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Innovative chef Ryan Santos finds spot for a brick-and-mortar restaurant


For the past four years, chef Ryan Santos has hosted pop-up dinners under the name Please. In a Soapbox interview in February, he said he’d finally decided to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant and was looking at locations in Columbia-Tusculum, East Walnut Hills and Over-the-Rhine.

Santos has now settled on a spot at the corner of 14th and Clay streets in Over-the-Rhine, where he plans to open his restaurant, also called Please.
 
The space is small, with seating for 25 plus 10 at the bar, which will be separate from the main dining area. The building is currently being renovated by Urban Sites and will have four apartments on upper floors.
 
Santos’ pop-up dinners usually consist of five-course dinners with artistic and experimental food and featuring local ingredients. He will carry this into the restaurant’s menu, which will feature three- or five-course meals that change with the seasons based on the availability of local ingredients.
 
The bar menu will feature cocktails made with fresh fruits, herbs and vegetables as well as a small a la carte menu.
 
Please is slated to open in the late spring. Pop-up dinners will cease once the restaurant opens, but Santos plans to continue private dinners for customers that he cooks in their home.
 

Another new townhouse development planned for OTR


In June Maestro Development/Daniels Homes acquired a number of properties near the corner of West 15th and Elm streets in Over-the-Rhine, where the developer has announced plans to construct nine 3,600-square-foot townhomes.
 
Five units will be built on the north side of 15th Street, and the other four will be built on the south side. Each unit will be three stories, except one that will have four floors. The units will all be LEED Silver certified, with two-car garages located off the rear alleys.
 
The project will be completed in three phases, with the five north-side units to be constructed first and the four on the south side as phase II. Four of the first five units have already been purchased, with prices ranging from about $650,000 to $1 million.
 
Phase I is expected to be completed in late 2016, with phase II completed in mid-2017. Phase III includes redeveloping the former Washington Park Firehouse at 222 W. 15th St. into a private residence for Jim Daniels, manager of Daniels Homes.
 
The 15,000-square-foot building has a garage on the first floor, and the top floor will become a penthouse-style loft. Plans for the second floor are still up in the air but could include office space or more residential living space.

The new townhomes will be adjacent to a Towne Properties development that will feature seven townhomes at 15th and Elm.
 
Montgomery-based Maestro Development/Daniels Homes has constructed homes for about 20 Homearama shows and is finishing up redevelopment of a historic home at 1405 Elm St.
 

Noble Denim founders open Victor Athletics storefront, partner for Brush Factory launch


Noble Denim clothing has been sold online and exclusively at Article in Over-the-Rhine since 2012, but on Nov. 21 its founders will open a nearby storefront for their denim as well as for their new brand, Victor Athletics. This next step was made possible due to a Kickstarter campaign that launched in the spring and raised over $120,000.
 
Like Noble, Victor will offer American-made, organic clothing — specifically athletic-based items like sweatshirts, jogger pants and T-shirts. The Noble team focuses on organic clothing because, just like food, cotton is grown using a number of pesticides that can damage clothing in the long run.
 
Although the average consumer’s buying habits haven’t changed as much when it comes to purchasing organic clothing, Noble and Victor hope to shine a light on the benefits of organic clothing. They’re interested in sourcing cotton that lessens the impact on workers and is grown without pesticides and other chemicals.
 
Noble and Victor are also committed to American-made products.
 
“Victor really came to be because our factory in Tennessee wanted more work and wanted to grow their workforce and Noble Denim customers were looking for items at a lower price point than our jeans,” says co-founder Abby Sutton, who started Noble with her husband, Chris.
 
The 987-square-foot Victor Athletics Club is on the ground floor of Beasley Place, a mixed-income apartment project at Republic and 14th Streets developed by Over-the-Rhine Community Housing. The majority of Victor’s clothing is under $100, including a crewneck sweatshirt for $30 and a hoodie for $70. The storefront will also have a sewing area where workers will make totes in-store from American-made canvas.
 
Although Noble and Victor will both be available at the new store, the team’s primary goal is to grow Victor online.
 
“Our generation goes online first,” Sutton says. “But that in-person experience is so important, especially for a brand that wants to grow online.”

Noble/Victor is partnering with another successful startup, Brush Factory, to sell that company’s first collection of solid hardwood furniture, BFF. A soft launch of the furniture line is scheduled for 4-10 p.m. on Black Friday (Nov. 27) at Victor Athletics Club.

Brush Factory won the 2015 ArtWorks Big Pitch competition in August, while Noble Denim won the same competition in 2014.
 
