Showing posts with label Restaurants. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Restaurants. Show all posts

Thursday, January 16, 2020

After Years of Desire, John Cranley to Get His HardRock Cafe

17 years ago John Cranley was longing to turn OTR into a chain restaurant paradise. I called his effort ‘McMain Street’ back then, big box chain restaurants as his goal to fill Main Street in OTR. Well, after a long, long wait, John is getting a version of his desire: a Hard Rock Cafe, the pinnacle of pop culture in 1989. As part of the newly renamed HardRock Casino a HardRock Cafe will be built, just a block from Main Street.

I am positive John will be monitoring the construction schedule so he can block out his calendar to be sure to take part in the many events involved around its opening.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

A Panera Downtown Is a Good Thing

There may be some people out there complaining that Panera will be opening a Fountain Square location. Please stop. This is a good thing for Downtown. Yes, it's another chain restaurant. I try to avoid chain restaurants, but not everyone can. It is just never going to be possible for local resturants to solely serve the public. Chains exist because they can provide meals more cheaply than stand alone resturants, in most cases.   I would prefer there to be few chains, but no use to get ticked off as something that will create jobs and serve a significant number of customers. Panera will provide, hopefully, a consistent product served during consistent hours.  Those hours will hopefully also include evenings and weekends.

Panera beats adding a McDonald's or Burger King.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

New Restaurant Coming to Downtown?

I noticed the signs above while on my walk this
morning. This is on Vine Street between 6th and 7th Streets.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Happy Arnold's Bar and Grill Day!

Today in the City of Cincinnati it is officially Arnold's Bar and Grill Day! Head to Arnold's to celebrate 150 years of a history, drinks, and great food.

The Enquirer has a look back at Arnold's history through photos. Political events run deep at Arnold's.

If you are interested in more Cincinnati political history, check out Boss Cox's Cincinnati: Urban Politics in the Progressive Era (Urban Life and Urban Landscape Series)

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Summer Will Bring Taste of Belgium to Gateway Quarter

Polly Campbell blogs some great news about a new Taste of Belgium cafe coming to the heart of the Gateway Quarter. A big congratulations goes out to owner Jean-Francois Flechet on this news. I look forward to having another dinning spot on Vine Street this Summer.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Señor Roy's Taco Patrol to Close?

This Tweet from @Señor Roy indicates the owners looking to get out of the business by selling the food truck.
Señor Roy
Wehave had a fabulous time with everyone, but for personal reasons, we have decided to offer SRTP for sale. Inbox fordetails
There have been rumors going around that they might be going under, but this is the first credible comment I've seen that indicates the establishment may close. I've had good food from the mobile eatery, and will be sorry to see them go.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Celebrate Arnold's 150th Birthday on New Year's Day

Cincinnati's oldest bar, Arnold's Bar & Grille, is celebrating 150 years of serving great food and drinks.  Come out New Year's Day night (January 1st) at 6PM for birthday specials and .  In addition, enjoy for the first time the Arnold’s 1861 Porter from Christian Moerlien, the first beer brewed at their newly opened Over-the-Rhine brewery. Here's more of the details:
On New Years Day, Saturday January 1st, Arnold’s and Christian Moerlein are having a Birthday Bash to honor Arnold’s 150th year of continuous operation. We are more than honored to announce that this will also be the release of Arnold’s 1861 Porter, the first beer brewed in Christian Moerlein’s new Brewery in Over The Rhine. We are not shooting for some fancy-shmancy anniversiary party. We want to have a blowout for everyone. For this duel event, 12 oz drafts are just 1.50 in honor of our 150th year. Keeping with the 1.50 theme Arnold’s will also have a 1.50 specials menu. On the menu, hamburgers, veggie burgers, french fries, Spaghetti and Meatballs, and Vegetarian Spaghetti and Marinara. That is not a typo, all will be just 1.50. You can effectively get an entire gut-busting meal and several craft beers for under ten bucks. Oh, and did I mention? Free Cake! A Birthday party is nothing without free cake. Keeping with the party theme, The Cincinnati Dancing Pigs are on stage from 8-10 singing all the drinking songs that they are known so well for. This is just an event for Cincinnati’s oldest tavern to say Thank You to Cincinnati for keeping this old codger around so long. So please come celebrate with us. For those that can’t wait for the new beer, we also will be making it available at midnight on New Years Eve at the stroke of Midnight, for the same 1.50 special price.
Enjoy entertainment from the Cincinnati Dancing Pigs from 8 to 10 PM. Even if you are hung-over from New Year's Eve, you can have a dish of spaghetti or a burger and porter.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tom + Chee Is Open on Court Street

Fountain Square used to be the only place to get the best Grilled Cheese sandwiches in town, but now Tom + Cheehave a restaurant open on Court Street.

Friday, October 15, 2010

It Must Be Fall . . .

. . . because I just ordered my Thanksgiving pumpkin pie from Fred & Gari's.

