January 03, 2020

Cincinnati's Most Anticipated New Restaurants and Bars Opening in 2020

New year, new Queen City restaurants and bars to add to your bucket list. From an upscale brewery and a vintage bus bar to a downtown restaurant by two acclaimed Louisville chefs, a Greek bake shop and more — 2020 is looking quite tasty.

Join the CityBeat Press Club

At a time when local-based reporting is critical, support from our readers is essential to our future. Support our coverage with a one-time or monthly donation.


e+o Kitchen
645 Walnut St., Downtown
e+o Kitchen is opening its New Asian eatery downtown at 645 Walnut St. in "early winter." The concept continues the theme of the original Chicago location with "The Food Buddha," aka chef Rodelio Aglibot, overseeing "the conception, creation and launch" of the downtown restaurant, says a press release. He will also be the executive chef of both Cincinnati e+o locations (the first is in Hyde Park).  “The concept of e+o is about harnessing the best Asian flavors while utilizing fresh, local ingredients,” says Aglibot in the release. “It all starts with the dish, then we find the highest quality ingredients to create that flavor.” The menu will feature a New Asian concept the blends the cuisine of the Philippines, Korea, Vietnam and more with "contemporary techniques and inventive ingredients."
Photo: Tony Frank

e+o Kitchen

645 Walnut St., Downtown
e+o Kitchen is opening its New Asian eatery downtown at 645 Walnut St. in "early winter." The concept continues the theme of the original Chicago location with "The Food Buddha," aka chef Rodelio Aglibot, overseeing "the conception, creation and launch" of the downtown restaurant, says a press release. He will also be the executive chef of both Cincinnati e+o locations (the first is in Hyde Park). “The concept of e+o is about harnessing the best Asian flavors while utilizing fresh, local ingredients,” says Aglibot in the release. “It all starts with the dish, then we find the highest quality ingredients to create that flavor.” The menu will feature a New Asian concept the blends the cuisine of the Philippines, Korea, Vietnam and more with "contemporary techniques and inventive ingredients."
Photo: Tony Frank
Khora at Kinley Hotel
37 W. Seventh St., Downtown
A chic new restaurant by two notable Louisville chefs is slated to open inside of downtown’s forthcoming Kinley Hotel. Chefs Edward Lee and Kevin Ashworth plan to open Khora in the spring, with a global approach and vegetable-forward menu. Chef Edward Lee is the owner of several popular restaurants in Louisville, including 610 Magnolia and MilkWood, in addition to being an author and a host of PBS's Mind of a Chef.
Photo via marriot.com

Khora at Kinley Hotel

37 W. Seventh St., Downtown
A chic new restaurant by two notable Louisville chefs is slated to open inside of downtown’s forthcoming Kinley Hotel. Chefs Edward Lee and Kevin Ashworth plan to open Khora in the spring, with a global approach and vegetable-forward menu. Chef Edward Lee is the owner of several popular restaurants in Louisville, including 610 Magnolia and MilkWood, in addition to being an author and a host of PBS's Mind of a Chef.
Photo via marriot.com
Ghost Baby
A new subterranean nightclub/music venue is slated to open beneath the streets of Over-the-Rhine this winter. The venue will hold 160 guests and is located five stories below Vine Street in a 170-year-old lagering tunnel formerly used by Champion Brewing (beer was aged and cooled in lagering tunnels before the advent of refrigeration). The historic, dimly-lit space, which has been vacant since the 1850s, features soaring ceilings with stone archways and will be adorned with "crushed velvet and unpredictability," says a release. Guests can expect an immersive experience with art, design, cocktails, music and more. 
Photo: Provided

