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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.

Turn-of-the-century bar coming soon to Northside

The Northside building most recently occupied by The Serpent will open as Tillie’s Lounge in February and feature champagne cocktails, craft beer, wine, premium snacks and bite-sized desserts sourced from a local bakery.
The building, located at 4042 Hamilton Ave., was built in 1881 for Droege Shoes and remained a cobbler for over 75 years. It’s been vacant since The Serpent closed and has seen a makeover, since the inside was previously all black.
Tillie’s will incorporate Northside’s history as well, and the champagne cocktails will be named for neighborhood nostalgia. For example, The Walk-Over, which is named for one of Tillie’s tricks, is made with raspberry vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and pomegranate juice.
The bar is being named after Tillie the elephant, one of the exotic animals from John Robinson’s Circus, which performed at the intersection of Blue Rock and Hamilton in the early 20th century. Tillie is known for stopping an elephant stampede and a derailed streetcar, and when she died schools were closed so the children could attend her funeral.
Tillie’s won’t be circus-themed but will be period-themed. Owners Nigel Cotterill and JC Diaz, who also own Below Zero Lounge, are working with Dwellings on Madison to give the bar a turn-of-the-century feel. The space will feature a baby grand piano and TVs and will host local and national music acts.

Previously vacant Covington space welcomes new restaurant

You’ve probably heard the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff, and by January you’ll get to experience the tale in a new way. Avram and Kristin Steuber teamed up with BLDG to create the concept for their new restaurant, The Gruff Pizzeria & Deli, which is opening at 129 E. Second St. in Covington.
“As the experience is carried out through the space, you’ll see the Three Billy Goats have landed where the grass is greener, on the other side of the suspension bridge,” Kristin says.
On the inside, the 4,500-square-foot restaurant has eight taps for craft beer as well as a full-service bar. The 75-seat dining room has views of the Roebling Bridge, and there’s an outside seating area for about 30. The outside of the building features a brightly colored mural, and the walls inside have lines from the "Three Billy Goats Gruff" fairy tale.
The Steubers aren’t new to the restaurant business, as they owned and ran Twin Bistro, also in Covington, for over four years. The Gruff occupies a larger space than Twin Bistro and is part restaurant, part deli and specialty shop.
The Gruff has a brick oven for pizza, and the menu will be rounded out with deli-inspired sandwiches and salads. All of the meat featured on the menu is sourced from Indianapolis-based The Smoking Goose Meatery and are nitrate-free and available by the pound at the deli. Sandwiches will be served on Sixteen Bricks bread, which will also be sold at the deli.
The specialty shop will also have milk, bread, eggs, beer, wine and liquor for sale, and the deli portion will have rotating specials like at old-school delis, like chicken cordon bleu or beef stroganoff.
“We want The Gruff to be a place where the neighborhood and extended community feels comfortable and welcome,” Kristin says. “We plan to be a resource to the community that brings amazing food and a unique experience to Covington. As Covington residents, we see the potential in the city to become known as a destination again, and with the location at the base of the bridge we hope to be an important part of that.”
Once open, The Gruff’s hours will be 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday.

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.

Coffeeshop brings slice of Americana to Ludlow, Ky.

Two and a half years ago, Matt and Mary Williams purchased the building at 332 Elm St. in Ludlow, Ky., at the insistence of their late friend Mike Amann, founder of BLDG. They moved in upstairs and a month ago opened Folk School Coffee Parlor in the first-floor retail space.
“It’s an attempt to keep the community alive and the shared knowledge aspect of traditional American arts, tied into the local folk/Americana music scene,” says Casey Campbell, who manages the Folk School.
The Folk School offers small Americana-based workshops, including beginners guitar and mandolin, clawhammer banjo and songwriting workshops. The classes aren’t all music related, and there are plans to have a few installations from local visual artists as well as a series of rotating resident artists, gallery showings and hands-on workshops.
In January, Folk School will start offering masters series classes, with the first featuring renowned recording artist Jeff Plankenhorn.  
“Folk is a very broad term, but I regard true folk arts as something that has its heart and roots in traditional American storytelling and mediums, quilt-making, songs of protest and worker’s rights, and banjos and fiddles playing two-step music no matter the decade it was written,” Campbell says. “Folk can be whatever you want it to be. But I think of it as something that ties me to a time way past my own, like a black-and-white picture of something extraordinarily familiar.”
Everything at Folk School is small batch, including a limited food menu. But you can enjoy Grateful Grahams, Whirlybird Granola and Dean’s Mediterranean while you sip coffee from Deeper Roots.
“Ludlow is on the cusp of bringing in a top-notch arts and entertainment scene to an area that is still run by quiet side streets and people that live and work in peace,” Campbell says. “It’s the epitome of small town by the big town.”
Folk School is open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Keep tabs on Folk School’s calendar for upcoming classes and installations.

