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OTRChamber

An Interview with Michael and Jill Carroll, Owners Cheers to Art!



1) What do you want people (the community) to know about your business?

 

Cheers to Art! offers ‘art as entertainment.’ Absolutely no experience is necessary

to have a great time. We combine canvas painting, music and beer or wine from

our bar for the perfect night out before or after dining at one of OTR’s fabulous

restaurants.

 

2) Why did you decide to set up your business in OTR?

 

We had so many downtown companies coming out to our Madeira studio for

team building events that we decided to open a downtown studio. We loved the vibe

and wanted to be a part of the revitalization of OTR.

 

3) Is there anything that surprised you about working or having a business in

OTR?

 

Probably the perception of OTR. Although it’s getting better, people still ask us if

it’s safe to come down here. We see it changing, but the success of OTR depends

on people from the Cincinnati suburbs and surrounding areas visiting the neighborhood.

 

4) Do you have a favorite place you like to go in OTR? (Restaurant, bar, shop,

place to exercise, theatre).

 

We enjoy walking down to The Coffee Emporium on Central Parkway for a drink

or for a light lunch. Also, the margaritas at Bakersfield are fabulous when we can get in.

 

5) If you had a magic wand, what would you change in OTR?

 

I’d get the revitalization done overnight! All the buildings would be beautiful, the

streets would be safe at all hours of the day and people would walk, ride bikes or

take the street car to work or home.

 


OTRChamber

A Chat with the Elementz Leadership Team: Abdullah Powell and Tom Kent

1)      What do you want people (the community) to know about your business?

 

That Elementz is a place for creative youth. There are a lot of centers out there but not one that focuses on creative youth. We, in conjunction with volunteers from various backgrounds and ethnicities, use hip hop as a means to connect with inner city youth. We believe in our inner city youth and focus on their positive gifts.

 

2)      Why did you decide to set-up your business in OTR?

 

We were located in the West End for 7 years before moving to OTR. We wanted to be close to the young people, and close to a bus route and where many of them live. It was important to be in the center of development and be a part of the wave of good things going on in the community.

 

(Tom): Part of our mission is “Don’t fear the unknown”. This means that we want to help the community get to know the youth in the community. We want to help introduce the youth to the community so there is no fear.

 

3)      Is there anything that surprised you about working or having a business in OTR?

 

(Tom): The support from the local business community has been surprising. They have really reached out and made it clear that they want us here. They have worked with us to bring the Explore Over-the-Rhine initiative to fruition. This program invites patrons of the arts to explore OTR and receive discounts off other arts events or organizations. So this has become a partnership with the local business community.

 

4)      Do you have a favorite place you like to go in OTR? (Restaurant, bar, shop, place to exercise, theatre, etc.)

 

(Tom): When my grandchildren are here, I love to take them to Washington Park. They love the fountains. I enjoy seeing all of the diversity in the park. It has become a very friendly, urban family and an extension of what we’re trying to do on a bigger scale.

 

(Abuddlah): I don’t get a chance to frequent many places but I have the ability to go to my place of worship here in the community. I also frequent Original Thought Required. It is more than a shop, it’s a center that is very relevant for the community.

 

5)      If you had a magic wand, what would you change in OTR?

 

(Tom): The streetcar construction would be done and parking would be open. The streets would be alive with people getting on and off the streetcar. I’m looking forward to it being completed.

 

(Abdullah): I would want to make sure everyone is able to find their place in the community. It’s important to make sure that the needs of the community are being addressed. 


OTRChamber

Interview with Kathleen Kern, Co-Owner, Churchill's Fine Teas

1)      What do you want people (the community) to know about your business?

 

We used to be on 4th Street and we had tea room at that location. We wanted to focus on tea and also on educating our customers. We spend a lot of time with our customers educating them about tea. We have 265 + teas from around the world.

 

2)      Why did you decide to set up your business in OTR?

 

We were at Findlay Market shopping and my daughter suggested that we move the store here. Once she said it, we knew it was where we wanted to be. We found this space and realized there wasn’t space for a tea room. That’s when we decided to change our focus. Findlay Market reminds me of London. Markets are a natural thing in London but here it is an exception.

 

3)      Is there anything that surprised you about working or having a business in OTR?

 

Everyone is so happy. People have made a conscience choice to be here. Our customers are unbelievable.

