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Northside restaurant to bring sports and international food together

This fall, Northside will welcome another new restaurant, World Cup, located at 4023 Hamilton Ave. The sports bar will cater to all kinds of sports, and will feature international cuisine.
 
Owner Alex Kuhns, who has worked in about 15 restaurants, is a huge soccer fan, and says that when watches games at English and Irish pubs, something is missing.
 
“Our menu will represent soccer itself, in that every item is inspired by a different nation,” he says.
 
Menu highlights include an Ivory Coast Pizza, topped with curry spices, bananas, spiced peanuts and ground beef; a French pizza, topped with mushrooms, pesto and roasted garlic; Spanish fries with Romesco sour cream and red onions; and chicken wings, a Puerto Rican style with a jerk rub and a Mexican style with chipotle, lime and cilantro.
 
Kuhns says the menu will rotate to reflect the winners of different sporting events. For example, since Germany beat Brazil in the World Cup, the restaurant would feature a special German dish.
 
World Cup will have 10-12 TVs airing different sporting events, including Bengals games. They’ll also have at least 20 beers on tap, with local, international, craft and mainstream brews.
 
The 5,000-square-foot restaurant will have seating for 115 people. Two garage doors will open onto the street, but without seating on the sidewalk.
 
“It’s going to be a big open space, nothing stuffy,” Kuhns says. “One of my friends’ dads described it as ‘gemuchlikeit,’ which means carefree.”
 
He wants World Cup to be a community gathering space for neighborhood groups and parties. The restaurant will feature a large stage for music and game tables, including foosball, pool and darts.

THRIVE development grant to bring businesses to Peebles' Corner

Funded by Fifth Third Bank, Walnut Hills’ THRIVE business development grant was created to attract at least three businesses to Peebles’ Corner. The grant can be for a minimum of $3,000, and up to $15,000; ideally, Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation wants to fund as many businesses as possible.
 
“Historically, Peeble’s Corner has been difficult to repopulate, and we’re doing everything we can to reinvigorate the district,” says Kevin Wright, executive director of WHRF.
 
A committee of stakeholders, including members from the African American Community Council, the Walnut Hills Business Group, Fifth Third and WHRF, oversee the application process and match businesses with storefronts. 
 
The grant can be used for things like equipment, signage and marketing, among other things, but not for payroll or rent. The idea is to get sustainable businesses with solid business plans into Peebles’ Corner, Wright says.
 
“THRIVE is just an additional incentive to bring businesses to Walnut Hills and to give them that last push to open,” he says.
 
WHRF conducted a social capital survey last year and asked the community what types of retail options they wanted to see in the area. When THRIVE applications come through, they’re comparing the survey results to see what they community wants. One of the top requests was for a coffee shop.
 
Angst Coffee, which is located at 2437 Gilbert Ave., is the first THRIVE recipient. It also took advantage of the neighborhood’s Façade Improvement Program and Community Entertainment District program, which helps with liquor licensing.
 
“Our vision for Peebles’ Corner is to bring it back to what it once was—a vibrant, walkable business district,” Wright says.
 

Brewery tour company connects beer drinkers with beer brewers

Bryan and Emily Moritz, along with Emily’s brother, Ben Beachler, have always shared a passion for craft beer and small business. After taking a tour of a Denver brewery last year, they decided to start Craft Connection Brewery Tours in Cincinnati.
 
“We wanted to connect the people of Cincinnati to great breweries and give the breweries a chance to share their beer and their stories,” Bryan says. “We’re connecting the beer makers to the beer drinkers.”
 
A 14-passenger shuttle takes guests to four different breweries in four hours. For $55, guests get a behind-the-scenes look at Rhinegeist, Listermann Brewing, MadTree Brewing and Fifty West, as well as beer samples.  
 
Craft Connection’s maiden voyage was May 2, and since then, they have hosted corporate groups, bachelor parties, and groups of friends and family. They’ve also done a few tours to raise money for charities.
 
“Our guests love interacting with the faces of the breweries, whether that’s the owners, brewers or taproom managers,” Bryan says. “They also enjoy the simplicity of being guided through four breweries and having beer poured for them throughout the tour.”
 
Tours are held from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. All tours depart from HalfCut in Over-the-Rhine.