Owner of Nicholson's opening bar, small plate restaurant

In the next few months, Nick Sanders, CEO of The Tavern Restaurant Group and owner of Nicholson’s Pub, will be opening a beverage-based bar and restaurant downtown.
The Horse & Barrel is named for a bar that used to be inside another TRG restaurant, deSha’s in Lexington. It will cater heavily to bourbon lovers, but will also serve cocktails and craft beer.
“There are lots of restaurants in the area, and this will be another space for people to relax and enjoy good beverages,” says Nancy Parrott, TRG’s director of marketing. “Whether you come by after work or you live downtown, Horse & Barrel will be another great space to be.”
Horse & Barrel’s main focus is bourbon, but the small food menu will feature small plates and shareable items with an American flare.
Not much renovation needs to be done to the space, which was most recently home to the Walnut Street Grill. The bar and restaurant has exposed brick and wood floors, and a drop ceiling is being added to create an intimate feel. The space is small, and will have cocktail-type seating for about 40.
TRG is also leasing the space above the restaurant, and will be creating a private event space for large groups, which will opened after Horse & Barrel.

Covington holiday pop-up market encourages shopping local

In 2013, three pop-up shops operated for four weeks of the holiday season in Covington. About 750 people visited the markets, which resulted in $23,000 in sales.
Two of the three shops—Uncorked Covington, which is opening soon in Mainstrasse, and Kelley’s Kloset—went on to open permanent retail spaces in the city.
Renaissance Covington is looking for about five retailers to fill a space at 801 Madison Ave. for this year’s holiday pop-up market. The shops will be launched in coordination with the city’s holiday activities, and will operate from Black Friday through Dec. 20.
“The goal of the holiday market is to add retail offerings to the city that both support existing retailers as part of the downtown Covington destination, and empower new entrepreneurs to test out the Covington market,” says Katie Meyer, Renaissance Covington manager.
Applications for the pop-up market have already been collected, but the final retail occupants haven’t been announced. Occupants will be chosen based on the innovation and creativity of their business concept, product or presentation; as well as their ability to activate the storefront and influence business on the street level.
The shops are required to be open on Fridays from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Meyer says additional hours will be added once the retailers have been selected.

Ultra nanobrewery coming to Mt. Healthy

Cincinnati is currently home to one nanobrewery, DogBerry in West Chester. Fibonacci Brewing Company will be the city’s second, and will open in the spring.
Husband-and-wife team Bob and Betty Bollas combined their love for math and their neighborhood when they decided to open a brewery. They secured a building about a month ago—a former flower shop located at 1445 Compton Rd.
The upstairs tasting area is about 1,100 square feet, with an outside space that is about the same size; the downstairs brewhouse is about 1,000 square feet. Bob says there won’t be official tours, but he’ll show anyone around who is interested in seeing the brewing process.
Bob has been brewing at home for about six years now, and started brewing on a larger system about three years ago. He’ll use that same one-barrel system at Fibonacci, which will allow him to get about 300 beers each time he brews.
The Bollas’ plan to have four or five year-round beers, as well as a few seasonals—Bob is thinking about doing an Imperial IPA, a Kolsch and an Imperial Stout to start. Fibonacci won’t have a kitchen, but Bob wants to partner with food trucks and local restaurants, which will allow customers to order food in and enjoy a meal with their beer.
“We want Fibonacci to be a place where people can come and hang out,” Bob says. “We want to create a sense of pride in our community and help promote other local businesses.”
He also wants to partner with local businesses, such as a coffee roaster up the street to create a coffee-infused beer.
Although plans are still in the early stages, Bob says Fibonacci will likely be open Thursday and Friday evenings, and all day on Saturday.

