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Cincinnati's beer culture still on the rise


Greater Cincinnati has become a craft beer Mecca in recent years. The last quarter of 2014 has seen much of that growth, with new breweries and bottle shops popping up all over the city. The local demand for craft beer is driving growth, of course, but so is each brewer’s passion for making beer.
 
With extended family in town for the holidays, this might be the perfect time to check out some of these places.
 
Blank Slate Brewing Company
4233 Airport Road, East End

Started in 2011 by Scott LaFollette, Blank Slate has grown from a draft-only distribution operation into a taproom. PourHouse opened in late November and features eight rotating taps.
 
The Growler House
1526 Madison Road, East Walnut Hills
The Growler House features 40 taps, 20 of which are dedicated to local breweries. It opened Dec. 2 and allows customers to stop in, sample a beer and then have a pint or fill up a 64-oz. growler to take home.
 
River Ghost
Erlanger, Ky.
Rhinegeist just launched distribution in Northern Kentucky and will be delivering to restaurants and grocery stores in the region. River Ghost will also be delivering wine from an undisclosed customer and plans to distribute beer from other local craft breweries in the near future.
 
Tap and Screw Brewery
5060 Crookshank Road, Covedale
The owners of Tom & Jerry’s Sports Bar added a brewery and taproom onto their existing restaurant. Tap and Screw opened to the public on Dec. 19 and will feature craft beer and local wines. The restaurant revamped its menu, and because the restaurant already has a liquor license the taproom also has a full bar.
 
Keep an eye out for the following ventures, too. They’re not open yet, but there's already a lot of buzz surrounding these spots.
 
Braxton Brewery
27 W. Seventh St., Covington
Evan Rouse, a six-year homebrewer, and brewing veteran Richard Dube are the masterminds behind Braxton Brewery. They plan to have 15-20 beers on tap, with both core and seasonal beers. The opening date is still up in the air, but early 2015 is the plan.
 
Casual Pint
Location TBD
Tennessee-based Casual Pint will offer 30 rotating taps of local and regional beers, which will be available by the pint or in growlers to take home. The food menu will include bar food staples like soft pretzels with beer cheese and wings. It’s slated to open in the third quarter of 2015 and will be the first location outside of Tennessee.
 
DogBerry Brewing
7865 Cincinnati Dayton Road, West Chester
Cincinnati’s first nanobrewery plans to open in the next few weeks. DogBerry will have 10 beers on tap, including their year-round rye pale ale, IPA, Kolsch, brown ale, blonde ale and five seasonals.
 
Fibonacci Brewing Company
1445 Compton Road, Mt. Healthy
Labeled as an ultranano brewery, Fibonacci will have a one-barrel system that will allow for about 300 beers per batch. Owners Bob and Betty Bollas plan to have an Imperial IPA, a Kolsch and an Imperial Stout on tap to start with when the taproom and brewery open in the spring.
 
Geo. Wiedemann Brewing Co.
530 York St., Newport
Wiedemann beer recently came back on the market when Jon Newberry bought the brand rights. He plans to open a brewery and taproom in Newport’s WaterTower Square, which he hopes to have up and running by Reds Opening Day 2015.
 

Pedal Wagon, Halfcut owner opens coworking space in OTR


Jack Heekin, owner of Over-the-Rhine’s Pedal Wagon and Halfcut, recently opened up a coworking space dubbed The Office attached to Halfcut at 12th and Walnut Streets. Gomez Salsa, Push Pull Studios, Squirrel Films and Venn have joined Halfcut and the Pedal Wagon so far, and Heekin says there’s an open door policy.
 
“People are always coming in and out, and more and more people are asking about using it,” he says. "The Office is definitely open to whoever wants to use it."
 
Heekin says The Office evolved on its own: As he opened Halfcut and his friend from high school, Andrew Gomez, opened Gomez Salsa next door, they each realized they needed an office. They turned Halfcut’s storage space into The Office — it’s between the kitchen, which Gomez Salsa uses, and Halfcut’s bar.
 
The space has slowly developed into a place for friends and friends of friends to come in and work together.
 
The bottom floor is just under 1,000 square feet and has a lounge area for meetings as well as a ping pong table for hanging out. The second floor is about 300 square feet, with a number of desks for companies to work at and share ideas.
 
“The Office will help add to the big picture and overall success of Cincinnati,” Heekin says. “If another startup needs help with something, you’ll be able to get it, as well as pitch ideas and collaborate with others.”
 

