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Over-the-Rhine : Development News

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Picnic and Pantry opening second location in OTR, focusing on catering in Northside


Picnic and Pantry, a Northside staple for the past five years, will no longer serve as the neighborhood’s specialty grocery store. Instead, the location on Hamilton Avenue will become the headquarters for owner Lisa Kagen’s catering business, while a new retail location will open in three weeks at 1400 Republic St. in Over-the-Rhine.
 
“We love cooking food, but trying to keep up with the retail part is distracting us from our catering goals and the lunch crowd we plan to serve downtown,” Kagen says.

Over-the-Rhine Community Housing (OTRCH) and restaurant owner Thunderdome approached Kagen about bringing a storefront to OTR, specifically to the building being rehabbing at 14th and Republic across from Salazar Restaurant & Bar. The 770-square-foot OTR store will be menu-driven, with a variety of grocery essentials and pet food as well as specialty, artisan, local, organic and conventional foods.

All of the packaged sandwiches, salads and snacks that Northside customers have grown to know and love will still be available at Melt Cafe.
 
As for the Northside storefront, it will become Picnic and Pantry’s office and expanded commissary to accommodate the growth of the catering side of the business. It will be a place to meet clients and showcase pictures, platters and linens, Kagen says.
 
Picnic and Pantry’s handcrafted counter and two registers will be moved to Melt to better serve customers during the checkout process.
 
“We love Northside, and that’s why we’re centering our business operations here,” Kagen says. “We’re committed to supporting the historic business district.”

Kagen is working with students from Miami University, OTRCH and Acanthus Group, the general contractor, to get the store up and running by mid-March.
 

Rhinehaus owners investing in Pendleton community


A year ago, the owners of Rhinehaus in Over-the-Rhine started working on a second bar/restaurant concept for the Broadway Square development in Pendleton. Nation Kitchen & Bar will open later this spring, with a focus on community.
 
“We saw a huge opportunity in the neighborhood,” says Andrew Salzbrun, who along with Aaron Kohlhepp and Jack Weston owns both Nation and Rhinehaus. “Right now there’s nothing going on there, there are no businesses to create interaction among neighbors, no programming outside of the Final Friday art galleries. As a resident of Pendleton I saw a hole, and I want to have a thriving, vibrant community where people know one another.”
 
Having a space to help build lifelong relationships was critical when designing Nation. The 1,800-square-foot restaurant has little alcoves that allow for more intimate conversation. The eight- to 10-item menu will also focus on dishes and drinks that are meant to share, with a burger at the core.
 
“Think of the power of social media,” Salzbrun says. “It used to be the post office, then a bar, now it’s websites. We want to take a step back and get to the fundamentals and take social media back to the bar concept.”
 
Like Rhinehaus, Nation will be a place for everyone. Salzbrun says price points will be very approachable and will make it easy for guests to eat there two or three times a week without breaking the bank.
 
Nation’s name has roots in the neighborhood as well. Not only does it lend itself to building community, but it’s named after Carrie Nation, an early leader of the women’s temperance movement. She used to walk into bars and smash beers with a hatchet.
 
“It’s kind of ironic that we’re putting her name on a bar, since she was a precursor to Prohibition,” Salzbrun says.
 
Nation is the first anchor for Phase I of Broadway Square, which includes 39 apartments and 12,000 square feet of retail and commercial space. Phase II begins this spring, with Phase III to follow.
 

"Hungry" entrepreneurs raising food truck awareness


Brothers PJ and Matt Neumann and their friend Mike Madell-Brown have all worked in the food and beverage industry. Now they’re embarking on a new food journey together by starting the Hungry Bros. food truck, which will be up and running by Reds’ Opening Day.
 
PJ was in Colorado on a business trip when he realized he wanted to pursue his passion for the food and beverage industry. He says it’s always been a dream to own a restaurant with his brother, but he wanted to take a less-than-traditional route to doing that.
 