Video arcade to bring classics, food and beer to Northside

You may have visited Arcade Legacy at Forest Fair Village (formerly Cincinnati Mills), but owner Jesse Baker will soon open another arcade in Northside. Arcade Legacy: Bar Edition will be serving up video games alongside beer and food.
“I personally love Northside,” Baker says. “I’ve been hanging out and shopping there for years, and I never considered another area when I was looking for a new space.”
The arcade is coming to the 3,300-square-foot space formerly occupied by Alchemize on Spring Grove Avenue. It will feature about 40 arcade games and five pinball machines, including classics like Ms. Pac Man and Donkey Kong, as well as old-school consoles like Super Nintendo and N-64.
Games will be free to play, but gamers will pay a $5 cover at the door, and will receive $5 worth of food and drink tickets. The menu is still being finalized, but it will feature items not already found in Northside.
“The arcade will provide nostalgic fun, and it won’t feel like a bar,” Baker says. “Think of it as an arcade for adults that serves food and drinks too. I know we’ll attract people who normally hesitate going to a bar—they’ll feel more comfortable here.”
Arcade Legacy is slated to open in the first part of 2015. Baker plans to be open from about 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. on weekdays, and all day Saturday and Sunday.

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.

Mt. Adams eatery and market focuses on fresh, local ingredients

Sprout Market & Eatery opened its doors Oct. 14 in Mt. Adams, with a focus on fresh and local ingredients. The restaurant’s market carries in-season produce, cheese, meats, breads, milk, eggs, sauces, condiments and other day-to-day essentials.
Sprout’s menu is similar to the market offerings, and is driven by what is seasonally fresh. The chef, Michael Brown, pulls fresh, seasonal produce from the market shelves in order to put his spin on brunch, lunch and dinner.
The small menu will change seasonally and often, depending on what’s available from farmers. Sprout also has 40 organic and/or sustainable wines by the bottle and a dozen by the glass; 14 beers on tap from local and craft breweries with growlers to-go; and three specialty cocktails in the works.
Brunch is served a la carte, and the highlights include corn cakes, ham and cheese, and a portobello and asparagus frittata. The lunch menu focuses on fresh salads, including a toasted quinoa and a Caesar salad, sandwiches, and a vegan cabbage soup. The current dinner menu showcases mussels with a house-made broth and corn grown just north of Cincinnati, as well as a fettuccine dish with house-made pasta, ricotta cheese and a late-harvest tomato confit.
“Throughout the building’s renovation process, we had so many Mt. Adams'ers stopping in to lend us a hand and show us that they appreciated our dream for Sprout,” says owner Whit Hesser. “Now that we have the doors open, we really hope to bring a sense of openness and a place that the residents are proud to call their own.”
The market is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the week, and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends. The dining room is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, and for dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, and 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Sprout also serves brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays.
There’s also a lounge beneath Sprout—Roots—that can be booked for private parties of up to 40 during the week. And on Friday and Saturday nights, you can catch live jazz, folk or bluegrass music there.

Local couple brings Wiedemann beer back to Newport

Next spring, Newport will once again be home to the Geo. Wiedemann Brewing Co., which closed and moved to Evansville, Ind., in 1983. But local Jon Newberry is bringing the brand back to Northern Kentucky, and will operate out of a 10,000-square-foot space in WaterTower Square.    
“I want to bring some of the good times people remember back to the area,” Newberry says. “There’s more nightlife in Newport, we want to add to it, and bring people from Ohio here, expanding the brewery trail development that’s going on over there.”
George Wiedemann founded the brewery in 1870, and under his direction it grew to be the largest in Kentucky. Heilemann Brewing, a Wisconsin company, purchased Wiedemann in 1967, and operated the brewery in Newport until 1983.
At the time, Heilemann was purchasing a number of regional breweries, and decided to move Wiedemann to the old Sterling Brewery in Evansville, but it shut down in the 1990s. Pittsburgh Brewing then acquired the rights to the Wiedemann brand and made the beer until 2006, when they filed for bankruptcy.
The trademark rights to Wiedemann had expired, so Newberry applied for the rights. When he brought the brand back, he introduced a new beer, Wiedemann Special Lager. Wiedemann is currently available in stores and restaurants throughout the Greater Cincinnati area, including Pompilio’s in Newport and Mecklenburg Gardens.
The new brewery will have a large taproom with about 12 Wiedemann beers on tap, and will serve food as well. Newberry also wants to offer tours and host beer-related events. There will also be an outdoor biergarten with a bar that will be set up in the building’s existing courtyard.
“This will be the third brewery in Newport, and people have been really encouraging and are excited to have some Newport pride back,” Newberry says.