Lifelong musician/artist Waller opens downtown art gallery


You might know Dick Waller from his 34 years as principal clarinetist for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra or the Linton Music Series, but you might not know that he’s also a painter. Waller, 85, opened an art gallery and studio in November, Dick Waller’s Art Place.
 
Two years ago, Waller showed 150 paintings at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center and realized if he wanted to continue doing shows of that size he needed a larger space. He found the building at 130 W. Court St. about a year ago, and with the help of the building’s landlord he's transformed the space into an inviting gallery that feels like a living room.
 
The 2,000-square-foot gallery includes a cozy seating area in the middle and studio in the rear of the space. Waller says he spends four or five nights a week there for about five hours, creating new pieces. Each of his 290 pieces look as if they're alive, which can be contributed to the fact that he listens to classical music as he paints. And if he doesn't like something, he brushes it off, leaving a unique combination of colors.
 
“At 20, I went to an art exhibit in New York and became enthralled,” Waller says. “I went home and created my first painting in my basement, which my daughter has hanging in her house.”
 
Unlike Waller’s more recent work, his daughter Margy calls the first piece “Paris Metro.” The rest of his paintings are titled “Contrasts” after a piece he loved to play by the same name. Waller then numbers each piece with Roman Numerals, much like symphony opuses. That way, when they’re set up in the gallery viewers can enjoy them how they wish.
 
Waller was on the leading edge of audience development for classical music locally, starting the 801 Plum Concerts, which aimed to get young professionals interested in classical music, as well as Peanut Butter and Jams for children ages 3-6 and their parents. And now he’s on the leading edge of helping to develop a new neighborhood.
 
Waller wants the gallery to be a community space where people gather for coffee and hang out. He plans to host events, both large and small, as well as hold meetings for the Cincinnati Abstract Art Group. 
 
“I want to help bring life to this area,” he says. “It’s a new frontier, and I see it being a very live place in the next few years.”
 

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.

CAC to get artistic new lobby, hours in 2015


The Contemporary Arts Center’s Kaplan Hall lobby will close to visitors Jan. 6 for a $1.1 million renovation, which was designed and will be completed by FRCH Design Worldwide. The CAC will remain open during construction, and the lobby is scheduled to reopen March 13.
 
Lobby renovations include a new lounge space, a café and a relocated welcome desk and gift shop. The café will offer coffee, breakfast, lunch and evening treats and will have an open layout with communal tables. The new lounge area will feature lounge chairs and sofas, artistic lighting and a series of art installations.
 
The welcome desk, which is currently off to the side by the elevator, is being moved so the staff can better greet CAC visitors. The gift shop will be moved to a more central location, and its inventory will become a better curated collection that highlights local, national and international artists and artisanal items.
 
The new lobby will feature commissioned artwork from three artists: Cincinnatian Matt Kotlarczyk will create two large-scale chandeliers that will resemble clouds and water; Assume Vivid Astro Focus, whose founders are based out of NYC and Paris, will create expressive wallpaper and wall paintings; and Erwin Redl of Bowling Green, Ohio, will develop an installation to cover the entire "urban carpet" from the lobby up to the sixth floor of the CAC.
 
The CAC is also in talks with AVAF for a large-scale mural on the building's exterior.
 
The CAC’s hours will change beginning in March. The gallery will be open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Monday and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesday-Friday. The lobby and café will be open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesday-Friday.
 
During the renovation process, visitors will enter the CAC through the door next to the loading dock on Sixth Street, and admission will be free during construction.

Brooklyn-based muralists creating art for Covington buildings

From Oct. 9-23, Brooklyn-based art collective FAILE is creating a mural on two Covington buildings. The mural, called Around the Corner, will be 100 feet wide and about 60 feet tall, and is being painted on the rear of the Republic Bank building and Donna Salyers’ Fabulous Bridal on the corner of Sixth Street and Madison Avenue.
 
“FAILE is one of the most influential groups of street artists currently doing work in the contemporary art movement,” says Lesley Amann, a partner at BLDG. “Bringing FAILE to Covington adds one more artist to the city’s unique collection. Our ultimate goal is to put the city on the map, along with LA, NYC, London and Paris for having a collection of street art. It’s unexpected in this small town on the river, and it’s something to be proud of.”
 