To learn more about the inner workings of these breweries, check out our recent article about Cincinnati's craft beer market.

Molly Wellmann adds event space to repertoire

Molly Wellmann, of Japp’s, Neon’s, Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar and Myrtle’s Punch House, is adding an event space to her brand. The Hearth Room, which is in the old Twist Lounge space downtown, is expected to open this fall.

The Hearth Room is the solution for Wellmann, whose bars are a hot commodity for people who want to rent out space for events. It doesn't make sense to shut down a bar for the night for a private party, she says, but an event space is an entirely different story.
 
The Hearth Room will be used exclusively for private events, including reunions, rehearsal dinners, corporate events and pop-up dinners. It can hold about 140 people, and will have a preferred list of caterers. Wellmann-trained bartenders will also be available for events.

Wellmann is working with Jeff McClorey of Bromwell’s, a luxury fireplace and home décor retailer, on the venue. McClorey owns the building, and there will be a Bromwell fireplace in the Hearth Room.

If you’re interested in reserving The Hearth Room for an event, contact Lisa Colina, event coordinator, at 513-479-6554 or lcolina@wellmannsbrands.com.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Foodie Cincy supports local restaurant scene

In December, Brian and Gina Barrera launched Foodie Cincy, a deck of 52 cards that feature local and independent restaurants from Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Each card contains a coupon for $10 off a minimum of $30 purchase for a different restaurant.
 
Rome Ali started Foodie US in 2009 in St. Louis; since then, the franchise has spread to 11 cities, including Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Indianapolis. Each Foodie city has a local charity that receives a portion of the proceeds from the deck sales. Foodie Cincy dedicates a portion of its sales to the Freestore Foodbank.
 
Featured restaurants were chosen based on Yelp reviews and broader Google searches, Gina says.
 
“When we started searching, we had a list of hundreds of restaurants. We narrowed that list down to those with the highest ratings in customer service and food quality, and chose restaurants from a variety of Cincinnati neighborhoods.”
 
The Barreras pitched Foodie Cincy to more than 150 restaurants, and those restaurants chose whether they wanted to be included in the deck, which consists of offers from 52 restaurants, for a total savings of $520.
 
Foodie Cincy decks cost $20, and are available until they’re sold out online and at a number of restaurants, including BrewRiver GastroPub, Mokka and The Sunset, Nicola’s and Café De Paris. Coupons are valid through November, and next year’s deck will be valid starting December 1.
 
Next year’s deck will feature many of the same restaurants seen in this year’s deck, but there will be quite a few new ones, Gina says.
 
“The deck doesn’t make people rush to restaurants, but keeps a steady stream of customers coming in with Foodie cards, and customers love it,” she says.
 
For a complete list of Foodie Cincy restaurants, visit its website or Facebook page.

Happy Belly health food cafe coming to OTR

Happy Belly on Vine, a new health food café, will soon open in Over-the-Rhine. It’s owned by Abby Reckman, a University of Cincinnati graduate in food and nutrition sciences, and her sister-in-law, Molly Reckman.
 
“I’ve always been passionate about nutrition and how it affects the body,” Abby says. “If you eat healthy, you feel healthy, both mentally and physically.”
 
Clean eating means eating foods in their most natural state—limiting highly processed foods, preservatives and added refined sugars. It’s not always easy, and Abby and Molly want to offer this type of food to the residents of OTR.
 
“We hope to bring a healthy lifestyle to the community,” Abby says. “We know that a lot of people in OTR are already health conscious and pay attention to what they put in their bodies, and we want to make it more convenient for people to eat healthy.”
 
The menu will feature smoothies like The Foundation and Hawaiian Berry, as well as a sweet potato burger, a free-range chicken wrap, the Peanut Butter and Berry Sandwich, and Spirulina Energy Bites. Sides include popcorn and mixed fruit. All of the oats used at Happy Belly are gluten-free, and there will be a gluten-free bread option too.  
 
Happy Belly will have a take-away cooler with cold sandwiches, wraps and salads, all made fresh daily. Abby says they expect about 80 percent of their business to be carry-out.
 