 

4)      Do you have a favorite place you like to go in OTR? (Restaurant, bar, shop, place to exercise, theatre).

 

We’ve been going to Salazar. When our children visit, we like to take them to new places they haven’t been to yet.

 

5)      If you had a magic wand, what would you change in OTR?

I don’t think I would change anything, especially not the atmosphere. I support the efforts that are being made in OTR. I also love the architecture. That’s one of the things I miss about England. I love looking up at the tops of buildings. The best features are always at the top of the building.

 


OTRChamber

Interview with Jake Baker and Jake Gerth, Owners, Frameshop

1)      What do you want people (the community) to know about your business?

 

We want people to know our business hours. We’re open Sat & Sunday from 10-5 pm. We’re also open on Final Fridays around 7. We use that time to showcase some of our work and interact with the community. We were open during the week but we found that we needed time to work on projects. Because we do custom work, we’re always working on something.

 

2)      Why did you decide to set-up your business in OTR?

 

We saw all the growth and potential in the community. There is definitely an audience here for our business, that’s what is important. We want to engage people who come here to shop/explore and also the residents. When we’re not here we try to make sure our storefront is engaging. Right now we have Mr. Red’s moustache in one window and a mirror in the other.

 

3)      Is there anything that surprised you about working or having a business in OTR?

 

Nothing really shocks us. We came to OTR for the surprises and the interactions.

 

4)      Do you have a favorite place you like to go in OTR? (Restaurant, bar, shop, place to exercise, theatre, etc.)

 

We’re always out in the community but we do frequent a lot of the businesses on Main Street. Some of our favorite places are Salazar, MOTR Pub, Park +Vine, Findlay Market and Rhinehaus.

 

5)      If you had a magic wand, what would you change in OTR?

 

To make it bigger, larger but still the same vibe or atmosphere. We would add more affordable housing for students, young professionals, etc. We want to add to the neighborhood without changing the identity of the neighborhood.

 

 


OTRChamber

Interview with Sara Bornick, Owner, Streetpops

1)      What do you want people (the community) to know about your business?

 

We are fun, friendly and love being a park of the OTR Community.

 

2)      Why did you decide to set-up your business in OTR?

 

It was one of those opportunities that just sort of fell into our laps. We were originally looking for a warehouse space to produce our pops, but when our building became available and it offered a kitchen and a storefront, it was an easy decision to stay here. Besides that, I live just a couple blocks away and it's great to be within walking distance to the office!

 

3)      Is there anything that surprised you about working or having a business in OTR?

 

The way the business owners treat each other, and support each other has been so great. 

 

4)      Do you have a favorite place you like to go in OTR? (Restaurant, bar, shop, place to exercise, theatre, etc.)

 

Just one?! I literally find myself frequenting such a wide variety of places. I love to eat out...whether it be diner food at Tucker's, or the Monday night neighborhood special at Nicola's and everything in between. There are so many places to name nowadays that I Iove. Of course, then I like/need to work off all that yummy food and drink at FitNext on Vine Street! The passion and creativity that has happened in the past couple years in our neighborhood has been amazing.

 

5)      If you had a magic wand, what would you change in OTR?

 

 I would love to see everyone doing their part to make and keep OTR beautiful. The planters and flower beds that were recently added on Main Street and in front of our shop have been a nice, and welcome addition. I'd like to see more of the garbage being picked up and placed in proper bins as well.

 


OTRChamber

Interview with Jack Weston, Co-Owner, Rhinehaus

1)      What do you want people (the community) to know about your business?


That Rhinehaus is a neighborhood bar/hangout. We want everyone to feel comfortable here and we want to be part of the community.
 

2)      Why did you decide to set up your business in OTR?


As residents of the neighborhood, we were excited by the revitalization and wanted to be part of it. We also wanted to fill a niche that we as consumers and neighbors felt needed to be filled.
 

3)      Is there anything that surprised you about working or having a business in OTR?

 
The number of people in OTR and the amount of energy invested in the neighborhood.  People’s lives revolve around the neighborhood. We have people that come into Rhinehaus everyday and they’ve become part of our family.
 

4)      Do you have a favorite place you like to go in OTR? (Restaurant, bar, shop, place to exercise, theatre).