Once open, Victor Athletics Club hours will be 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
 

New contemporary art gallery opens in Over-the-Rhine


Art enthusiast Rachael Moore has opened Cincinnati Art Underground, a contemporary art gallery, at 1415 Main St. in Over-the-Rhine. The gallery’s first show, Delicate Fractures, debuted Nov. 13, featuring work by glass artist Jacci Delaney, ceramics artist Didem Mert and painter Katie St. Clair.
 
“Cincinnati is so full of artists, and I wanted to be another space for artists to show their work and help start conversations with other artists,” Moore says.
 
Before opening a physical space, Moore held two pop-up galleries that allowed her to work closely with artists and bring a collaborative environment to the events. She wanted to open a storefront because it would make it easier for people to find the gallery.
 
Moore describes the 800-square-foot Cincinnati Art Underground space as a boutique gallery rather than a typical white box gallery. Its colorfully painted walls help accent the artwork and draw in the viewer’s attention. Shows will change every six to eight weeks, and every piece on display is for sale.
 
“There’s this dichotomy between serious and beautiful art, and I’m trying to go down the middle with approachable art,” Moore says. “I want to inspire people to learn more. Not everyone will like every piece of art they see, but I want to help people find what they like.”
 
To help with that, Cincinnati Art Underground will host studio talks to give artists a chance to mingle with art lovers and potential clients and share their process and inspiration. Moore also plans to offer concierge art services and work with interior designers to help customers find the perfect piece of art for their space.
 
“I really want to connect more people with art,” she says. “The community is so involved in the arts, whether it be through theater, music or physical art. I want to help bring more people to visual art and educate them about visual art.”
 
Cincinnati Art Underground’s hours are 12-6 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday or by appointment. Delicate Fractures runs through Jan. 2.
 

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company sets the stage for new OTR theater


The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company has started a $17 million capital campaign to construct a new theater/rehearsal/office complex at the site of the former Drop Inn Center at 12th and Elm Streets in Over-the-Rhine, increasing programming from 272 days and nights per year to 360 days and nights per year. CSC has been renting theater and office space at 719 Race St.
 
The theater — which is being named for Otto M. Budig, a longtime CSC patron — will add one more piece to OTR’s arts corridor around Washington Park, joining Music Hall, Memorial Hall and the School for the Creative and Performing Arts.

A large portion of the necessary capital funds were raised during the private portion of the campaign, with only about $4 million still needed to move the project forward.

Plans for the 27,855-square-foot-theater have been about two years in the making and include adding about 100 seats, increasing current capacity from 150 to 244. The thrust stage will jut out into the audience, and the aisles between seats will allow actors to move among the audience during shows. A balcony is planned, but no seat will be further than 20 feet from the stage.
 
On the outside, the building will resemble the National Theater in London with glass walls facing the street, allowing passersby a look inside. The actors’ rehearsal space will also serve as a second theater for smaller performances or special events.
 
The inside will be modeled after the Globe Theater, which was designed by Shakespeare himself. Indoor lighting will mimic starlight, and there will be 38 steps connecting the two floors to represent each of the Bard’s plays.
 
The theater ceiling will be tall enough to allow for multi-level seats and scenery. Currently, sets are constructed outside of the Race Street theater, disassembled and reassembled once they’re inside. There will be an on-site scene shop in the historic Teamsters building that adjoins the Drop Inn site, and the theater will include an actual backstage area, trap space under the stage and wing space with lighting as well as a classroom for educational programming.

For patrons, the Otto M. Budig Theatre will feature a more spacious lobby than CSC’s current location, additional restrooms, a separate box office and a bar. All patron amenities will be in full ADA compliance.
 
Three buildings stand at the site of the Drop Inn Center, which will be demolished at the beginning of the year to make way for Cincinnati Shakespeare’s new home. Construction is projected to begin in April, and the troupe should be able to take possession in July 2017, just in time for the start of its 24th season.
 

Oakley Cycles moving to Mariemont, rebranding as Fifty West Cycling Company


Oakley Cycles will move to Mariemont Crossing in January to rebrand as Fifty West Cycling Company, part of Fifty West Brewing Company’s expansion plans as well as an opportunity for the cycling group to be on the Little Miami Scenic Trail
 
“We were looking for a new location that would give us the opportunity to offer more than just bikes and accessories,” says owner David Ariosa. “We wanted a location where we could offer customers a complete cycling experience.”
 
The Little Miami Trail connects to Fifty West Cycling’s parking lot and will allow Aroisa to provide all kinds of fun cycling experiences such as rentals, cycling lessons, corporate outings, charity events and specialty rides for casual and more serious recreational riders.
 