The mural, which is being funded by private donors and businesses, will depict classic FAILE characters, including a dog catching a masked lady sneaking out into the night. The words ‘FAILE Dream Club’ represents the collective’s original studio that had no windows, and the hopes and dreams they had. The stock car represents FAILE’s newer body of work, and it also fits into Kentucky’s racing history.
 
“The mural was inspired by our rip style of painting,” FAILE said in a statement. “Given the opportunity to paint two buildings adjacent to each other, we wanted the murals to have a conversation and to connect to one another.”
 
BLDG hosted an in-progress party on Oct. 17, and the rest of FAILE will join the head muralist and his assistant on Oct. 22 and 23 for the last two days of mural painting.
 
“We hope the mural creates conversation and intrigue,” Amann says. “I hope that people who haven’t heard of FAILE get online and seek them out and learn about them. We want to educate people and raise their curiosity.”
 
If you pass by the mural, take a photo and tag it #aroundthecorner on all social media.

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.

Permanently show your love for Cincinnati with a CincyInk tattoo

During Midpoint Music Festival, people were asked to share what they love about Cincinnati. Now that MPMF is over, postcards will be available throughout the city for more input.
 
Thousands of entries are expected, and each message will inspire the creation of a love poem for Cincinnati, which is being coordinated by Chase Public, a Northside-based collaborative art and assembly space. The finished poem will be shared with the city in December.
 
The campaign, called CincyInk, will serve as the centerpiece of The Cincinnati Tattoo Project. As part of the project, 200 people will get tattoos of words and phrases from the poem. Tattoo artists Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorova, who were behind similar projects in Lexington and Boulder, will design each of the tattoos.
 
The tattoos will only be produced once, and each tattoo will be different. The tattoos will feature one to five words from the poem in a simple black serif font, and will be surrounded by a motif of “^,” which represents Cincinnati’s hills and valleys.
 
The Cincinnati Tattoo Project is free, but if you want to secure your chance to receive a CincyInk tattoo, you can underwrite a stanza of the poem for a monetary donation to the project. Once the poem is finished, underwriters will be able to choose their tattoo. Act fast because there are only 20 Get Inked; Give Ink sponsorships available.
 
Gohde and Kremena will also create a video that will feature a reading of the CincyInk poem, as well as images of each of the 200 tattoos that were inspired by the poem. The video will be shared with the community at the CincyInk celebration next October.
 
If you’re interested in a CincyInk tattoo, contact sara@artworkscincinnati.org or visit the CincyInk website.
 
And if you love Cincinnati but permanent tattoos aren’t for you, you can pick up a package of temporary tattoos here. The tattoos, which were designed by Artworks youth Apprentices, feature images of what make Cincinnati famous, including Graeter’s and the Cincinnati Zoo. Tattoo packages are $14.95, and all proceeds benefit the ArtWorks youth Apprentice Program.

ArtWorks brings interactive bike racks to city

If you’re a bicyclist, you’ve probably seen the 14 artist-designed bike racks, called Art Racks, throughout Greater Cincinnati. ArtWorks is currently working to help install a 15th in front of The Carnegie in Covington.
 
The new Art Rack will be designed by Michael Stillion, and will feature three ghosts. The Carnegie, ArtWorks and power2give have partnered to bring the new Art Rack to the city.
 
The organizations need to raise $7,000 to pay for the materials and the artist. The NLT Foundation will match all donations dollar-for-dollar. Donors will have the chance to select from a variety of benefits, including a Carnegie membership, tickets to The Carnegie’s annual Art of Food event and bike rack naming rights.

There are also three other power2give campaigns open for Art Racks in Columbia Tusculum, at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and at the Lloyd Library and Museum.
 
Since 2012, ArtWorks has partnered with local artists and organizations to bring artist-designed, functional Art Racks to spaces and add to the streetscape of the neighborhoods.
 