I don't even have plans for Thanksgiving yet, I just know I want that pie to be involved.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Not So Good Eats: Fountain Square Chipotle

Has anyone else noticed a marked deterioration in the level of service at the Fountain Square Chipotle in the last few months?

I'm a frequent patron of that restaurant--far more frequent than I should be, perhaps. So it's possible that I'm hyper-sensitive to changes in the quality of the experience and food there. But I don't think so.

When the downtown Chipotle first opened, I thought it was great. The staff was friendly and the service was good. Lately, though, the opposite is true. The food prep areas always seem dirty. The line seem to constantly run out of food, making customers wait while more ingredients are prepared. The people behind the counter vary from indifferent to discourteous; the last thing on their minds seems to be waiting on customers. It's now common to feel like your order is a distraction from some conversation being carried on between employees. On a recent visit, the man working the cash register made me wait while he went somewhere behind the kitchen and retrieved his cell phone, with which he sent text messages while he assisted me and other customers.

You'd think Chipotle would view the Fountain Square restaurant as its flagship store in Cincinnati, since that is the one that will get a lot of tourist traffic, including people from areas of the country that don't presently have a Chipotle. Right now, though, I'd just as soon drive up to Clifton or Stetson Square than deal with the downtown store. Or better yet, skip Chipotle altogether, head five blocks away, and get a chorizo burrito from Taqueria Mercado.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Do The Mashed Potato

As the weather turns cooler, it's time for a return to comfort food. And right now, my favorite comfort food dish is Mayberry's mashed potatoes. Creamy and with just the right amount of pepper, they were the perfect side dish with lunch today. Lunch itself was the turkey hot brown, also a great comfort food item just in time for fall.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mayberry Foodstuffs Coming

I'd heard rumors of this a while back, but haven't posted so that the news could break in the traditional media first. As reported by today's Business Courier, World Restaurant Group's Josh Campbell will open an "urban grocery store" at Seventh and Main this November. Josh is currently playing with Mayberry Foodstuffs as the business's name. It'll cater both to downtown residents and to downtown workers who want to take dinner home.

Josh is clearly quite excited by the idea. (And when Josh gets excited, good things happen, as anyone who's been to one of Mayberry's supper club events knows!) The store will be open until 10:00--a blessing for downtowners. Right now, if I want a loaf of bread after 7:00, I have to leave the neighborhood to get it.

I'll definitely have a review once the store opens, but this is obviously a positive step forward for downtown.

And as long as I'm saying nice things about Chef Campbell, I ought to offer two other tidbits:

First, Mayberry's lunch menu changed last week to a fall offering. I haven't tried everything yet, but can recommend both the turkey hot brown and the "Menage a Trois." (The latter is recommended only if you schedule an immediate visit with your cardiologist. The sandwich is the ultimate homage to pork: pork loin, pulled pork, and bacon hot slaw, along with brie cheese and Josh's spicy beer mustard.) The mashed potatoes are also very good--unsurprising, given Mayberry's skill with carbohydrates.

Second, next Thursday (September 30th), City Cellars will host a beer and foodie event from 7 until 10. The beer portion of the evening is dedicated to the 175th Anniversary Hudepohl Amber Lager. On the culinary menu will be dishes from Josh Campbell, including spiced lamb burgers and baby back ribs. Fifteen bucks gets you dinner and three beers. I have to teach that night, or I'd be there. Reservations required.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Blues Fest and Blues, Brews, and BBQ

The Reds are out of town this weekend, but that's OK: it's time for the annual Cincy Blues Fest. With over 40 bands spread over four stages on Saturday and Sunday, there's lots of choices.

Blues Fest is at Sawyer Point and is on Friday from 5:00 to midnight and Saturday from 2:30 to midnight. Admission is $10 on Friday and $15 on Saturday. Kids 13-18 are five bucks each day, and children twelve and under (accompanied by a parent) get in free.

And if you don't get your fill of blues on Friday and Saturday, head on over to Findlay Market on Sunday from 11:00 to 4:00 for the Fifth Annual Blues, Brews, and BBQ. The Christian Moerlein will be flowing in the OTR Biergarten. Mayberry's Josh Campbell and Virgil's Matthew Buschle will be working the grill, and rumor has it that Molly Wellmann will be serving some sort of alcoholic, BBQ-friendly concoction. (She probably won't have the ingredients on-hand for it Sunday, but one of these, days, I've got to try her Manhattan, for which I've heard a great deal of praise).

Just one more weekend of nothing to do in Cincinnati.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The Maltese Falcon and Fork Heart Knife

This Sunday July 11th get two tantalizing experiences in one place at one time. Venue 222 hosts dinner and a movie starting at 6PM. The movie is the Noir of all Noir films: The Maltese Falcon. The food is from Fork Heart Knife.

The Menu:
Bacon wrapped, manchego stuffed date
(the perfect bite)

Chimichurri chicken Skewer!
(skewers of finger food friendly on the stick chicken)

Peppadew devilled eggs
(who doesn’t love peppadew?)