“I called Matt and told him I quit my job,” PJ says. “It just so happens that he was looking for direction in his career, too. It was perfect timing.”
 
The truck won’t have a set menu but will change based on what the harvest has to offer. It will center around fried pies and waffle fries, with savory and sweet offerings such as the Lamb Uel Jackson, a root beer and cherry braised lamb, and a PB&J pie with seasonal jam.
 
Waffle fry dishes include poutine — waffle fries topped with Wisconsin cheese curds, lamb gravy and a fried egg — and a Reuben-inspired fry with smoked Gouda, grilled pastrami, sauerkraut and Russian dressing on top. There will also be a waffle fry sundae with chocolate ice cream, topped off with peppered bacon.
 
“As kids we always went to Wendy’s and got fries and chocolate Frostys,” says PJ, who has a finance degree from Xavier University. “So we decided to formalize that and add some bacon, too.”
 
When looking for a vehicle to host their kitchen, the team looked at buses and trucks and eventually decided on a Mike-Sells Potato Chip delivery truck. The Neumann brothers launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $2,500 for a new wrap for the truck, reaching the goal within the first day. The campaign is still open until March 6, and the guys are now raising money for a commercial ice cream machine so they can serve homemade ice cream with their sweet pie offerings.
 
Hungry Bros. plans to set up at the City Flea and Second Sunday on Main, and they’ve applied to be part of Food Truck Alley at Taste of Cincinnati as well as the Cincinnati Food Truck Association.
 
PJ says they’re interested in partnering with places like Liberty’s Bar & Bottle, which doesn’t serve food, but in order to sell food on city streets in Cincinnati you have to have a permit and can park only in mobile food vending zones. There aren’t any of those zones on Main Street, where Liberty's is located.
 
“There are about 40 food trucks in town, and there’s a lot of work to do to raise awareness about them,” PJ says. “One of our missions is to bring that awareness — eating on the street is fun. You don’t need a reservation. Just get your palate out there and eat.”
 
The Neumanns having a soft opening on March 25 at Rhinegeist, where they’ll be testing out a text-to-order option — customers can check out the truck’s menu in the taproom, then text their order down to the truck, pay using Square, and a runner will bring their food up to them.
 

Martin & Marilyn Wade's ambitious OTR development is underway


Much of the development in Over-the-Rhine has been spearheaded by large organizations like 3CDC and Urban Sites. But private developers are coming on the scene now, and they're not just renovating private residences.

Martin Wade, owner of Rookwood Pottery, and his wife Marilyn are working to redevelop a large swath of OTR at Walnut and East Liberty streets, where their proposed $75 million project will include the historic Grammer’s German restaurant. Phase I is underway on existing properties along Walnut between 14th and Melindy streets, with 21 apartments to be completed by June.
 
The Wades have been acquiring OTR property since 2007, when they purchased Grammer’s from former Vice Mayor Jim Tarbell and tried to run it as a bar and meeting space. It closed in 2011.
 
Their ambitious three-phase, mixed-use project will include a total of 100 apartments, 40,000 square feet of office and retail space and four single-family townhomes.
 
Phase II sits just north of Melindy, which will be turned into a pedestrian street. This portion of the project will include demolishing part of Grammer’s complex to make way for new construction, but part of the restaurant’s façade and the bar will be preserved. The first floor will include 6,000 square feet of retail, with 16,000 square feet of office space on the second floor and 24,000 square feet of commercial space and eight apartments on the third floor. There will also be 157 parking spaces of parking both underground and on street level.
 
Another part of Phase II will be four single-family townhomes on Clay Street, each with its own garage. Wade hopes to break ground on the second phase by the third quarter of this year, with construction finishing in 2017.
 
The Phase III will include 68 two- and three-bedroom apartments behind the Vine Street Kroger on the west side of Walnut. The entire project is slated to be completed by 2019.
 
Craig Gossman of the Gossman Group is the project architect, Megen Construction Co. is the general contractor and Urban Sites will be the property manager.  
 