Ghost Baby

A new subterranean nightclub/music venue is slated to open beneath the streets of Over-the-Rhine this winter.
The venue will hold 160 guests and is located five stories below Vine Street in a 170-year-old lagering tunnel formerly used by Champion Brewing (beer was aged and cooled in lagering tunnels before the advent of refrigeration). The historic, dimly-lit space, which has been vacant since the 1850s, features soaring ceilings with stone archways and will be adorned with "crushed velvet and unpredictability," says a release. Guests can expect an immersive experience with art, design, cocktails, music and more.
Photo: Provided
Ruby’s Chocolates
3923 Isabella Ave., Oakley
Oakley is about to get a little bit sweeter with the addition of Ruby's Chocolates sweet shop. After 10 years of crafting made-from-scratch treats, they're expanding their business with a second location in Oakley Square. Visitors can look forward to enjoying a variety of favorites from Ruby's, including their signature truffle cakes, which are similar to cake pops and come in a variety of flavors; "Joy Sticks," which are pretzels enrobed in caramel, chocolate, peanut butter and other toppings; no-bake cookies; chocolate bark; and a new menu item dubbed "Phatty Cakes," which are two petite cakes with a layer of icing in between.
The new shop will offer a different experience from their flagship shop in Hamilton. While their original location focused primarily on production and retail, the Oakley spot will offer a more cafe-like atmosphere, where friends can gather, lounge and enjoy their treats together. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Ruby’s Chocolates

3923 Isabella Ave., Oakley
Oakley is about to get a little bit sweeter with the addition of Ruby's Chocolates sweet shop. After 10 years of crafting made-from-scratch treats, they're expanding their business with a second location in Oakley Square. Visitors can look forward to enjoying a variety of favorites from Ruby's, including their signature truffle cakes, which are similar to cake pops and come in a variety of flavors; "Joy Sticks," which are pretzels enrobed in caramel, chocolate, peanut butter and other toppings; no-bake cookies; chocolate bark; and a new menu item dubbed "Phatty Cakes," which are two petite cakes with a layer of icing in between. The new shop will offer a different experience from their flagship shop in Hamilton. While their original location focused primarily on production and retail, the Oakley spot will offer a more cafe-like atmosphere, where friends can gather, lounge and enjoy their treats together.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Nomad
225 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue
New Bellevue bar Nomad will serve craft cocktails, coffee, carefully-selected wine and beer and late-night donuts out of a renovated vintage 1976 Bristol double-decker bus and a dreamy outdoor courtyard. The space is meant to bring together the adventurers in life to relax, connect and reflect on their journeys. The bar is slated to open officially this spring, but they plan to host soft opening events throughout the winter leading up to it.
Photo: Meagan White

Nomad

225 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue
New Bellevue bar Nomad will serve craft cocktails, coffee, carefully-selected wine and beer and late-night donuts out of a renovated vintage 1976 Bristol double-decker bus and a dreamy outdoor courtyard. The space is meant to bring together the adventurers in life to relax, connect and reflect on their journeys. The bar is slated to open officially this spring, but they plan to host soft opening events throughout the winter leading up to it.
Photo: Meagan White
Esoteric Brewing Co.
The team behind East Walnut Hills’ forthcoming Esoteric Brewing Co. is in the process of renovating a century-old building on the corner of East McMillan Street and Gilbert Avenue. They plan to offer an elevated beer drinking experience, using locally-sourced and -grown ingredients and creating “a sumptuous experience that changes the way you think about beer.”
Photo via Google Maps

Esoteric Brewing Co.

The team behind East Walnut Hills’ forthcoming Esoteric Brewing Co. is in the process of renovating a century-old building on the corner of East McMillan Street and Gilbert Avenue. They plan to offer an elevated beer drinking experience, using locally-sourced and -grown ingredients and creating “a sumptuous experience that changes the way you think about beer.”
Photo via Google Maps
Boi Na Braza
"The Cincinnati Comeback. Stay tuned for details. We’re honored and excited to be coming back to such a lovely city with wonderful people. We are coming back even tastier than before," the Facebook post read. 
Photo: Michael Bartsmith

Boi Na Braza

"The Cincinnati Comeback. Stay tuned for details. We’re honored and excited to be coming back to such a lovely city with wonderful people. We are coming back even tastier than before," the Facebook post read.
Photo: Michael Bartsmith
Fillo Greek Bake Shop
1505 Race St., Over the Rhine
It’s no secret that Cincinnatians love their gyros and Cincinnati-style chili, both of which have Greek roots. So rest easy because the owners behind Fillo Greek Bake Shop, a cafe coming soon to Over-the-Rhine, know what they're doing. Evan Papanikolaou is slated to open his 2,300-square-foot day-to-night bakery concept on the ground floor of the Rennen & Beecher Flats project at 1505 Race St. in Over-the-Rhine. The name is inspired by phyllo (or filo), a pastry dough used to make everything from sweet baklava to savory spanakopita.
Photo via Facebook/FilloGreekBakeShop