Molly recently moved back to Cincinnati from Chicago, but Abby has lived in OTR since 2010, and has seen a lot of the development that’s been going on during the past four years. Abby’s father-in-law, husband and brother-in-law have all been part of the growth and development in OTR through Model Group and Urban Expansion.
 
“OTR is growing every day, and it’s an amazing neighborhood with so much life and energy,” Abby says. “This area seemed like a natural fit for us, and we want to continue to see OTR grow and be part of it.”
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Fern Studio provides plants, home decor for growing College Hill

A former College Hill gas station is now home to Fern Studio, a plant design studio that also sells a variety of home décor. Fern opened on May 1.
 
“Fern Studio began as a daydream,” says owner Megan Strasser. “I wanted to create a space that would combine my love for unique plants while celebrating independent designers and artisans.”
 
The gas station had always interested Strasser, but her father was the first to see and pursue the building’s potential. Her parents have experience in turning old buildings into something new—years ago, they purchased an old bank building, gutted it, renovated it and then lived in it.
 
Strasser says she is inspired by the Japanese concept of wabi sabi, which is defined as appreciating the imperfections of nature and the transience of natural beauty.
 
Aside from plants, Fern Studio also sells a curated collection of items for the home, including blankets hand-loomed in Mexico, small-batch candles with a 10 percent donation to animal rescue, baskets hand-woven in Africa and handmade textile wall hangings. Outside of the shop, Fern has created plant installations for restaurants and a few small businesses around Cincinnati, as well as custom arrangements for special events.
 
In the future, Strasser hopes to hold artist-run workshops in the space and eventually add a greenhouse.
 
“College Hill is an incredibly diverse neighborhood with enormous potential,” Strasser says. “I’m lucky to be among a wonderful group of business owners who are invested in the community. And I hope that I can be part of bringing more people up the hill while introducing them to the important and quality small-batch, handmade work currently being produced.”
 
Fern Studio is open Thursday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Tuesday and Wednesday by appointment.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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La Soupe donates soup to local organizations

Cincinnati native Suzy DeYoung dreamed of opening a soup kitchen to feed the hungry, but since she still needed to make a living, she decided to open a restaurant instead. La Soupe, a for-profit soup kitchen with a heart for nonprofits, opened in Anderson Township on April 29.
 
“Soup allows you to take what is given to you, and with homemade broths, becomes a meal,” DeYoung says. “It’s a slow cooking process that at 55 years old, it fits my lifestyle better than the stress of line cooking and off-site catering.”
 
DeYoung’s “aha moment” for her restaurant came after reading two books about entrepreneurship and nonprofits—The Art of Giving and Starting Something That Matters.
 
“I realized that if Blake Mycowskie, the founder of TOMS shoes, could create a business model around giving away shoes, I could create one around giving away soup,” she says.
 
For every quart of soup sold, La Soupe pays it forward and donates soup to local nonprofits in the Cincinnati area. Organizations like the Drop Inn Center and Our Daily Bread have partnered with La Soupe, and the restaurant is looking for more agencies that need help.
 
Every year, DeYoung reads the book Stone Soup to a group of fourth graders at St. Gertrude’s, and the students bring items they like in soup—beans, vegetables, noodles. She then makes soup with the ingredients, they sell it and donate the money to charity.
 
La Soupe’s rotating menu features croque du jour, therapeutic broths and seasonal specialties. There’s also a soup that was created by a 10-year-old and Chef Jean-Robert de Cavel through the Make-A-Wish Foundation on the menu.
 
“I want this to be the first La Soupe, and I would love for other cities to see this as the first business model where food is made using surplus that would otherwise go to waste,” DeYoung says. “If we creatively use these products to make interesting soups and stews, and give back to our less fortunate neighbors, it will become a wonderful full circle program.”
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Bourbon bar opening this summer in Northside

In June, Northside will welcome a bourbon bar to the neighborhood. The Littlefield, which will be located at 3930 Spring Grove Ave., is an idea that has been in the works for about five years.
 
“All four of us owners live in Northside,” says co-owner Matt Distel. “It’s where we choose to spend our time and money.”
 
Two of the owners are developers, and have started to get control of a number of buildings in the neighborhood. The Littlefield will actually be housed in one of those buildings.
 
The physical space is only about 400 square feet, but Distel says that the outdoor deck and patio are about triple that size.
 