Chicago transplant bringing new restaurant, sense of community to OTR


Nick Pesola started his business idea, rotisserie chickens, at Findlay Market last summer. In a few weeks, he will be opening the doors of his brick-and-mortar restaurant, Revolution Rotisserie & Bar, at 1106 Race St. in Over-the-Rhine.
 
“When I moved to Cincinnati for work, I lived in Oakley and stumbled upon OTR at a friend’s recommendation,” Pesola says. “I fell in love with the neighborhood. It has a good blend of urban and neighborhood and reminds me of Chicago. There are also lots of entrepreneurial things happening as well as transplants like me. Why wouldn’t anyone want to live in OTR or start a business here?”
 
Originally, Pesola set out to do a healthier take on gyros, which are popular in his native Chicago. But after a few tastings, he realized chicken was the way to go. He started with an eight-bird rotisserie at Findlay Market and increased to a 40-bird rotisserie because he kept running out.
 
He also thought he'd be selling whole and half chickens more, but he became known for pita sandwiches. And so Revolution was born.
 
The menu will feature eight pita sandwiches that showcase the versatility of chicken, all topped with vegetables and homemade sauces and made with FreeBird chicken, which is sourced from Amish and Mennonite farms that raise chickens humanely and free of hormones and preservatives. There will also be a potato bowl with mashed potatoes or tater tots, gravy, cheese and chicken on top, and the menu will be rounded out with four salads and a la carte sides like garlic mashed potatoes, cinnamon applesauce, creamed corn, roasted seasonal vegetables and pita chips and hummus.

Revolution will also have a full bar, so customers can have a sandwich and craft beer or a punch-style cocktail.
 
The 1,500-square-foot space has been home to two different cafes and has been completely transformed to fit Revolution’s needs. Pesola installed a hood for the grill top and rotisserie as well as a full bar with 10 seats.
 
“I wanted the space to have a unique identity that was competitive in OTR,” Pesola says. “We’re doing our best to compete in the market and doing something different with a genuine feel.”
 
Not only does Pesola want to be known for his food, but he's also excited about being a great employer and helping his employees receive an education and learn transferable skills.
 
“I want to contribute to the community,” he says. “People come to my door all the time asking for a job, and I’m exploring that. I want to leave OTR a better community than before I opened Revolution. I’m all about improving everything around you and seeking to understand before doing something.”
 
Pesola is funding Revolution on his own, but he's set up a Kickstarter campaign in order to raise $6,000 to offset some start-up expenses.
 

Findlay Market creating incubator kitchen to help food entrepreneurs


Findlay Market took control of an Elm Street property two weeks ago, and construction is slated to begin on the market’s 8,000-square-foot incubator kitchen in May. The project will yield five industrial kitchens that will help launch and grow food-related businesses.
 
The Corporation for Findlay Market raised $2.5 million for the project and will charge between $16 and $20 per hour for use of kitchen space. The pricing structure isn’t finalized yet, but there will most likely be an additional fee for storage and tool or utensil rental.
 
“We’re excited to expand our mission to provide more resources to food entrepreneurs,” says Joe Hansbauer, president and CEO of the Corporation for Findlay Market. “The market is already a premiere location to start and grow a food-related business, and the kitchen will further remove barriers for those who are looking to launch a new idea or grow an existing successful business.”
 
Findlay Market is also focusing on removing barriers to entry for low-income and minority food entrepreneurs.
 
“I want to help them achieve their dream of starting a business and leverage their skills for making great food,” Hansbauer says.
 
The kitchen will also be used for different events, such as pop-up restaurants, cooking classes, healthy eating education and supporting farmers who are looking to make value-added products from their produce.
 
“An incubator kitchen has long been in the master plan for Findlay Market, and we’re excited to finally make it a reality,” Hansbauer says.
 
The kitchen, located at 1719 Elm St., will be completed by September at the earliest or December at the latest.

Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce is offering a tour of Findlay Market's pre-construction incubator kitchen site 4:30-6:30 p.m. Feb. 12, followed by a happy hour at Rhinegeist Brewery. Get details here.
 

