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Over-the-Rhine : Development News

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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.

Online public art map takes Cincinnatians on "artventure"

Downtown Cincinnati Inc. recently launched Cincinnati’s online public art map, ArtVenture. The map includes a list of murals and sculptures found downtown and in Over-the-Rhine, and users can find themed itineraries that highlight works and fun spots along different routes.
 
Years ago, the Ohio Arts Council and SAVE OUR OUTDOOR SCULPTURE! Program developed A Guide to Public Art in Downtown Cincinnati, and the print edition was later migrated to the web. But the information hadn’t been updated since the early '90s.
 
ArtVenture was developed using information from Cincinnati Parks, ArtWorks and A Guide To Public Art in Cincinnati.
 
“It made sense for DCI to take on the project and combine information from different sources into one, easy-to-use database,” says Tricia Suit, director of marketing at DCI.
 
There are five itineraries—Hometown Heroes, Music City, The Old Ballgame, Take in the History and Mother(lode) of Presidents—and there are plans to add more this summer.
 
The Hometown Heroes itinerary includes Carew Tower, which is an important part of Cincinnati’s architectural, artistic and business history. Also on that itinerary is Cincinnati Venus, Jim Dine’s sculpture at Centennial Plaza. The Music City itinerary includes a stop at Memorial Hall, which has six free-standing sculptures on its façade that pay tribute to veterans from the Revolutionary War to the Spanish-American War.
 
The Old Ballgame is a tour around Great American Ball Park; and Take in the History features the National Steamboat Monument at the Public Landing. The Mother(lode) of Presidents itinerary includes stops at The Cincinnatian and The Phoenix, where local history is mixed in with the story of Ohio’s presidents.
 
“We created ArtVenture to be more than just an art walk,” Suit says. “Many cities have maps and routes to see monuments and unique architectural features, but by combining information about art with fun stops along with way, we’ve created a unique experience with all downtown has to offer.”
 
The public is invited to share its artventures with DCI using #cincyartventure on Twitter and Instagram.

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.

Cincinnati Saints kick off first home game in OTR

This season, the Cincinnati Saints’ soccer team will play their home games at Stargel Stadium at Taft High School. The first men’s home game is tonight, and the women’s first home game is June 7.
 
Stargel seats 3,000, but can hold more than that in standing-room only.
 
“Soccer isn’t a sport you need to sit to watch,” says David Satterwhite, president and CEO of the Saints.
 
Although alcohol can’t be sold inside the stadium, the Saints are partnering with Over-the-Rhine bars and restaurants for tailgates before and after games. Beer sales will benefit different nonprofits each week, with the Muscular Dystrophy Association as the first game's sponsor.
 
The Saints are also planning events at Fountain Square, such as watch parties for the World Cup.
 
“We want to show what a true soccer atmosphere can bring to the city,” Satterwhite says. “It’s always been in the suburbs, and now it’s coming downtown.”
 
The ultimate goal is to bring an MLS team to Cincinnati. According to Satterwhite, Cincinnati is a huge market for soccer because of the almost 60,000 kids who play the game in the area.
 
The men’s team has seven home games, and the women’s have five. All games are streamed live on YouTube by official broadcasters. And if you want to watch a game in person, admission is $8.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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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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Elm Street Senior Housing expected to be rented out by June

On May 20, a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held for the Elm Street Senior Housing project in Over-the-Rhine. The 15-unit building will be the neighborhood’s first and only affordable senior housing project.
 
Over-the-Rhine Community Housing led the $4 million redevelopment of the 150-year-old building at Elm and 15th streets.
 
Records indicate that Christian Moerlein built the building to serve as the brewery’s icehouse. It was sold in 1919 during Prohibition, and has since housed a saloon, grocery store, market, restaurant, barber, billiards hall and rental flat.
 
The one-bedroom units are expected to be all leased out by June.
 
Elm Street Senior Housing will have a manager living on-site, and amenities will include a laundry room, a community meeting space, a resident services office, an elevator and a courtyard. The building is expected to seek LEED silver certification.
 
OTR Community Housing worked with Model Group and CR Architects + Design on the project. Cincinnati Area Senior Services will provide support services for residents. The project used state and federal historic tax credits, state low-income housing tax credits and city property tax abatements.
 
To apply for one of the apartments, visit the OTRCH website. Interested applicants must be 62 or older, and income restrictions apply.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Metro issues RFP for streetcar branding

Today, Metro issued a request for proposals for the streetcar’s branding. Proposals are due May 23 at 4 p.m.
 
Earlier this year, the city requested that Metro assume responsibility for the streetcar’s marketing and community education. The branding RFP is a preliminary step toward Metro’s role as the operator of the streetcar.
 
The design of the station stops, vehicles, color scheme, maintenance facility and other physical aspects of the streetcar have been finalized. But the RFP will include the streetcar’s logo and guidelines related to the use that will be needed for everything related to its operations, including vehicles, signs, operators’ uniforms, website and printed materials.
 