Art Racks can be found at:
  • The Coffee Emporium, 110 E. Central Parkway: Tour de Cincy, designed by Pam Kravetz, Carla Lamb and Karen Saunders; sponsored by the NLT Foundation 
  • Clifton Cultural Arts Center, 3711 Clifton Ave.: designed by Bob Dyehouse; sponsored by Truepoint, Inc. and ArtsWave
  • Duke Energey Convention Center, 525 Elm St.: Humanity Machine Outpost, designed by Edward Casagrande; sponsored by Duke Energy Convention Center
  • YWCA, 898 Walnut St.: designed by Carolyn Watkins; sponsored by Pantene
  • Fifth Third Bank, 38 Fountain Square Plaza: Currents, designed by Claire Darley and Rebecca Seeman; sponsored by goVibrant and Fifth Third Bank
  • Salway Park Trailhead at Mill Creek Trail: Elements, designed by Christopher Daniel; sponsored by ArtsWave and Truepoint, Inc.
  • Studio S, 3456 Michigan Ave.: Circular Logic, designed by Mark Schlacter; sponsored by Studio S
  • 1411 Main St., Ohio?: designed by John Dixon; sponsored by Over-the-Rhine Revitalization Corporation via Urban Sites
  • Hoffner Park, 4104 Hamilton Ave.: Sago Palms, designed by Kate Demske; sponsored by Terry Bazeley and John Castaldi and MoBo Bicycle Co-op
  • Walnut Hills High School, 3250 Victory Parkway: Acanthus Leaves, designed by David Tarbell; sponsored by Walnut Hills High School Alumni Foundation
  • Over-the-Rhine Kroger, 1420 Vine St., and East Price Hill Kroger, 3609 Warsaw Ave.: Fresh Fruit, designed by Maya Drozdz and Michael Stout of VisuaLingual; sponsored by Kroger
  • Smale Riverfront Park, West Mehring Way: designed by David Rice; sponsored by Jan and Wym Portman
  • SCPA, 108 W. Central Parkway: SCPA Octopus, designed by Christian Schmit and students at SCPA; sponsored by ArtsWave, The Johnson Foundation and power2give donors

Mural tour to highlight Cincinnati's history and famous painters

Cincinnati’s first annual “Mural Month” kicks off Oct. 1, and to celebrate, ArtWorks is launching its brand-new walking mural tours. The tours, The Spirit of OTR and Cincinnati Masters & More, begin Oct. 4.
 
Both walking tours feature about 10 murals, and last about an hour and a half. An Artworks Apprentice and an ArtWorks volunteer lead the tours, and give tour-goers background information on the mural, its painter, how it was made, and its connection to the community.
 
“Our murals tell stories, and are eye-catching and engaging,” says Ellen Stedefeld, communications and development coordinator for ArtWorks and the curator of the mural tour. “We want to tell the stories of the murals and the story of ArtWorks, as well as the murals’ connection to the city and the community.”
 
The Spirit of OTR tour will being outside of Coffee Emporium on Central Parkway, and will wind its way through Over-the-Rhine, ending at Washington Park. Tour guides will describe how the murals were made, and connect the murals to the history of the neighborhood from the 1800s to the present.
 
Murals included on The Spirit of OTR tour are Mr. Tarbell Tips His Hat, located at 1109 Vine St.; Canal at Vine Street circa 1900, located at 101 W. Central Parkway; Cincinnati Strongman Henry Holtgrewe, located at 1215 Vine St.; and The Vision of Samuel Hannaford, located at 1308 Race St.
 
Cincinnati Masters & More also begins at Coffee Emporium and ends at Fountain Square. It celebrates Cincinnati’s artistic legacy by highlighting some of the city’s most famous artists, including Charley Harper, John Ruthven and Tom Wesselmann. Murals included in the Cincinnati Masters & More tour are Fresh Harvest, located at 1014 Vine St.; Homecoming (Blue Birds), located at 119 E. Court St.; and Still Life #60, located at 811 Main St.
 
Tours will take place every Saturday in October and November, ending around Nov. 22 for the winter. Tickets are $20 per person (children under 12 are free) and are available on Artworks’ website. Tours are capped at 20 people, but larger groups can book private tours in advance.
 

Sea Cuisine Taco Tour lands in Cincinnati

This summer, Sea Cuisine took its Taco Tour to five cities across the country, and its last stop is in Cincinnati. The tour kicked off in June in Milwaukee, then headed to Minneapolis, Denver and Nashville, and it has its last day in Cincinnati on Sept. 27.
 
In each city, Sea Cuisine enlists a local chef to help create taco recipes to serve on the truck. In Milwaukee, Sea Cuisine sought the talents of owner and executive chef of Il Mito, Chef Michael Feker; in Minneapolis, chef de cuisine of Sea Change, Chef Jamie Malone; in Denver, chef and founder of Blackberry Catering, Chef Hosea Rosenberg; and in Nashville, executive chef of Urban Grub, Edgar Pendley.
 
Chef Kyle Johnson, formerly of Local 127, created two tacos that are exclusive to Cincinnati for the truck’s three-week Queen City visit.
 