Goodfellas Pizzeria now open on Main Street in OTR


Eric Boggs and Alex Coats, owners of Goodfellas Pizzeria, opened their newest restaurant at 1211 Main St. in Over-the-Rhine on New Year’s Eve. They also have two locations in their native Lexington and one in Covington.
 
Goodfellas OTR is in the former Mayberry space, which was completely gutted and renovated by Urban Expansion. A second floor was added, and the attic was turned into a mezzanine. There’s also a two-level outdoor patio and bar, with a bar on the ground floor.
 
The bar is designed like a 1920s speakeasy, with bourbon barrels and old crates used as decoration throughout the restaurant. Goodfellas specializes in pre-Prohibition-style cocktails and whiskey as well as pizza. The three bars will also feature craft beer.
 
Coats’ family is from Long Island, N.Y., and the pizza served at Goodfellas is New York-style — it’s made with hand-tossed crust, fresh ingredients and homemade sauce. Pizza can be purchased by the slice or in whole pies.
 
Goodfellas also has an ice program, which includes flavored ice, different types of ice and big blocks of ice that are chipped away at to chill drinks.  
 
Goodfellas is open from 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday-Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday-Sunday. Lunch specials Monday-Friday include a slice of pizza, a side and a drink for $6.
 

12 Cincinnati projects receive $30 million in state historic tax credits


Across the state, a total of $41.8 million in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits was awarded to 31 organizations that plan to rehabilitate 35 historic buildings. Projects range from new office, hotel, retail and event spaces to 792 new market-rate housing units and the preservation of 279 affordable housing units.

Twelve Cincinnati projects were granted almost $30 million in state historic tax credits, with the bulk going to the Music Hall renovation project.

51 E. Clifton Ave., Over-the-Rhine
Project cost: $750,000
Tax credit: $147,000
Built in 1890 as tenement housing for the workers at OTR’s breweries and other industries, the building has been vacant for a number of years. It will be redeveloped into seven market-rate apartments.

1200 and 1208 Main St., OTR
Project cost: $3,231,129
Tax credit: $320,000
Wurst & Lorentz opened a “fancy goods store” in 1887 at 1200 Main St. The property has housed a number of dry goods, millinery and butcher shops and is currently vacant. Urban Sites plans to redevelop the two buildings into 19 apartments with first-floor retail space.

1317 Republic St., OTR
Project cost: 1,494,669
Tax credit: $199,000
Built in 1878, the Greek Revival building has been vacant for several years. Grandin Properties plans to redevelop the first three floors of the building into six apartments.

1319 Republic St., OTR
Project cost: $1,494,669
Tax credit: $199,000
Also built in 1878, this building is the twin of 1317 Republic St. Grandin Properties will redevelop the vacant site into six apartments, and both projects will complement others from the company in the block, including the former Emanuel Community Center and two buildings on 13th Street.

1405 Clay St., OTR
Project cost: $1,101,746
Tax credit: $180,000
Built between 1885 and 1890, the currently vacant property will be rehabbed into four apartments and first-floor retail by Urban Sites.

4089 Langland St., Northside
Project cost: $770,760
Tax credit: $150,000
This building once housed a café and boarding house but was most recently used by a lumber company. It’s been vacant since 2005 and will eventually house Wire & Twine Design Studios and a coworking space as well as two residential units.

Ambassador Apartments, 722 Gholson Ave. and 3415 Reading Road, Avondale
Project cost: $9,410,866
Tax credit: $913,751
Opened in 1929, Ambassador Apartments has been challenged with a number of maintenance issues. The Community Builders recently acquired the property and plans to renovate the 18 units so they can continue to be affordable housing.

Cincinnati Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., OTR
Project cost: $127,500,000
Tax credit: $25 million
The national historic landmark was dedicated during Cincinnati’s fourth May Festival in 1878 and is home to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera and May Festival and is managed by Cincinnati Arts Association. Rehab plans include upgrading building systems and handicap accessibility, improving operational efficiency and reopening and refreshing the exterior facades in order to increase the number of events held in the space.