Distel says they’re also looking to partner with Northside nonprofits and art organizations to focus on what makes the neighborhood fun and interesting.
 
“We want to highlight those organizations, and maybe have drinks specials or nights where we can help promote their events,” he says.
 
The Littlefield won’t just focus on bourbon, but will serve regional and craft-based beer and other alcohol, as well. Cocktails will be bourbon-based, with housemade bitters, and some will be cask-aged. Distel and the other owners are partnering with Shoshana Hafner, the former chef at Honey, on the menu, which will feature her take on typical bar food.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Eli's Barbeque, Maverick Chocolate opening at Findlay Market

Two new businesses, Eli’s Barbeque and Maverick Chocolate, will soon be opening on Elder Street at Findlay Market. Both businesses signed three-year agreements for their respective spaces.
 
Eli’s BBQ got its start at the market years ago, and the new permanent location will be open until 9 p.m. six days a week. Maverick Chocolate is a craft chocolate maker that produces product direct from cocoa beans. It will be the first bean-to-bar chocolate company in Ohio.
 
The market’s main goal is to increase foot traffic and business activity on the south side of the market, and improve visibility for existing businesses like Saigon Market. In the coming months, additional storefronts will be built out on the south side, and all storefronts on that side are expected to be occupied, except Luken’s cold storage building and the Mr. Pig building.
 
There are also plans to bring in a café for one of the market’s more prominent spaces at the corner of Race and Elder.
 
The two new businesses follow a months-long renovation of three storefronts, 129-133 Elder St., on the south side of the market. Each space is about 1,000 square feet, and were made possible by a $500,000 contribution from the city’s Department of Trade & Development.
 
Findlay Market is still looking to fill the third storefront. If you’re interested in leasing it, please contact Joe Hansbauer or call 513-604-7567.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Kintimate Costumes expands in owner's Northside home

Lucia Jackson, a busy mother and corporate retail consultant, went to school to design wedding gowns. But somewhere along the line, her love of costumes turned into a business she runs from her Northside home. On June 14, Kintimate Costumes is holding a mod-themed open house to celebrate its expansion.
 
Jackson’s three-bedroom home at 1522 Knowlton will soon be full of costumes. Since its founding in 2011, Jackson has operated Kintimate from the house’s attic, but her inventory has grown exponentially since then.
 
“The costumes started to burst the seams of the attic, and I knew it was time to expand,” Jackson says. “No matter how much inventory I have, this house will be able to store it.”
 
With so much growth in Northside, Jackson says she’s in a prime location. Twenty new apartments will soon be built next door to her, and another 80 are going in across the street. “I hope that those 100 people will need costumes,” she says.
 
Jackson has something new in store for costume lovers and party-goers. Kintimate will now be offering a party planning option, with parties held at Jackson’s house or with Kintimate throwing a party at another location.
 
Although she hasn’t done any advertising for the party planning, she has already hosted a number of gatherings, from bachelorette parties to baby showers to a wedding reception for 500 guests.
 
“My friends and I recently dressed up as Disney princesses for a 4-year-old’s birthday party,” Jackson says. “We showed up, had cake and read the kids stories. It’s probably the most beautiful thing I’ve ever done.”
 
For the 2014-2015 school year, Kintimate is partnering with Cincinnati Public Schools through School Aids. Jackson wants to work with schools’ theatrical departments to teach kids how to find costumes, research them and make them rather than hiring a company like Kintimate to make them. With that, when a school is finished with a costume, Kintimate will then rent or sell it, with the proceeds from each sale or rental going back to the original designer.
 
“I would love to see us working with students from DAAP and independent designers,” Jackson says. “They could use the program as a great jumping off point. And I would love to see my costumes attached to a number of designers.”
 
Jackson has big dreams for Kintimate—in a few years, she would love to see a number of locations, each with a team of designers busy making costumes.
 
“When I was a teenager, my dad told me that I couldn’t party the rest of my life,” she says. “I think that’s the only thing he’s ever been wrong about.”
 
For starters, Kintimate will be open three or four days through the weekend, from noon to 6 or 7 p.m. It will always be available for appointments, and parties can be booked any time. 
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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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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444 Entrepreneurship Articles | Page: | Show All
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