Fifty West Cycling will continue its bike advocacy programs, raising awareness about cycling in the community. The new space, located at 7669 Wooster Pike, will also have an outdoor seating space and offer drinks, energy bars and snacks.

Aroisa hopes that the new location becomes a center for family-friendly cycling fun.
 
“We’re very excited to be associated with Fifty West, which shares our passion for providing an experience to customers,” he says. “It’s not just a piece of machinery or a glass of beer. We’re on the same journey, and it made sense to team up.”
 
Oakley Cycles has been in business for 34 years and is known for its personalized, consultative approach to professionally outfitting cyclists of all ages and skill levels as well as repairing and selling bikes and accessories.
 

ArtWorks hosts Ink Your Love fundraiser to close year-long celebration


ArtWorks is hosting a fundraiser Nov. 20 for the Ink Your Love campaign, the year-long celebration of why Cincinnatians love Cincinnati. Part of the project was penning a poem, “Seven Hills and a Queen to Name Them,” and tattooing it on 263 people.
 
The poem was written by Chase Public from more than 1,000 submissions from residents who answered the question: “Why do you love Cincinnati?” It was then broken into 263 words and phrases, and project artists Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorova designed tattoos that were then inked by One Shot Tattoo.
 
The poem also inspired 54 larger-than-life murals and mini art installations around the city. This part of the project was launched just in time for the MLB All-Star Game in July; installations can be found on buildings, skyways, bars and restaurants around town.
 
The Nov. 20 event is being held at the Renaissance Hotel downtown and will feature a custom cocktail by Molly Wellmann as well as dishes from a number of Cincinnati chefs and music from the March Madness Marching Band and Fresh Funk. It will also be the first time that the full Cincinnati Tattoo Project video is shown.
 
Fundraiser attendees will be able to take a one-of-a-kind piece of art home with them. A group of Cincinnati graphic design artists created 36 different prints inspired by the poem, and local artist Pam Kravetz teamed up with Rookwood Pottery to create six plate designs featuring a line from the CincyInk poem.  
 
Tickets start at $150 and are available here.  
 
Ink Your Love was made possible through the work of 75 artists and creative partners from ArtWorks, eight ArtWorks youth apprentices and 45 community partners and sponsors.
 

New Cincinnati development company planning townhouses in OTR


Karvoto, a new Cincinnati development company, is planning to renovate four existing buildings and construct five new townhouses in the heart of Over-the-Rhine. The nine units will become part of Hillman Point OTR, a multi-phase residential development.
 
Existing buildings at 221 and 229 Kemp Alley and 206 and 212 Wade Street will be renovated, and new townhouses will be constructed at 223, 225 and 227 Kemp and at 208 and 210 Wade. An existing building at 214 Wade will be renovated as part of the development’s proposed second phase.
 
Karvoto purchased most of the properties from an affiliate of Urban Sites in February, while 208 Wade, which is the last piece of the puzzle, is owned by an affiliate of 3CDC and is currently under contract.
 
The townhouses will range in size from 2,050 to just over 2,700 square feet and cost between $500,000 and $600,000. Each unit will have three bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms, with open main floors, gourmet kitchens, balconies, rooftop decks and hardwood and tile throughout.
 
Karvoto plans to break ground on the $4 million development after the first of the year.
 
Karvoto was founded in early 2015 by Luke Bennett and his brother, Rob, who also own Custom Carving Source, a Cincinnati-based contracting company.
 

Columbia-Tusculum residents investing in the neighborhood with new brewery


Garrett Hickey has been homebrewing with his dad, Brian, for a number of years, and the hobby eventually led to brewing school in Sunderland, England, at Brewlab. He’s also worked on the canning line at MadTree Brewing and is currently a brewer at Rivertown Brewing.

And by next fall, the Hickey family will open Streetside Brewery in Columbia-Tusculum.
 
Streetside will sit on the site of the former East End Cafe, which closed in 2010 after a fire. Due to structural issues, the Hickeys demolished the building and will lay the foundation for their brewery in its place. On the inside, the space will be very industrial, with brick walls and wooden tables scattered throughout. 
 
The taproom will face the street and will open onto an outdoor patio. The brewery will be in the lower level of the building, but because of the grade of the building customers will have a birds’ eye view of the tanks and other equipment from the taproom.
 
“We want to appeal to families as well as the more seasoned craft beer drinker,” says Garrett’s mom, Kathie, who will have the most face-to-face interaction with customers.
 