Crescent Court Apartments, 3719 Reading Road, Avondale
Project cost: $8,370,356
Tax credit: $249,999
Built in 1911, Crescent Court Apartments was recently acquired by The Community Builders. The 37 affordable housing units will be redeveloped as part of a larger project planned for the neighborhood.

Heberle School, 2015 Freeman Ave., West End
Project cost: $11,189,704
Tax credit: $1,834,000
The Heberle School is one of several vacant schools in the neighborhood and will be converted into 59 apartments. It’s the first project in the West End to utilize state historic tax credits.

Poinciana Apartments, 3522 and 3639 Reading Road; 610 and 615 Maple Ave., Avondale
Project cost: $20,279,443
Tax credit: $440,202
Built in 1908, The Community Builders will redevelop the 44-unit building as part of a larger project in the neighborhood. Along with three other properties, the project will yield clean, safe, affordable housing.

Somerset Apartments, 802 Blair Ave., Avondale
Project cost: $5,892,147
Tax credit: $249,999
The apartments were built in 1869, and The Community Builders will rehab and preserve the existing 30 apartments.  
 

Pedal Wagon, Halfcut owner opens coworking space in OTR


Jack Heekin, owner of Over-the-Rhine’s Pedal Wagon and Halfcut, recently opened up a coworking space dubbed The Office attached to Halfcut at 12th and Walnut Streets. Gomez Salsa, Push Pull Studios, Squirrel Films and Venn have joined Halfcut and the Pedal Wagon so far, and Heekin says there’s an open door policy.
 
“People are always coming in and out, and more and more people are asking about using it,” he says. "The Office is definitely open to whoever wants to use it."
 
Heekin says The Office evolved on its own: As he opened Halfcut and his friend from high school, Andrew Gomez, opened Gomez Salsa next door, they each realized they needed an office. They turned Halfcut’s storage space into The Office — it’s between the kitchen, which Gomez Salsa uses, and Halfcut’s bar.
 
The space has slowly developed into a place for friends and friends of friends to come in and work together.
 
The bottom floor is just under 1,000 square feet and has a lounge area for meetings as well as a ping pong table for hanging out. The second floor is about 300 square feet, with a number of desks for companies to work at and share ideas.
 
“The Office will help add to the big picture and overall success of Cincinnati,” Heekin says. “If another startup needs help with something, you’ll be able to get it, as well as pitch ideas and collaborate with others.”
 

Article owners opening women's wear shop


Anthony Graziani and his wife opened the men’s clothing store Article in Over-the-Rhine last September. And after positive customer response and continued development on Vine Street, they're opening a second shop, Idlewild Woman, just down the block.
 
“We’re still in the startup mode with Article, but there’s so much promise in the neighborhood we decided to take the leap and open a second store,” Graziani says. “The credit really goes to Cincinnati and the renaissance going on right now.”
 
The 1,000-square-foot space at 1232 Vine St. is currently serving as a holiday pop-up shop for Idlewild and Fern Studio, but by April it will be 100 percent Idlewild.
 
“People really like that Article is dialed into what men are looking for as far as a shopping experience,” Graziani says. “We plan to do the same thing with Idlewild.”
 
Graziani also found that female shoppers were looking for that same type of retail experience that Article offers. He received lots of feedback from female customers shopping at Article either for the man in their life or for themselves. As fit jeans, oversized sweaters and menswear-inspired work pieces have become more popular, female shoppers have begun to frequent Article more and more.
 
Idlewild will have items that aren’t necessarily on-trend but are classic. Graziani is focusing the retail options on brands not currently available in Cincinnati and is working to create a women’s general store with a wide variety of items rather than a boutique.
 