“As a chef, I know how to use products like fresh fish, and it’s great to be able to suggest something that is a substitute for a harder-to-use item,” Johnson says. “I want to be able to give novice cooks the interest to cook at home, and give them the knowledge to do so.”
 
Johnson’s Chipotle Adobo Tortilla Crusted Tilapia Tacos bring a Mexican flair to Sea Cuisine’s Tortilla Crusted Tilapia, and is easy for the at-home cook to make. The fish is topped with tomato, chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, avocado, cilantro and lime juice.
 
“When I go home, I need to eat too, and I would definitely make something like what they’re serving on the truck,” Johnson says.
 
The Taco Tour will be in Cincinnati until Sept. 27, and will be at Midpoint Music Festival on Sept. 25 and 27, and Fountain Square on Sept. 26. If you visit the truck, use #UpgradeYourTaco on Twitter, and follow Sea Cuisine on Instagram at seacuisinemeals#.

Sea Cuisine products are available at your local Kroger.
 

Simple Space to offer pop-up and event space in OTR

Over-the-Rhine residents Levi and Heather Bethune are opening a pop-up and event space on the first-floor of their home. Simple Space, located at 16 E. 13th St., will be available for everything from a pop-up store to a party space.
 
“Simple Space will be kind of like an extension of our living room,” Bethune says. “One of the reasons my wife and I decided to move our family into an urban environment is so we can influence, affect and contribute to the heart of the city. We believe that we can have an impact through Simple Space, but also through our home. Every tenant that rents out the space will be considered a guest in our home, and hopefully a friend in our city.”
 
The 600-square-foot space is an empty shell, and will be undergoing renovations soon. The Bethunes hope to have their first tenants in before Christmas, and will open the building to reservations in March.
 
Over the last two years, Bethune has met many vendors and creators at events like the City Flea and Second Sunday on Main. He’s talked to several people who are interested in using the space, including Julie Otten from Shoppe Class, who could use Simple Space for craft speciality lessons; Nick Elbi from Zip Zoo Apparrel, who might do a T-shirt pop-up shop; and Blake Smith from the local start-up Cladwell, who has talked about using Simple Space for a custom fitting and personalized men’s shopping experience.
 
“Simple Space is a container, an empty box,” Bethune says. “It’s not about what I want to happen in there, it’s about what you want to happen in there.”
 
Simple Space is currently looking for investors to help with renovations and signage. You can donate to the Indiegogo campaign here.  
 

CliftonFest unites artisans with community

This year’s annual CliftonFest will feature 41 artisan booths, 36 carpet artists, a variety of musicians and performers, and Ludlow Avenue businesses. Hosted by the Clifton community and Uptown Consortium, the free festival begins at 6 p.m. Sept. 26 and ends on 6 p.m. Sept. 28.
 
“When IGA closed, we lost a major magnet for people in the Clifton business district, and the business association felt something needed to happen to bolster the energy,” says Jan Brown Checco, president of CliftonFest.
 
CliftonFest, the rebirth of a sidewalk sale event from the ‘80s, is a way to remind the neighborhood of working artists in the community, and to help boost the businesses along the Ludlow Avenue corridor.
 
“The focus is really on relationships and getting people together,” Brown Checco says.
 
During CliftonFest, Ludlow is closed from Clifton Avenue to Middleton Avenue, and all businesses on the street level are open. Artists line the street selling their crafts, and professional street chalk artists work along the curb on both sides of the street to create ArtCarpets. There will also be a biergarten featuring craft beer from Rivertown.
 
“A special process is used for the ArtCarpets, which allows the artwork to stay for a minimum of three months,” Brown Checco says. “It creates a splash during the weekend of CliftonFest, but people can still come and see them for a few months afterward.”
 
Friday night’s events will occur with Ludlow’s normal traffic pattern. “Wine and Jazz” on Clifton Plaza will feature Wade Baker Collective from 6 to 11 p.m., and an artist’s reception for Scott Donaldson, who painted the new Clifton Plaza Mural, will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. at Om Eco Café, where over a dozen of his portraits will be on display.
 
On Saturday, children can enjoy musicians, puppeteers, circus magicians, CCM students, games, interactive crafts and refreshments at Diggs Plaza at Burnet Woods. There will also be a showing of Mary Poppins at the Esquire Theatre and “Story Hour on Clifton Plaza” at the library, both beginning at 10 a.m.
 
