromptu cooking demos.
The Hyde Park location will carry a variety of local products; Keegan’s popular housemade foods; and a selection of high-end grass-fed beef, lamb and pastured pork. The soups and sauces will be packaged in reusable Mason jars that customers can return for a rebate.
Although not a restaurant, the Hyde Park Keegan’s will feature a custom-made, German-style communal table for gathering and eating. Customers can order their food to-go or enjoy their meal at the table.
Keegan’s rotating breakfast and lunch menus will feature items prepared in-house, including New York-style bagels boiled and baked by Jean Paul’s Paradiso, housemade cream cheese and authentic lox from New York City. There will also be healthy made-to-order smoothies, fresh-pressed fruit and vegetable juices, and daily specials like steel-cut oatmeal, lobster quiche and shrimp and grits.
Owner Tom Keegan expects the new location to be an extension of the Sunday Hyde Park Farmers Market, as he says he has a good relationship with the vendors there.
Keegan’s is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Customers can sign up for e-mail alerts for more information about the new store opening and menu offerings at both locations.
By Caitlin Koenig
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Hyde Park's 2770 Observatory under construction

Greiwe Development Group has partnered with North American Properties and Sibcy Cline Realtors for the redevelopment of the intersection of Observatory and Shaw avenues in Hyde Park. Demolition is expected to be completed by mid-December.
Five properties will be cleared to make way for the new project. Developers purchased the buildings in 2011; an affiliate, NAP Oak Park LLC, purchased four parcels on Linshaw Court and Shaw Avenue in March 2011, as well as two parcels at 2762 and 2770 Observatory Ave. Since acquiring them, Greiwe has been renting the apartments, which were built in the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s.
The condos at 2770 Observatory will follow the established business model that Greiwe and NAP used in Mariemont with Emery Park, Nolan Park, Jordan Park and Phase IV.
Messer Construction will build the shell for the condos, and NAP will complete the interiors.
More information will be available in January as the project develops.
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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Cumin undergoing changes with new chef

Cumin Eclectic Cuisine has seen a number of changes in the past few weeks, including a new chef and menu. Matthew Cranert, who has been the chef for four months at M Wood Fired Oven next door, plans to rely on simple ingredients and good cooking at Cumin.
Cranert was born and raised in northern California and spent his summers working in his grandfather’s restaurant in Hawaii. After graduating high school, he attended the Culinary Institute of America and worked in several restaurants in San Francisco. He then returned to Hawaii, and worked under chefs like Sam Choy and Roy Yamaguchi, who taught him to balance French and Asian flavors.
Cranert, his wife Stacey and their 7-year-old recently moved to Cincinnati for the opportunity to work in the food scene. Before M, Cranert worked in different restaurants around the city, including Senate. Now Cranert spends his nights running back and forth between the kitchen at M and the kitchen at Cumin.
“I want to bring more of what’s going on in other cities to Cincinnati,” he says. “I’ve lived all over and traveled a lot, and want to go head-to-head with New York City and Chicago.”
Growing up, Cranert was exposed to Latino and Asian flavors, but was influenced by his mother’s Southern cooking and Hawaiian food as well.
“I like to call upon all different flavors,” he says. “There’s a good meld between Asian, Southern and French cooking. People specialize in certain cuisines, but I think you need to learn to throw down with everything, and we’re going to be doing a bit of everything at Cumin.”
Cranert wants to make Cumin the best it can be. He has already flipped Cumin’s menu, and plans to change it weekly.

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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Local fitness instructors start workout group for moms

After Amber Fowler, 32, gave birth to twins in August, she started teaching group fitness classes at Body Boutique in Oakley. But she and Body Boutique’s owner, Candice Peters, 34, felt they weren’t servicing an important group in the community: moms and their young children.
Last week, Fowler and Peters started Fit Mommies, a fitness class for moms who need help getting back in shape after having a baby or who need help staying in shape, period. The class is unique in that it’s held in local parks, and is focused on moms working out with their children.
“We wanted a place for moms to bring their kids while they were working out,” Fowler says. “It’s like a playgroup atmosphere at the same time—moms don’t have to find a sitter, and their kids get to play with others in the fresh air.”
Besides a playgroup, Fit Mommies is also intent on building a community for moms. Fowler says it’s like a group therapy session and workout all in one. The women want their clients to be able to vent, get advice and get great ideas from others, all while working out.
“Fit Mommies is a place where moms can go to talk about things that they’re going through,” Fowler says. “It’s stressful for new moms; and it’s helpful to see other people going through the same things you are.”
Fowler and Peters also plan to offer Family Fit Days each month, where the whole family can come and work out for free. Fit Mommies will also host a Final Friday zoo workout—the workout is free, but you need a zoo pass.
The pair will also be sending out monthly newsletters and provide a resource list for clients that includes ideas from moms, family-friendly meal ideas and contact information for dentists, doctors, hairstylists, etc.
Fit Mommies offers power-walking and circuit training combination workouts for women who are at all different fitness levels. Classes run from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays in Hyde Park’s Ault and Alms parks, and Tuesdays and Thursdays in Loveland’s Nesbit and Paxton Ramsey parks. Classes are $59 per month for unlimited sessions; class passes are available.
By Caitlin Koenig
Follow Caitlin on Twitter
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