Currently, the pop-up shop features goods from a variety of designers, including Imogene and Willie, Baldwin Denim, Steven Alan, Objects Without Meaning, Faherty, Almond, Billy Kirk, Shinola, Tiro Tiro, Another Feather, Mazama, Jacobsen Salt, Herbivore Botanicals and Mast Brothers Chocolate. Additional brands will be added throughout the holiday season, and many of the brands will become Idlewild staples.
 
Where Article sells Noble Denim, Graziani says he hasn’t found a regional designer like it that makes women’s denim, although there’s probably one out there that does.
 
“We’re trying to support regional manufacturers as much as we can, and the majority of the designers we carry manufacture their products here in the States,” he says. “But our focus is really on quality, not necessarily where it’s made.”
 
The holiday pop-up shop is open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays in December. Deeper Roots Coffee is on-site 11 a.m.-3 p.m. serving pour-over coffee, and there are also nightly wine tastings.
 

Business accelerator opening storefront in OTR


Business accelerator MORTAR is opening a storefront at 1327 Vine St. in Over-the-Rhine to provide space for entrepreneurs to operate their businesses while taking full advantage of support services. Called Brick OTR, the space hosts its first brand, Originalitees, from Nov. 28 to Dec. 28.
 
“We took a step back and looked at the landscape of Cincinnati,” says William Thomas II, leadership strategist and business developer for MORTAR. “The city is on the brink of a major comeback, and we wanted to make sure we were growing collectively. We also saw there were many others who wanted to take part in the progress who are often overlooked.”
 
Thomas and his partners Derrick Braziel and Allen Woods realized that many of OTR’s longtime residents were getting left behind as the neighborhood’s landscape was changing. MORTAR is designed to provide support for entrepreneurs or business owners who face barriers, including race, socioeconomic status, access to capital or institutional expertise.
 
MORTAR is open to entrepreneurs who have the desire to take their idea, listen to feedback, pivot and do what's needed to succeed.
 
“Our plan is to assist these entrepreneurs, whether they’re starting a new business or growing an existing business throughout the course, mentorship and continued guidance,” Braziel says.
 
The storefront is only 380 square feet but has the space for up to two businesses at a time. Businesses can rent out Brick OTR for a day, a week or a month, so the brands you see will be constantly changing. Follow Brick OTR on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for upcoming concepts.
 
“One week you might stop in and see two brands working side-by-side, and next time one brand will have the entire space,” Thomas says. “We want to encourage people to stop in frequently because you never know what you’ll find.”
 
Brick OTR is currently only in Over-the-Rhine, but MORTAR’s goal for the coming years is to have multiple locations in underserved areas all over the city.

Urban Sites creating living, working spaces in OTR

Across the street from the Emery Theatre, Urban Sites is redeveloping two buildings, located at 1123 and 1125 Walnut St. The buildings will yield 16 units—14 apartments and two commercial spaces.
 
Sixteen years ago, the city loaned money to a developer to renovate the buildings. The developer defaulted on the loan, and Urban Sites purchased the property and began construction a few weeks ago.
 
The 14 market-rate apartments will all be two-bedroom, and are slated to be completed next summer. Each is about 800 square feet, and still has the original wood floors and fireplace facades intact. A small, concrete courtyard connects the two buildings.

“There are lots of young professionals and people who work downtown here, and we want people who work down here and love OTR to live here,” says Seth Maney, vice president of development for Urban Sites.

Urban Sites was founded in the '80s, and since then has focused much of its development south of Liberty Street in Over-the-Rhine. But the developer recently purchased the 40,000-square-foot film center building just north of Liberty.
 
“We’re currently working with Findlay Market to understand their needs, and we’ve been approached by several companies about the building too,” Maney says. “It’s still in the early stages, but it’s one of a few large office buildings like it.”

To date, Urban Sites has redeveloped 400 apartments and more than 100,000 square feet of retail and office space. Almost 100 percent of the developer’s units are occupied, but 70 more will soon be online.
 

New OTR event center hosts first show

Over-the-Rhine’s newest music venue, The Woodward Theater, is holding its first show with Nashville-based The Soil & The Sun on Nov. 10.
 