Sunday’s events will kick off with a 10 a.m. yoga session featuring Ron Esposito, and a 5K run in Burnet Woods. The Pet Parade will begin at 1 p.m., and the dedication of the new mural will be at 4 p.m.
 
Musicians throughout the weekend include Tracy Walker, Baoku Afrobeat, Mayan Ruins, Robin Lacey and DeZydeco, Pones Inc., Acarya, Cliftones, Part-time Gentlemen, Jump n’ Jive Swing Band, MUSE, Zumba, CCM Jazz Combo and Brooke Salem Krewe.

Ten films showcase the lives of Walnut Hills residents

This summer, Ryan Mulligan, a professor and filmmaker; Sam Meador, a local artist; The Gallery Project; Cincinnati creatives; and citizens of Walnut Hills created 10 short films about the people of the neighborhood. The films will be shown at 9 p.m. on Aug. 15 during the final Walk on Woodburn of the summer.
 
“Walnut Hills is my home, and I love the neighborhood,” Mulligan says. “When Annie Bolling asked me to do a project in her new community-centered art space on Woodburn, I jumped at the opportunity.”
 
The films, called Hilltop Stories, include documentary-style shorts, a silent comedy, a music video and a historical recreation of a couple’s first date and their lives together. Hilltop Stories was made entirely on a volunteer basis, with a grant from FUEL Cincinnati covering the advertising and equipment costs for the screening.
 
A Bollywood-style music video is in honor of Courttney Cooper, a Kroger employee who loves music. He can be seen dancing around the store, and brings music to everyone around him, Mulligan says.
 
Roy and Dee Green have lived in Walnut Hills for more than 50 years, and their love story inspired one of the films. Local teen actors played the Greens, and the film was shot on location in the neighborhood as the actors re-created the couple’s first date, courtship, marriage, and trials and tribulations. 
 
Walk on Woodburn will include a beer garden and food trucks from 6 to 9 p.m., with the films shown afterward for free on a giant 20-foot inflatable screen in the parking lot of 2800 Woodburn.
 
Mulligan says he’s only scratched the surface of the stories in Walnut Hills. During filming, he met a family with a large fence behind their house who have never met their neighbors. Next year, Mulligan is helping host the first ever Backyard Fence Volleyball League, in which the winner cooks dinner. Each block can form a team, and the match and meal will be filmed.
 
“I’m not a filmmaker,” Mulligan says. “I’m just a guy who believes in neighborhoods, and a professor who believes in art for social change.”
 
Next year, Mulligan hopes to take a backseat and help others who want to get behind the camera, but he definitely wants to see Hilltop Stories continue in Walnut Hills and beyond.
 

Columbus-based pretzel shop opening in OTR

An authentic German pretzel shop will soon open its doors in Over-the-Rhine. Columbus-based Brezel will be located in the 565-square-foot space next to Graeter’s at 6 W. 14th Street. 
 
Owner Brittany Baum and her husband, Tim, became pretzel enthusiasts after visiting Germany in 2008.
 
“I’m a vegetarian, and it’s hard to be one in Germany,” Baum says. “I lived off of Bavarian pretzels during our travels.”
 
When she returned to her native Columbus, Baum couldn’t find pretzels that compared to those in Germany. She and a friend spent hours in the kitchen, perfecting their recipe, and sold them at farmers’ markets from 2008-2011. In March 2011, they opened the first Brezel location at Columbus’ North Market.
 
After visiting Cincinnati last August, Baum fell in love with OTR.
 
“It reminded me a lot of the Short North neighborhood in Columbus,” she says. “It has a raw feeling to it. It felt unrefined, artistic and on the verge of self-discovery. I knew I wanted to play a role in creating OTR.”
 
Brezel is best known for its original salt pretzel, but there are 30 different flavors to choose from, including French Onion and Asiago, Peppercorn and Mozzarella, Jalapeno and Cheddar, Roasted Garlic and Cheddar, and Coconut and Almond. The menu includes pretzel twists, pretzel bites and scratch-made dips, as well as buns, soup bowls and pizza crust, which are all made from pretzel dough.
 
“I believe in working with other small businesses to collaborate and create interesting products, and I hope to share that vision with other businesses in OTR,” Baum says.
 
She hopes to open Brezel in time for Oktoberfest, but there is no set date yet. Hours of operation will include mid-morning through the evening, as well as late-night hours on the weekend.
 
“Brezel will be a place for people to grab a quick bite before or after work, as well as late night,” Baum says.
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