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German cafe opens in Newport

When Elena Williams moved to the United States from Germany in 2005, she didn’t think she would open a café. But after working as a manager at Panera and a barista at Starbucks, she realized she wanted to own a restaurant. On April 9, Katharina’s Café and Konditorei opened on Overton Street in Newport.
 
“I had this location in mind for a café, along with a few others,” Williams says. “When it became available, I knew it was perfect.”

Williams did some remodeling of the space, including painting, adding walls and a breakfast nook, as well as purchasing new tables and chairs and installing free Wi-Fi.
 
Katharina’s, which is named for Williams’ grandmother, serves breakfast and lunch with items made fresh daily by her mother and cook Christine Hambuch. The menu is made up of soups, salads and sandwiches, as well as a few main dishes like Tortellini in Rahmsosse (tortellini in a ham and cream sauce).
 
Williams says the chicken salad baguette and Belegte Brötchen (your choice of Black Forest ham, smoked ham, salami and cheese on a roll with sandwich fixings) have been customer favorites so far, as well as the potato soup.
 
Katharina’s also serves coffee and espresso with beans from Newberry Bros. Coffee, which is down the street. The restaurant resembles traditional German cafés, and has the atmosphere of gemutlichkeit, which is a coziness that inspires a cheery, peaceful mood.  
 
Katharina’s is open Tuesday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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BLOC Ministries to own, operate restaurant in Lower Price Hill

In May, BLOC Ministries will open a community-centered restaurant in Lower Price Hill. Blochead Pizza, which will be located at 712 State Ave., will be owned and operated by BLOC, but with local staff and management.
 
The 1,200-square-foot restaurant will employ about 13 people, and is slated to open the first week of May.
 
“We want to bring a community space that people can walk to, and gather and eat,” says Rev. Dwight Young of BLOC.
 
BLOC is also looking to bring two or three more businesses to State. It is starting a print shop and T-shirt printing company, and has its sights set on a building for the arts and training, and another for a new-businesses incubator.
 
“We’re interested in bringing jobs and training to the community that will ultimately help the community,” Young says. “There are great people who live here, and we want to partner with them and other investors to make a difference here that will affect the city.”
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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New Braxton Brewing Co. will combine beer, education, technology

Evan Rouse has been brewing beer in his dad’s garage for the past six years. After a visit to Upland Brewing Co. when he was 16, he fell in love with craft beer. Evan’s success in brewing competitions caught the attention of Richard Dubé, former vice president of brewing and quality at Christian Moerlein.
 
Later this year, Evan and his brother, Jake, and father, Greg, along with Dubé, will open Braxton Brewing Co. in Covington. They will start off with local production, and then expand to other areas of the Midwest.
 
“Looking across the industry and what’s happening in Over-the-Rhine, we saw the number of craft beer fans out there,” Jake says. “We’re looking to bridge the gap between Ohio and Kentucky, and prove that the river isn’t an ocean between us.”
 
Although Evan and Dubé will handle the brewing, Jake will be behind Braxton Brewing’s digital branding, and Greg is working on the brewery’s educational approach. Jake, a manager at ExactTarget, plans to launch a mobile app that will leverage what technology can provide in the craft beer industry.
 
“We want to help revolutionize beer, and we hope this app will do that,” he says.
 
Braxton Brewing partnered with Miami University for the digital branding aspect of the company, and Neltner Small Batch worked on the company’s physical branding.
 
The group also wants to focus on educating their customers. “We want to put the customer at the center of our brewery by creating an atmosphere around craft beer and learning about craft beer,” Greg says. “We think it’s important to keep people as close to the product as possible.”
 
The brewery will be housed in an 11,000-square-foot space on Seventh Street in the Pike Street Corridor. There will be between 15-20 beers on tap at any given time, with Braxton’s core brands and rotating seasonal and specialty beers as well.
 
Evan and Dubé designed the brewery’s 20-barrel, three-vessel system, and are now working with manufacturers on the actual product.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Underground dining experience expanding to restaurant, urban market

Hen of the Woods’ owners Nick and Kim Marckwald started out doing underground dining experiences with family and friends in 2012, but it quickly grew into something much bigger. They’ve done the Over-the-Rhine farmers market, Findlay Market, private events and pop-up brunches. And in the next year, Hen of the Woods will have a physical restaurant space in the old J.B. Schmidt building in OTR.
 