The 101-year-old theater was purchased and renovated by the owners of MOTR, who were looking for a venue that could handle larger acts and crowds.
 
“It’s a unique piece of architecture in OTR,” says Dan McCabe, co-owner of MOTR and The Woodward. “It’s a rare building, and we want to keep it around for another 101 years.”
 
The inside of the building is a big open room, and can handle up to 600 people. Seating will be brought in to meet the needs of each event, and the stage is in the center of the room against one of the four walls. A horseshoe balcony overlooks the space, and allows for a more intimate feel for both the performer and the audience.
 
A bar runs along one side of the space and features 24 taps. McCabe says there will be a strong local brewery presence, with a wider variety of beers than you see at MOTR, which only has 10 taps.
 
The Woodward was built to be an event hall, McCabe says. Local businesses are renting the space for speakers, and they’ve already booked several wedding receptions. He also wants to show films on a regular basis.
 
“The Woodward will be a gateway for the region and for OTR,” McCabe says. “People are coming from out of town to see shows, and they’re coming early, shopping around and visiting local businesses before and after the show. We hope that people look up and look around, and make the decision to explore Cincinnati deeper, and maybe event more here.”
 
Ticket prices vary for each show, depending on the act. You can get advance tickets for shows at The Woodward here.
 

Lavomatic space to become neighborhood tavern

When Lavomatic closed this summer, Thunderdome Restaurant Group quickly signed a lease for the space, which is right next door to Bakersfield. There was lots of speculation surrounding the coming restaurant, and this December, a new concept, Krueger’s Tavern, will open.
 
Many years ago, the space was home to a Laundromat, and opened as Lavomatic in 2008. It was the first restaurant to open in the Gateway District.
 
The building, which is the only open-air restaurant in Over-the-Rhine, is currently undergoing a remodel to fit the tavern concept. The Krueger’s menu will feature sandwiches and tavern food, with more than 75 varieties of canned beer, as well as a full bar.
 
Four types of sausages will be made in-house, and will be served with sides instead of on buns. The sandwiches will include a sloppy joe and a chicken club, made on bread from 16 Bricks.
 
The name for the restaurant comes from Krueger’s Brewing, which was a New Jersey brewery that, in 1935, was the first to sell beer in cans.
 
Thunderdome owns four Bakersfield restaurants with two more to come, several Currito locations, The Eagle Food and Beer Hall and SoHi Grilled Sandwiches in Oxford.
 

Frameshop opens Workshop in Walnut Hills

Frameshop recently moved the back end of its framing business to 700 E. McMillan in Walnut Hills. It’s in the same building as Beck Paint and Hardware, and will allow Frameshop the space to do the woodwork and finishing on pieces.
 
Co-owner Jake Baker says they ran out of space to make frames at the Over-the-Rhine location, and needed a place where they could test out their services and maybe develop new products.
 
“We were looking for new opportunities to work with wood,” Baker says. “Walnut Hills is looking to change the dynamic of the neighborhood, and we’re excited about that.”
 
Workshop will be housed in a 1,100-square-foot space on the first floor of the building, but they’re also testing out the third floor, which is about 2,000 square feet. It will solely be a workshop, and Frameshop will continue to offer retail options, with hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and appointments during the week.
 
Baker says they might take appointments at Workshop, as there are customers who like to see the whole framing process, but that’s still up in the air.
 
Frameshop is expanding in other ways, too. Since opening in 2012, they hired two employees, both graduates of the Art Academy of Cincinnati. They also opened a location in Lexington last September, with the intention of moving to a new space in January. The lease at the new location fell through, so Baker and partner Jake Gerth decided to focus on Cincinnati and the new Workshop.
 
“Being active in Walnut Hills and OTR is going to allow us to get to know a new set of people, and introduce each neighborhood to a new set of people,” Baker says. “We’re ambassadors for business and the neighborhood of OTR, and we want to do that for Walnut Hills too.
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