Streetside will have about 12 taps featuring both Streetside beers and guest brews. There will also be a dedicated cider tap and wine available for those who aren’t huge beer fans. When the brewery opens, Kathie says there will for sure be a Belgian pale ale, an IPA and a robust porter on tap.
 
There will be a light bites menu too, with easy-to-make items like flatbreads and pretzels. Down the road, Kathie wants to partner with local food trucks to widen their food offerings.
 
The Hickeys are Columbia-Tusculum residents who are investing in their community, hoping to help strengthen it. Streetside will be around the corner from Blank Slate Brewery, and if all goes according to plan both breweries will be just steps from the Oasis Bike Trail.
 
“Because of our location in Columbia-Tusculum, we’re hoping to be a meeting place for the community as well as a destination for those that don’t live in the neighborhood,” Kathie says. “We want to help bring Eastern Avenue back to a community-oriented area that is welcoming to everyone.”
 
Keep tabs on Streetside updates via Instagram and Twitter.
 

New Riff to host festival celebrating Kentucky beer and spirits


The first Holler Festival will be held at New Riff Distillery Nov. 7 to feature craft breweries and distilleries that call the state of Kentucky home. Hosted by Ei8ht Ball Brewing and New Riff, the event not only celebrates Kentucky-made products but also demonstrates what it means to be a Kentucky brewery or distillery.
 
Kentucky bourbon is celebrated around the world for its flavor, say event organizers, due to the region's water, grains, air and people.
 
Featured breweries will include Against the Grain, Alltech Lexington Brewing & Distilling Company, Blue Stallion Brewing, Braxton Brewing, Country Boy Brewing, Ei8ht Ball, Good Wood Beer, Monnik Beer Co., Rooster Brewing and West Sixth Brewing. Distilleries will include Barrel House Distilling, Copper & Kings American Brandy, Corsair Distillery, The Gentleman Distillery, Limestone Branch Distillery, MB Roland Distillery, New Riff, Old Pogue Distillery, Second Sight Spirits, Wilderness Trail Distillery and Willett Distillery.
 
New Riff opened adjacent to The Party Source in 2014 and is part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour. Many Holler organizers are members of the Kentucky Distillers' Association and the Kentucky Guild of Brewers — both groups work to support, enhance and grow the craft communities of spirits and beer in Kentucky.
 
Tickets are $50, which includes beer and spirits samples, appetizers and a special edition glass. The festival is for ages 21 and up; you can pre-order tickets here.
 
All Holler Festival proceeds will benefit Renaissance Covington.
 

Former Annabel's space in Mt. Lookout Square getting new life as El Camino


Brad Johnson and Sean Morgan, both formerly of BrewRiver Gastro Pub, are planning to open a new concept in the former Annabel’s space in Mt. Lookout Square. El Camino, a Cuban and Puerto Rican street food restaurant, should be open by late November or early December.
 
“We considered a number of different neighborhoods, but when we saw that Annabel’s was for sale we jumped on it,” Morgan says.
 
When Johnson and Morgan purchased the former restaurant at 1004 Delta Ave., they didn’t just get an empty shell. They also got Annabel’s entire inventory, making their renovation job a bit easier. They’re creating a San Juan-meets-Cincinnati look and feel on the inside.
 
The 1,000-square-foot space will have some sit-down dining but will mainly focus on take-out orders and late-night dining. The menu, which will be created by Johnson, who spent time in Puerto Rico, will include classic and fusion Cuban and Puerto Rican dishes. Think a Cubano sandwich, Cuban- and Mexican-style tacos, plantains and bean and rice dishes. There will also be housemade sangrias and local canned beer.
 
“When I approached Brad about opening a restaurant, he had already been looking for a space for some time,” Morgan says. “Together we want to create a low-key restaurant that melds simple street food from a number of different cultures.”
 

DesignBuildCincy event expands, makes improvements for second year


In its second year, DesignBuildCincy has made some changes to add to the event’s overall experience. The biggest change is that the design showcase will now be held over three days instead of just two, which gives more people a chance to come see what it’s all about, says organizer Doug Hart.
 
“We still want the show to be manageable for vendors, but we also want to give people a chance to step outside of the event and really enjoy Over-the-Rhine, which has some beautiful architecture and design elements itself,” he says.
 
DesignBuild will be held at Music Hall over Halloween weekend. Music Hall’s ballroom is a more intimate venue when compared to large convention centers where trade shows are traditionally held.
 
“The most important aspect is the content of the show and how diverse it is,” Hart says. “It’s very rare to see a show in this small of a space with so many vendors.”
 
