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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