 
My favorite place to eat is Senate. I love their Croque Madam hot dog and also their fries. I love hanging out at The Lackman, Neons and Rhinehaus. I also really enjoy Findlay Market.

 

5)      If you had a magic wand, what would you change in OTR?

 
I would add a grocery store south of Liberty with more local offerings and variety. A convenience store somewhere on Main Street would be great. It would be nice to have a trash machine that picked up trash every night, or a way to educate the neighborhood on why it is important to throw trash away. More affordable housing would be great as well.

 


OTRChamber

Interview with Ingrid Huang, Owner BoBa Cha Bubble Tea

1)      What do you want people (the community) to know about your business?

 

That it’s fun and healthy. With every sip there is a new experience and it makes you want more and more. We offer fast and friendly service to our customers. We mix natural tea leaves, herbs, fruits and veggies to create a healthy and creative drink. We view ourselves as partners with our customers, employees, our community and the environment. We are located at 1606 Main Street, across from Rothenberg Elementary.

 

2)      Why did you decide to set up your business in OTR?

 

We saw it as a good opportunity. There is a lot of growth going on in OTR. It is also very accessible for our customers. We used to be located on UC’s campus, so it’s nice that customers from UC can still come and visit us.

 

3)      Is there anything that surprised you about working or having a business in OTR?

The community is very close and supportive. Many of our neighbors have taken pictures of our shop and shared it on Facebook. They’ve also referred their customers and brought friends or family to try our tea. I was really surprised by all of the support.

4)      Do you have a favorite place you like to go in OTR? (Restaurant, bar, shop, place to exercise, theatre).

 

So far my favorite places are: Street Pops and Holtman’s, but we haven’t had a chance to explore everything yet.


OTRChamber

Interview with Shawn Jenkins, Owner, The Garage OTR Home of Segway Cincinnati


1)      What do you want people (the community) to know about your business?

 

We’re growing and rebranding. We have a new name: The Garage OTR- Home of Segway of Cincinnati.  Our vast selection of electric bikes, bike accessories and parts are now available online at thegarageotr.com .  We’re known for our Segway Tours but we offer maintenance services for everything we sell, as well as all types of bikes right next door.  

 

2)      Why did you decide to set up your business in OTR?

 

It was a great fit for us. We were the first business in this space and we’ve grown with the neighborhood.

 

3)      Is there anything that surprised you about working or having a business in OTR?

 

How quickly the neighborhood has flourished in the past five years. There have been a lot of big projects completed: the Washington Park renovation, the new SCPA facility and Horseshoe Cincinnati, and Streetcar construction is underway.  They were lofty goals and I thought we would see the changes within ten years. It was a good surprise that it only took five years.

 

4)      Do you have a favorite place you like to go in OTR? (Restaurant, bar, shop, place to exercise, theatre).

 

It used to be Neon’s and The Lackman. Now that we have children, it’s Washington Park and the Fire Museum, just a block from OTR.  There are lots of places to dine, which is a good thing. It’s hard to recommend favorites to our customers because there are so many.

 

5)      If you had a magic wand, what would you change in OTR?

 

I would add more services like dry cleaners, a shoe repair store, a laundromat, donut shops, a hardware store, etc. It’s an indicator of people moving into the neighborhood and a next sign of success.


OTRChamber

An Interview with Taren Kinebrew, Owner of Sweet Petit Desserts



1)      
What do you want people (the community) to know about your business?

 

We are stocked and ready to go. People can come in and place orders. We offer gift boxing and in-store gift wrapping. We will also offer parties for children. All of the parties will be customized, one of a kind and we will handcraft everything.  In addition to using real dishes & plates, there will be craft activities, such as making their own cupcakes, etc. The parties will be very interactive.

 

2)      Why did you decide to set-up your business in OTR?

I grew up in Cincinnati and I wanted to be in a neighborhood that supported small businesses. Over-the-Rhine is a great place for business owners like me. There isn’t any competition among business owners and it makes it great for everyone.

 

3)      Is there anything that surprised you about working or having a business in OTR?

 

No, not really. I had been looking in Over-the-Rhine for over a year. I loved seeing all of the changes and the restoration of historical buildings.

 

4)      Do you have a favorite place you like to go in OTR? (Restaurant, bar, shop, place to exercise, theatre, etc.)