There will be about 130 vendors this year, with 25 percent of them new to the event as well as more than a dozen companies that call OTR and downtown home, showcasing everything from masonry and metalwork to cabinetry and restoration. But DesignBuild isn’t just about Cincinnati — there are also companies from Dayton and central Ohio.
 
DesignBuild helps to showcase the rebirth happening in OTR, and Music Hall is right in the middle of it. More and more companies are coming to the neighborhood because they want to be part of that rebirth, so those working on restoration projects no longer have to look to cities like Chicago and New York for talent because it’s already here.
 
There also won’t be featured speakers this year, but instead two exhibits from the show’s sponsors, Rookwood Pottery and Keidel Supply. Hart says he hopes to add to the experience of DesignBuild in the future with pop-up presentations and talks at other locations throughout the neighborhood.
 
“For those who are interested in architecture and design, all you have to do is take a walk around the neighborhood,” he says. “It will provide as much content and enjoyment as any presentation.”
 
DesignBuild will be held 5-8 p.m. Oct. 30 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. Tickets are $8 for everyone 13 & up and are available online.
 

Local entrepreneurs partner to open Chocolate Bee storefront in Northside


Shalini Latour, owner of Chocolats Latour, and Samantha Gordon, owner of Bee Haven Honey, are partnering to open a retail space and commercial kitchen in Northside. The Chocolate Bee will open at 4037 Hamilton Ave. in November with a grand opening event planned for that month’s Northside Second Saturday.
 
The 800-square-foot space has a commercial kitchen, which will mainly be used by Latour to make her handcrafted chocolates. The other portion will be dedicated for retail, with both Chocolats Latour and Bee Haven Honey products for sale.
 
Latour started her business at home six years ago, and as her business grew she rented a kitchen one day a week. She’s been in the market for a commercial kitchen of her own, and having a storefront location made sense as well. She got to know Gordon through the Northside Farmers Market and asked if she’d be interested in sharing a space.
 
“I live in the neighborhood and really love it here,” Latour says. “I like the feeling of Northside. It’s diverse and eclectic, and I wanted to be able to add to that.”
 
You can currently get Chocolats Latour at Coffee Emporium in both Hyde Park and Over-the-Rhine, College Hill Coffee Company, Jungle Jim’s, Melt, Park + Vine and Sidewinder as well as at the Northside Farmers Market on Wednesdays. Bee Haven Honey is available at Findlay Market and online.
 
“It already smells like coffee when you walk in,” Gordon says of the new storefront, which is next door to Collective Espresso, while Cluxton Alley Coffee Roasters operates out of the building's basement. “Add the smell of chocolate, and it will be a heavenly place to shop.”
 

Fifty West expanding, adding larger production facility


Fifty West Brewing Company, which opened three years ago next month, recently announced an expansion that will add a larger production facility across the street from its brewpub and taproom at 7668 Wooster Pike.
 
The newly acquired property was formerly Hahana Beach, a bar and sand volleyball court complex. Fifty West plans to keep the existing volleyball courts and run its own leagues as well as open Fifty West Cycling. The cycling outfit will sell, service and in the future rent bicycles to customers who want to ride along the nearby Little Miami Scenic Trail.
 
Fifty West’s existing brewpub and taproom will remain as is. Its current brewery setup will be used as a pilot system for specialty, one-off or experimental beers, while the new production facility will focus on its large-scale core beers, which will be brewed in four 40-barrel fermenters.
 
The larger setup will allow for increased production — about 4,000-5,000 barrels annually, with room to grow. There are also plans to package about 10 percent of the brewery’s beer in 2016.
 
Construction is expected to continue early next year, with an opening date potentially in the late spring or early summer.
 

V's Encore Cafe opening Oct. 19 at the Aronoff Center


Not only does this month mark the Aronoff Center for the Arts’ 20th anniversary, a new restaurant will also be opening in the former Busken Bakery space in the building. V’s Encore Cafe, a venture from Vonderhaar's Catering, plans to open by Oct. 19.
 
The menu will include 10 standard sandwiches, four soups, a number of fresh salads, granola bars and pastries. Everything will be handmade, and the offerings will feature items you can get just anywhere.

V’s will focus on locally made products, with the majority of the products coming from Ohio, like Amish-made cheese.
 
All carryout items such as napkins, forks and containers will be eco-friendly.
 
Vonderhaar's and the Aronoff Center have a long-standing relationship, as Vonderhaar's has catered a number of events there. Construction is already underway in the space, creating a more contemporary feel with slate tile and stainless steel.

The cafe will serve breakfast and lunch Monday-Friday.
 
548 Entrepreneurship Articles | Page: | Show All
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