All costs for the streetcar branding are being paid for by federal funds, not Metro’s operating budget.
 
To learn more about bid opportunities, including the branding RFP, visit Metro’s website.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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New website helps drivers navigate Cincinnati construction

The City of Cincinnati launched a new website last week to help drivers navigate the construction downtown. RoadmapCincy.com highlights construction areas and provides detours to help alleviate traffic.
 
RoadmapCincy focuses on construction in Over-the-Rhine, downtown and along the riverfront. It also aggregates tweets from the city and other organizations so users know what’s happening on the streets around them.
 
In the coming months, downtown will see construction continue or begin on several projects, including the new dunnhumby building on Race Street between Fifth and Sixth streets; a hotel on Walnut Street between Fourth and Fifth streets; streetcar tracks along Central Parkway and soon in downtown; a new apartment tower on top of the parking garage at Seventh and Broadway streets; and a building at Sixth and Walnut streets.
 
Cincinnatians can follow @roadmapcincy on Twitter for the latest updates.
 
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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Cincinnati landmarks receive state money for renovations, updates

Every two years, the state of Ohio issues bonds for its capital budget in order to support the renovations and updates of local buildings, schools, roads, sewers, prisons and parks. Earlier this winter, the Cincinnati Business Committee recommended projects that would help educate and train the state’s workforce to the governor.
 
Due to the recession, the state wasn’t able to issue these bonds fromm 2007-2012, but resurrected them for colleges and universities in 2013-2014. This year is the first since 2006 that the state has been able to allocate money to community projects.
 
Cincinnati’s Music Hall and the Cincinnati Museum Center’s Union Terminal are to each receive $5 million of Ohio’s $2.4 billion capital budget to get renovations underway, if the legislature approves the governor’s request to issue long-term bonds for money to improve universities and community buildings. The decision is going before the General Assembly this spring.
 
But state money won’t come close to covering the $275 million needed to update both Music Hall and Union Terminal. Music Hall, which was built in 1878, is in need of $95 million worth of renovations; Union Terminal, which is 80 years old, uses an outdated heating and air conditioning system, and needs $180 million in repairs.
 
In all, the state’s capital budget includes $675 million for local school buildings; $454.4 million for renovations at public colleges and universities; $369 million for road and sewer improvements; $574.3 million for state-owned buildings at prisons and parks; and $100 million for the Clean Ohio program to preserve farmland, trails and green space.
 
The state-owned Aronoff Center for the Arts theater and Hamilton County Memorial Hall will each get $2 million for renovations. Another $4 million will go to the future parking garage south of Freedom Way at The Banks. The University of Cincinnati will get $28.8 million for its ongoing Medical Sciences Building project, and Miami University will get $21 million to renovate Shideler Hall.
 
Cincinnati Zoo will get $2 million, and West Chester’s Voice of America MetroPark will get $1 million to build an athletic complex for regional and national tournaments.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Workshops to help with ins and outs of OTR homeownership

A series of workshops on homeownership in Over-the-Rhine will take place this spring. The series aims to bring together relevant resources and expertise to better educate potential homebuyers.
 
Owner-Occupied Over-the-Rhine, which is sponsored by the OTR Foundation, will cover everything from selecting the right property to financing to navigating the specific needs of a historic property and historic district.
 
The Foundation’s goal is to make it easier for individuals and families to rehabilitate buildings in OTR, the Brewery District or Pendleton by educating them about what redevelopment in a neighborhood entails, and helping them make connections to successfully complete a project.
 
The workshops will be held at 8 a.m. on April 12, May 10 and June 14 at the Art Academy of Cincinnati in OTR. Registration is $50 for all three sessions. You can register for the series here.
 
April 12’s session is titled “Learning from those who have gone before you.” Attendees will learn from other owner-occupants who have successfully renovated buildings, and tour completed or in-process projects. The second session, “You have a property, where do you begin?” will deal with choosing and purchasing a building, preparation for renovation, choosing a team, preserving historic properties, and laws and regulations. The final session, “Do the numbers add up and if they don’t, what do you do?" will touch on financing options that are available to owner-occupants.
 
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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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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Sam Adams brewery expanding OTR location

In June, the city approved plans to develop a brewery district in Over-the-Rhine. Part of that district includes the expansion of the Sam Adams brewery.
 
Cincinnati is one of three places in the country to brew Sam Adams beer.
 
Sam Adams is planning a 6,700-square-foot expansion of its Central Parkway facility. The brewery will be putting $6 million of improvements into the facility, with $3.5 million toward building new beer storage and $2.3 million in new beer storage tanks.
 
The brewery, whose build-out is being handled by Cincinnati-based Reece-Campbell Inc., will hold 14 large tanks with the space for six more tanks to be added; nine tanks will be added to the bottling and packaging facility.
 
Sam Adams is currently hiring eight positions, including a project engineer and brewing operator.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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427 Over-the-Rhine Articles | Page: | Show All
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