Plans are still in the works, but Newberry hopes to have construction underway by next month.

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.

New movie theater concept to offer classics and cocktails

Jacob Trevino’s heart is in craft cocktails—he works at Japp’s—but his other passion is movies. About six months ago, he started trying to find a way to combine his passions.
Trevino has been to movie theaters that serve beer, but he wants to improve upon that idea. His venture, Gorilla Cinema, will feature food and beverages that tie in with the movies being shown.
“Gorilla Cinema will be a truly immersive experience that celebrates the films that I love,” he says.

Trevino plans to show mostly classic movies that everyone has seen at least once. And Gorilla Cinema’s menu, which was designed by Chef Martha Tiffany of The Precinct, will feature upscale pub food that will change for special events. It will also reflect what movie is being shown.
“There’s something about watching a movie in a theater that you can’t get when you watch it at home,” Trevino says. “There’s something magical about going to the theater and seeing your favorite movie on the big screen. It invokes a kind of nostalgia that our generation really didn’t get to experience.”
Trevino is currently looking for a space in Bellevue or Pleasant Ridge to renovate and is seeking investors, but until then, he’s hosting popup events around the city to help build the company. The ideal permanent location for Gorilla Cinema will be in an old movie theater, with seats for 124 people, with space for a front bar and lounge area.
“Gorilla Cinema will celebrate the memories that movies bring back, and help recapture some of those memories,” Trevino says. “People talk about having their first kiss in the movie theater. I remember seeing Jaws for the first time. Movies are a weird art form that people remember when they saw something—they’re engrained in our culture.”
If you’re interested in a popup movie, Gorilla Cinema is hosting a horror movie double feature, with the original Dracula and House on Haunted Hill with Vincent Price, on Oct. 26 in a parking lot at the corner of Montgomery Road and Ridge Avenue in Pleasant Ridge. Keep tabs on its Facebook page for event information.

Off the Vine brings cold-pressed juices to Cincinnati

A juice bar will soon open in the old 940-square-foot Cincy Haus: American Legacy Tours space on Vine Street in Over-the-Rhine. Off the Vine will offer cold-pressed juices made from local and organic ingredients, when possible.
Cold-pressed juice is pressed between hydraulic plates in a juicer, which squeezes out every drop of juice and nutrients from the produce, and leaves a dry pulp behind.
Off the Vine’s menu will feature about eight different types of juice, ranging from a green juice to a nut milk-based juice. Juices will range in price from $6-$10, and will have three pounds of produce in each serving. Off the Vine will also sell juices for cleanses, which are $55 per day. Each cleanse package comes with five juices and one nut milk, and are meant for meal replacements.
Co-owners and OTR residents Annie McKinney and Cydney Rabe, who owns Core a Movement Studio in OTR, both started drinking juices for different reasons. McKinney is interested in how eating health food affects your daily mood and life, so she started drinking cold-pressed juice.
“You’re getting raw, living nutrients from cold-pressed juice that you can’t get from eating raw produce,” she says. “Plus, when you feel better, you treat other people better. It’s almost like a pay-it-forward mentality.”
When Rabe started doing Pilates, she looked at what she was eating and how she was treating her body, and decided that juicing would be the fastest way to get all of the nutrients she needed in one sitting.
Rabe says juicing can be frustrating because you see all of the produce that you’re throwing out. But with cold-pressed juices, you’re not wasting anything.
Off the Vine will offer some fruit-based juices for those who are just getting into juicing, as well as green juices and nut milks for more seasoned juice drinkers.
When Off the Vine opens in late October, its hours will be Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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