 

I haven’t had a chance to visit all the other places yet. I know a few, though: Zula, Bakersfield, Sloane Boutique and Mannequin. I also love Substance.  All of our lighting was done by Switch. I’m sure we will eat and shop our way through the area. I love what everyone is doing. There is something for everyone.

 

5)      If you had a magic wand, what would you change in OTR?

 

I would love to see more beautification of the streets, more planters, decorations, etc.


OTRChamber

Winter Retail Therapy

Over-the-Rhine businesses have compiled  some clever shopping and culinary tips to keep everyone energized and thoughts of warmer days seem not so far away.  Listed below are new items customers will find in their shops, and menu items to keep you toasty warm. More information about these businesses can be found in the business directory on our website.

 

The Anchor

Try the Lobster Roll or the Sting Ray, a specialty drink.

 

  


Another Part of the Forest

10% off Blues and Classical vinyl

 

Art Beyond Boundaries

Find compelling original art by incredibly talented local artists, Mary Barr Rhodes, Will Wiley, Jeremy Lewis and many more.

 

Below Zero Lounge

Sip on an Irish Coffee with Boru Irish Vodka.

 

Coffee Emporium

Their Aztec Spiced Mocha has luscious chocolate, invigorating spices, special espresso blend and creamy steamed milk.  It's topped with whip cream and a dash of freshly ground cinnamon.  Also, try the new Berry & Flaxseed Muffin.

 

Couture Couture

Mint green Maxi dresses that would brighten up anyone's day!

 

Fiberge Yarn Shop

Find new locally hand dyed yarn and roving.

 

Findlay Market

Market Wines’ Chili Cook-Off recipe: Find all of the ingredients to make this chili at Findlay Market. Click here for the recipe. Try Mimi's Gourmet Eggrolls & Curry, Drinking Hot Chocolate from Dojo Gelato, or pho from Pho Lang Thang.

 

Fresh Table

Try the Bison Chili made with local bison, or the Pompeii Brussels Sprout Slaw made with raw, thinly shaved Brussel sprouts, whole roasted garlic cloves, sun dried tomato and kalamata olives to keep you healthy!

 

Iris Book Café

Settle in with a steamy chai and a bowl of chili chorizo or vegan chili; keep your to-go drinks warm all day in an OTR/Iris logo Klean Kanteen. Plus, get a complimentary cafe cap with Kanteen purchase!

 

Mannequin Boutique
Chase away winter blues with vintage fur coats and cashmere sweaters from Mannequin!

 

Park + Vine

Uplifting Kombucha Kits. Feel the lift. Make your own kombucha with Oregon Kombucha starter kits. Try the Spring Craft Beers from Deschutes Brewery now available at Park + Vine (Black Butte, Porter, Inversion IPA, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Red Chair NWPA)

 

Rock Paper Scissors
Enjoy “The Cincinnati Sound," a compilation of local music guaranteed to get you dancing (or at the very least put an extra bounce in your step); or, start a new journal or art project with locally made (and brightly colored!) journals and sketchbooks.

 

Rookwood Pottery Co.

New Spring colors now at Rookwood Pottery in their new shop on Jackson Street, enter from Twelfth and Vine parking lot.

 

 

Steam Whistle Letterpress and Design LLC

Have you seen The Cincinnati Streetcard?  Can't wait 3 more years for the streetcar to start running? Scratch that itch with their pop-out paper postcard!  Letterpress-printed Valentines are now available too. True love never goes out of style, handmade right here on Main Street OTR.

 

  


Substance Boutique

Discover three new styles in the softest organic cotton tees from Los Angeles brand Groceries, plus loads of new dress styles perfect for Valentine's date night.

 

Symphony Hotel and Restaurant

Try the new martini "Lost in OTR" with Crown Royal, Kahlua, Cherry Juice & a splash of root beer! Plus, Sunday brunches at the Symphony Hotel are a must try.


Taste of Belgium

Try the brand new Belgian Corndog (merguez – spicy lamb sausage, sweet batter, whole grain mustard and curry ketchup), or the new popular Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Enjoy their beer cheese now offered on the lunch menu, plus their crêpe bar is now open all day long, so people can savory crêpes for $7. Even more, Taste of Belgium OTR has a new sign, new menu, and new plate ware to start the new year with a bang.

 

Urban Eden

Curl up with an Arcadia local history book! Special price $3 off.


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