“We looked everywhere for a space,” Nick says. “Nothing felt right until we found this building on Main. We knew it would let us reach our fullest potential. And Main is the next phase of the OTR scene, and it fits our personality and energy.”
 
J.B. Schmidt occupied the building for about 100 years. The contracting company left in 2012, and Urban Sites purchased it, but it’s been vacant since then.
 
The space, which includes the storefronts at 1432 and 1434 Main St., is just under 10,000 square feet. In the 1970s, the three-story building at 1432 was partially torn down and a warehouse was built by the city to house the drainage lines before they put them under OTR streets, and Schmidt eventually acquired it. It’s connected to 1434, which is a shed-type building with many different pockets, Nick says.
 
The first floor of 1432 will be HOTW’s urban market (beer and wine to-go, prepared food, an old-school butcher shop, smoothies, coffee, tea) and the second floor will be an extension of the dining room, overlooking Main Street. The Marckwald’s offices will be located on the third floor of the building. The “shed” will become a large dining room, bar and three-season patio with seating for 50-60.
 
HOTW’s serves modern American cuisine with a farm-to-table aesthetic.
 
“We like to take American classics and bend them on their ear,” Kim says. “We do lots of surprising touches and like to celebrate every element of whatever we’re using.”
 
The Marckwalds met in Colorado nine years ago, where Nick was an executive chef and Kim was bartending at the same restaurant. They’ve eaten their way through New York City and Chicago, and love to look at the menus, drinks, clientele and décor of the places they go. HOTW will showcase what’s important to them: service, presentation, fun and, of course, food.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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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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AlvaEDU leaves Florida, relocates to downtown Cincinnati

AlvaEDU Inc. will soon relocate from Boca Raton, Fla., to the Scripps Center downtown. The company plans to spend at least $120,000 on equipment and improvements to the space.
 
Initially, 17 employees are moving to Cincinnati, and AlvaEDU plans to add 50 new jobs over the next three years. The new jobs would add $3 million in annual payroll to the city.
 
In exchange for committing to stay in Cincinnati for 10 years, AlvaEDU is getting an income tax credit that is equal to 45 percent of the city income tax revenue from the new jobs for six years.
 
The company develops online learning programs and works to integrate technology into education.
 
AlvaEDU, which was founded in 2012 by Tim Loudermilk, has worked with 800 universities, and 1,800 of the largest companies in the world in more than 60 countries.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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A Tavola opening second location in Maderia

In April, Over-the-Rhine restaurant staple A Tavola will open its second location in Maderia. The restaurant, which is located at 7022 Miami Ave., will feature a large, seasonal outdoor bar and dining area in addition to the 2,400-square-foot restaurant.
 
The Madeira location will have the same menu as the OTR restaurant. It will also have the same imported Neapolitan wood-fired oven from the Ferrara family in Naples. But the Maderia A Tavola will also have the first Italfornia Bull Oven in the United States.
 
The new oven allows A Tavola to add a new type of pizza to its menu—Roman style, which has a thinner and crispier crust.
 
“We’re the first restaurant in the country to have one of these new ovens,” says Nicolas Wayne, owner of A Tavola. “We hope to eventually add this type of oven to our OTR location as well to maintain consistency.”
 
A Tavola’s signature fig and prosciutto pizza, which is topped with dates stuffed with house sausage wrapped in bacon and covered in the house tomato sauce, is a customer favorite. The restaurant also offers vegetarian options, such as the arancini, which are breaded and fried risotto balls stuffed with mozzarella, and the eggplant slider.
 
“We hope to bring a neighborhood restaurant to Madeira where people can enjoy a family meal, a fun night out or a celebration without having to spend a lot of money,” Wayne says.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Entrepreneur opens clothing and accessory boutique in OTR

After living in New York City for 11 years, Libby Andress came to Cincinnati and decided it was time to open her own boutique. LIBBY, a clothing and accessory shop, opened in fall 2013 in Over-the-Rhine.
 
“I’ve always been a boutique shopper, their imagination just amazes me,” Andress says.
 
The 600-square-foot, single-employee shop sells clothing and accessories, including handmade and custom jewelry and repairs. In the future, Andress hopes to offer other items like home goods, candles, perfume and fine jewelry.
 