Fillo Greek Bake Shop

1505 Race St., Over the Rhine
It’s no secret that Cincinnatians love their gyros and Cincinnati-style chili, both of which have Greek roots. So rest easy because the owners behind Fillo Greek Bake Shop, a cafe coming soon to Over-the-Rhine, know what they're doing. Evan Papanikolaou is slated to open his 2,300-square-foot day-to-night bakery concept on the ground floor of the Rennen & Beecher Flats project at 1505 Race St. in Over-the-Rhine. The name is inspired by phyllo (or filo), a pastry dough used to make everything from sweet baklava to savory spanakopita.
Photo via Facebook/FilloGreekBakeShop
North South Baking Co.
Kate Nycz is realizing her goal of operating North South Baking Co. as a brick-and-mortar bakery. North South Baking produces artisan baked goods with a focus on local and sustainable ingredients. Find handmade breads and pastries like peach cruffins, pistachio rose croissants, apricot and raspberry pocket pies and savory options like croissants filled with local beets, arugula and feta — as seen in drool-worthy photos on their Instagram. 
Nycz currently operates out of the Incubator Kitchen Collective, a commercial kitchen in Newport geared toward start-up businesses. 
Photo via Facebook/NorthSouthBaking

North South Baking Co.

Kate Nycz is realizing her goal of operating North South Baking Co. as a brick-and-mortar bakery. North South Baking produces artisan baked goods with a focus on local and sustainable ingredients. Find handmade breads and pastries like peach cruffins, pistachio rose croissants, apricot and raspberry pocket pies and savory options like croissants filled with local beets, arugula and feta — as seen in drool-worthy photos on their Instagram.
Nycz currently operates out of the Incubator Kitchen Collective, a commercial kitchen in Newport geared toward start-up businesses.
Photo via Facebook/NorthSouthBaking
Sugar ‘n Spice OTR
1203 Sycamore St., Over-the-Rhine
Back in 2016, we chatted with then-owner of Paddock Hills cult favorite eatery Sugar n’ Spice about the restaurant’s 75th anniversary. Opened in 1941 by Mort Keller — using a “wispy thin” pancake recipe he bought from an eatery during a trip to California — Steve Frankel took over the restaurant from a friend in 2010. In that interview, Frankel said, “It’s been here for so long at this point, everyone has a story here… We aren’t considered an ‘East Side’ or ‘West Side’ establishment. We are just a Cincinnati establishment.” Now, almost eight decades in, it remains one of the city’s most popular places for people of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds to grab breakfast. Earlier this year, Adam Mayerson — the sixth owner — bought Sugar n’ Spice from Frankel and has no plans to change the original location. But a second Sugar n’ Spice in the former Joe’s Diner in Over-the-Rhine is in the works (hopefully with more seating and the same rubber ducky toys to go). 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Sugar ‘n Spice OTR

1203 Sycamore St., Over-the-Rhine
Back in 2016, we chatted with then-owner of Paddock Hills cult favorite eatery Sugar n’ Spice about the restaurant’s 75th anniversary. Opened in 1941 by Mort Keller — using a “wispy thin” pancake recipe he bought from an eatery during a trip to California — Steve Frankel took over the restaurant from a friend in 2010. In that interview, Frankel said, “It’s been here for so long at this point, everyone has a story here… We aren’t considered an ‘East Side’ or ‘West Side’ establishment. We are just a Cincinnati establishment.” Now, almost eight decades in, it remains one of the city’s most popular places for people of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds to grab breakfast. Earlier this year, Adam Mayerson — the sixth owner — bought Sugar n’ Spice from Frankel and has no plans to change the original location. But a second Sugar n’ Spice in the former Joe’s Diner in Over-the-Rhine is in the works (hopefully with more seating and the same rubber ducky toys to go).
Photo: Hailey Bollinger