Bloody mary gazpacho!
(served in cute cups, with classic bloody mary accessories- our pickled asparagus and olives)

Blueberry lavender jello mold
(yes we said ‘jello mold’ don’t judge…)

Mini brown butter sugar cookies
(like your kindergarten teacher used to make)

Cost is $6 for both dinner and the flick combined. What a deal! Get your reserved spot by paying via paypal on

The location is 222 E 14th St, Cincinnati, OH 45202. What a great way to end a Sunday that starts at Second Sunday in OTR!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Good Eats: Main Event

With a couple of friends, I stopped by Main Event for lunch today. (That link will eventually redirect you to the restaurant/bar's Facebook page, as its website is still under construction.) Griff posted about it back in April, before it opened; there's some help additional information in the comments. Main Event is at 835 Main Street--the old Lava Lounge, next to what used to be Bouchard's (and before that, Burrito Joe's).

The lunch menu was simple, but has some good food. The place offers sandwiches, salads, and freshly made pizza. All three of us opted for a sandwich, and all of us agreed that they were made of fresh ingredients and tasty. Their pulled pork and BBQ beef sandwiches both come on pretzel bread buns. I had a "Wellington"--roast beef, a potato cake, Colby cheese, and some sweet-and-sour sauce served on a Kaiser roll. It was probably the only truly original sandwich (most were clubs or straightforward, single ingredient creations) on the menu, and I'm glad I tried it.

Service was fast and friendly. It's definitely a good spot to hit on the way out of the courthouse (or on a lunch break if you're stuck in/work at the courthouse all day). And the prices are right: my sandwich, chips, and a pop cost $7.50.

Main Event is also open late at night. The bar was clearly well-stocked. The venue features a fairly large dance floor with a DJ booth. Our server ran down each night's theme for us, all of which I promptly forgot (one night is 80's music). But it sounded like it might be worth checking out.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mmm, Suckling Pig....

Mayberry's Josh Campbell did it again. Friday was his Don Ho Tiki Party, on the rooftop of Boost at 532 Reading. A combination of great food and interesting people made the evening memorable.

The food? Too much to mention, really. That's a suckling pig in the picture. Add to that lobster tails, shrimp, jerk chicken, crab salad, hickory-smoked pineapple rice, lime papaya salad, and three kinds of cake. And, oh, yeah, Molly Wellman was on-hand preparing authentic Tiki drinks. Somehow she made a drink that features violet liqueur into something other (something much, much, other) than a fruity, girlie drink.
And to top it all off: fireworks, courtesy of the Cincinnati Reds.

Hmm. Pictures in my post? I'm slowly becoming a less cool, more tolerant version of 5chw4r7z.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Some Food News: Josh Campbell and Molly Wellmann, Together Again

For those of you who are, like me, fans of Josh Campbell (the chef/proprietor of Mayberry and the World Food Bar), there are a couple of exciting events coming up.

On June 11, 2010, Josh once again join forces with Molly Wellmann (my review of an earlier joint venture featuring those two is here) for a Caribbean-themed dinner at the Boost meeting space on Reading Road. (I'm not sure if this spot counts as downtown or Pendleton.) On the menu: "funky island fare" from Josh and "classic tiki bar drinks" from Molly. There will also be a DJ. Apparently, the Boost venue is fairly impressive. The roof will be open (weather permitting), and food will be served downstairs. Tickets are $50 each (I think beer may be included in that price, though Molly's drinks are extra--and well worth it!); for reservations, call Mayberry at 381-5999.

And this Monday, May 17, at 6:30, Josh will be serving up a "Taste of Mayberry" at the Party Source in Newport. This is a demonstration class, so you'll be able to see Josh in action. The food includes pepper bacon-wrapped figs (you had me at bacon), grilled hanger steak, and banana cream pie. The cost is $60 (which includes some wine, I think), but Party Source has a 2-for-1 special (so it's essentially dinner for two for sixty bucks).

Both events sound great; I'll be at one or both, and hope to run into some of you there.

A Heartwarming and Stomach Filling Story

Sean Rhiney from Soapbox has a very touching story about a new OTR business, ForkHeartKnife Kitchen.
They are on Twitter now too! @forkheartknife

Monday, May 03, 2010

More Clear Evidence the Cadillac Ranch Sucks

Liz of the getinmybelly blog has provided a overwelhming documentation that the Cadillac Ranch is an absolutely horrid establishment.

I most readers know the treatment "the ranch" gave to MidPoint Artists last year, but Liz has shown how poorly they treat paying customers.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

ForkHeartKnife Opening Soon on Main St.

In May look for forkheartknife to start their catering services adding flavor to the Over-the-Rhine and Downtown business and arts scene. Additionally they are planning to serve varied and flexible meals at their OTR space.

The new business is taking over the North Main Street location (1437 Main Street) used by the former incarnation of Take the Cake.

Keep eyes on their blog at: for more.