Andress mainly sources her inventory from New York City and Los Angeles, where fashion is on the forefront. Her goal is to provide accessible shopping options that are on the pulse of the newest fashion being produced around the world.
 
“I stock off-brand fast fashion, which is a burgeoning market in fashion,” she says. “The market is inspired by all branches of the fashion industry. For example, it’s just begun to explore sustainable fashion, and I sell some clothes made from bamboo to reflect that.”
 
LIBBY is open Thursday through Saturday from noon to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. You can visit her Etsy shop here.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Local brewer paying homage to Taft with new brewery, restaurant

There will soon be a new brewery on the scene in Over-the-Rhine. Kevin Moreland, former head brewer at Listermann/Triple Digit Brewing Company, is opening Taft’s Ale House in the historic St. Paul’s Church complex.
 
Built in the 1850s, the church has been abandoned since the ’80s. The city acquired the church and attempted to repair it, but the funds were never there. 3CDC bought it in 2010 for $350,000, and later made about $450,000 worth of structural repairs, including a new roof and some internal work.
 
Several other tenants were considered for the space, including offices and other commercial options.  
 
Taft’s Ale House pays homage to the 27th President of the United States and Cincinnati native William Howard Taft. The $8 million brewery is looking to open this fall or winter.
 
Taft’s beer will be made from locally sourced ingredients and is inspired by OTR restaurants, bars and specialty food retailers. There will be 12 beers on tap—three staples chosen by patrons, and the others will rotate seasonally. There will also be a menu with pub fare, which will include tri-tip steak sandwiches.
 
All three floors of the church will be utilized by Taft’s. The first floor, or Big Billy’s Basement, will house the brewery’s barrel-aged projects and rotating taps of local beer. The second floor will be the main beer hall with a view of the entire brewing process, including the eight 20BBL fermenters and eight 20BBL serving vessels behind the bar, separated by a catwalk. The third floor, or Brauzzine, will be the dining room that overlooks the beer hall.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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LISC Community Advantage loans to benefit small businesses

This year, Local Initiatives Support Cooperation received its Community Advantage license from the Small Business Administration. The brand-new program is one of eight LISC markets in the country to offer this type of loans.
 
The loans range from $50,000 to $250,000, and can be used by small businesses for working capital, real estate, inventory, equipment and tenant improvements. Businesses must be for-profit, and even startups can qualify, as long as they have two years of experience in the industry and a strong team and plan in place.
 
“Community Advantage is an SBA-guaranteed loan program to help entrepreneurs launch or expand small businesses, particularly in low- to moderate-income communities,” says Patrick Duhaney, program officer for LISC.
 
LISC’s program now offers existing businesses and startups that are viable, but for one reason or another aren’t strong enough for traditional bank financing, access to the capital needed in order to launch or expand.
 
Community Advantage has yet to finance any businesses, but there are a few on the horizon, Duhaney says.
 
LISC has been operating in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky since 2000. In that time, it has awarded more than $75 million in grants and loans, including loans that supported the new Anna Louise Inn, single-family and senior housing projects, and Covington’s Pike Star building.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Senate, Abigail Street owners opening third restaurant

Over-the-Rhine restaurateurs Daniel and Lana Wright are looking to open their third restaurant, Pontiac Bourbon and BBQ, at 1403 Vine St. this summer.
 
The Wrights, owners of Senate and Abigail Street, plan to focus Pontiac’s menu on barbeque favorites such as Texas brisket, Memphis-style ribs, Alabama-style chicken and Frito pie. The bar will be stocked with a variety of bourbon, whiskey and beer; there will also be a choice of sodas from the Wrights childhood.
 
Pontiac will have seating for about 60, and will offer take-out options by-the-pound. It will be open for lunch and dinner Tuesday-Sunday.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Blend brings community space, coffee shop, restaurant to Covington

On March 3, Bobby and Stephanie Kimball will open their coffee shop/restaurant, Blend, in Covington. The space, which is located at 14 E. Fifth St., will seat 30, and food will be available to-go and for delivery via bicycle.
 
Bobby, a former chef, left the food industry about 10 years ago to become a comedian and magician. And in the last few years, he and Stephanie, who has also worked with food, decided it was time to open a restaurant of their own.
 
“In the last few years, it hit me that life is too short, so why not do what we’ve been dreaming of doing,” Bobby says.
 
Blend is a family affair, with Bobby and Stephanie’s daughter helping manage the restaurant, as Bobby still has a full schedule touring and performing. He built all of the cabinets, and all of the magazine racks are made from reused pallets.
 
Blend’s menu will focus on simple but gourmet dishes, and will feature four salads, two soups and about eight sandwiches for lunch. A few highlights include the quinoa salad with seasonal vegetables and a roasted garlic vinaigrette; vegetarian French onion soup that can be made gluten-free and vegan; and the Adult Grilled Cheese with aged cheddar cheese, sliced apples and prosciutto on sourdough bread.
 
There’s also a breakfast menu, including the Eggamuffin sandwich and maple wrap, which is a thin buttermilk pancake wrapped around eggs, sausage and a potato hash that you can dip in warm maple syrup.
 
All of Blend’s food is fresh and locally sourced, including the coffee, which is from Seven Hills Coffee in Blue Ash. Bobby is even smoking the turkey in-house and making the sausage.
 
“We want Blend to bring a sense of community to Covington,” Bobby says. “It’s really coming into its own, and it’s such a great area with lots of revitalization going on.”
 
Bobby wants Blend to be a place where people come to gather, and not just for great coffee and food. He plans to host pop-up dinners featuring local chefs and open the place to local groups for meetings.
 
“We’re reaching out to drug outreach groups who want to hold meetings for the friends and family of addicts,” Bobby says. “We think it’s important for families to have somewhere to go.”
 
Bobby also wants to see local art on the two large, bare walls in the dining area of Blend. Artists will receive 100 percent of the sales. If you’re interested in displaying your work at Blend, contact Bobby at 812-912-1448.
 
Blend’s hours are Monday-Thursday form 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., with later hours on Friday and Saturday for music and open mic nights (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.).
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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NKY Galaxie Skateshop opening second location in Northside

Galaxie Skateshop has been operating in Newport for just over six years, and on March 1, owners Gary Collins and Zach Kincaid are opening their second location in Northside.
 
“Galaxie will be a centrally located place for skateboarders to grab their gear, meet up and help dispel the myth that skateboarding is a negative activity,” Collins says.
 
Collins and Kincaid remodeled and renovated the 1,200-square-foot shop on Hamilton Avenue themselves. The shop will sell anything and everything that revolves around the skateboard culture, from boards and apparel to footwear and accessories.
 
“We’ve always wanted to do a shop in Northside,” Collins says. “It’s the most diverse and artistic part of Cincinnati that attracts a lot of skateboarders, musicians and creative types that have connections to the skateboard culture.”
 
Galaxie is 100 percent skater-owned, Collins says, who has been in the skateboarding business for more than 20 years. He’s been running Instrument Skateboards for the last eight or so, and he plans to carry it and other local brands like Absorb, Hella Cool, OATW, Curb Cult and Revive in the store.
 
Collins is also the driving force, both financially and physically, of the Newport DIY skatepark Under471.
 
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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Walk-up Mexican restaurant coming to OTR

Andrew Gomez learned to make salsa from his father, who learned to make salsa when he was growing up from his mother. 
 
“I don’t make it like my dad, and he doesn’t make it like my grandma,” Gomez says.
 
At the end of March, Gomez will be opening his restaurant, Gomez Salsa, on 12th Street in Over-the-Rhine. It will be a to-go window only, with late night offerings until 3 a.m.
 
Gomez’s salsa is a thick, hand chopped salsa that lets you see exactly what you’re eating and adds texture to his tacos. Gomez Salsa will specialize in not just salsa, but tacos and another dish called the Turtle Shell, which consists of rice, beans, cheese, a tostada, sour cream, lettuce, meat and salsa seared closed with melted cheese.
 
“We want to be a convenient, fresh Mexican food option in OTR,” Gomez says. “It’s exciting to be one of the first new places over here after Rhinehaus to help get things going. We’re excited to be part of it.”
 
He also wants to offer customizable build-your-own taco bars for catering. And he plans to offer beer and food pairings with next-door neighbor HalfCut, which is owned by Gomez’s friend Jack Heekin.
 
Keep your eyes peeled for Gomez Salsa's Indiegogo campaign in the next few weeks. One of the offers will be a food and beer pairing, probably for happy hour, Gomez says.  
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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433 Entrepreneurship Articles | Page: | Show All
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