December 23, 2022

We'll Miss These Greater Cincinnati Restaurants and Bars That Closed in 2022

As we close out the year, we look back at all the restaurants the Greater Cincinnati area lost in 2022. While we're always excited to see how the food and drink scene here changes year to year, it's never easy to lose a favorite restaurant. From a decades-old establishment to a beloved bagel shop and more, the Queen City had to say goodbye to some pretty amazing places this year.
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Lil’s Bagels
Failed lease negotiations led to the closure of beloved Covington bagel shop Lil’s Bagels in December. Owner Julia Keister said she was originally optimistic about the upcoming lease renewal, but in April, unforeseen and sudden circumstances triggered a nearly seven-month-long lease negotiation, one that eventually proved to be too costly. "We feel very disrespected,” Keister told CityBeat in an interview published in early December. “And the amount that we feel like we go above and beyond for our customers and community, just because we think that that's the right thing to do, not for any strategy, that's just how we are as a business. They are a business and we are their customer, and they are treating us like we are getting it for free or like we've done something wrong, or we should be begging them or something. I don't really know, but to me, it’s very disrespectful.”However, Keister said that with community support, she’s making plans to keep her craft bagels going, with an announcement expected early in 2023.
Photo: Katie Griffith

Lil’s Bagels


Failed lease negotiations led to the closure of beloved Covington bagel shop Lil’s Bagels in December. Owner Julia Keister said she was originally optimistic about the upcoming lease renewal, but in April, unforeseen and sudden circumstances triggered a nearly seven-month-long lease negotiation, one that eventually proved to be too costly. "We feel very disrespected,” Keister told CityBeat in an interview published in early December. “And the amount that we feel like we go above and beyond for our customers and community, just because we think that that's the right thing to do, not for any strategy, that's just how we are as a business. They are a business and we are their customer, and they are treating us like we are getting it for free or like we've done something wrong, or we should be begging them or something. I don't really know, but to me, it’s very disrespectful.”However, Keister said that with community support, she’s making plans to keep her craft bagels going, with an announcement expected early in 2023.
Pleasantry
Pleasantry in Over-the-Rhine, known for its rustic-chic, seasonal dishes and natural wines, announced at the beginning of December that they will not renew their lease and their final day will be toward the end of the month. "7+ years ago, we set out with a loose vision to create a neighborhood restaurant centered around 3 things: natural wine; seasonal, approachable food; and connection. Reflecting back, we can say we’ve never wavered," the restaurant wrote on Facebook. The restaurant's owners, Daniel Souder and Joanna Kirkendall, also wrote in the post that while there were many words they could say about why they are closing, for now, they say, "It’s simply 'we’re tired.'”
Photo: Facebook.com/Pleasantry

Pleasantry


Pleasantry in Over-the-Rhine, known for its rustic-chic, seasonal dishes and natural wines, announced at the beginning of December that they will not renew their lease and their final day will be toward the end of the month. "7+ years ago, we set out with a loose vision to create a neighborhood restaurant centered around 3 things: natural wine; seasonal, approachable food; and connection. Reflecting back, we can say we’ve never wavered," the restaurant wrote on Facebook. The restaurant's owners, Daniel Souder and Joanna Kirkendall, also wrote in the post that while there were many words they could say about why they are closing, for now, they say, "It’s simply 'we’re tired.'”
Fausto at the Contemporary Arts Center
Fausto at the CAC, known for its fresh, California-style cuisine, shut its doors in December. Its owners, the Ferrari Bros., cited reasons including the pandemic shutdowns and issues stemming from that, like staffing shortages and never being able to return to serving dinner, as well as their unwillingness to “dumb down” their menu. "We are not willing to sacrifice why we were here in the first place, we are not going to serve commodity products, we are not going to start selling hamburgers and fries, tacos and beyond," a letter from the brothers reads, concluding, "In the end, we can say we made it three very beautiful, and crazy years. We hope you all also remember Fausto for what it served, for its ethos, and why it was here to begin with. We love you Cincinnati, and we love all of you that have supported us. We know who you are, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts." The brothers will still be operating their Mom ’n ‘em coffee shops in Camp Washington and Madisonville.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Fausto at the Contemporary Arts Center


Fausto at the CAC, known for its fresh, California-style cuisine, shut its doors in December. Its owners, the Ferrari Bros., cited reasons including the pandemic shutdowns and issues stemming from that, like staffing shortages and never being able to return to serving dinner, as well as their unwillingness to “dumb down” their menu. "We are not willing to sacrifice why we were here in the first place, we are not going to serve commodity products, we are not going to start selling hamburgers and fries, tacos and beyond," a letter from the brothers reads, concluding, "In the end, we can say we made it three very beautiful, and crazy years. We hope you all also remember Fausto for what it served, for its ethos, and why it was here to begin with. We love you Cincinnati, and we love all of you that have supported us. We know who you are, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts." The brothers will still be operating their Mom ’n ‘em coffee shops in Camp Washington and Madisonville.
Zula
Over-the-Rhine tapas restaurant and wine bar Zula closed in September after its owner Tsvika "Vik" Silberberg said it was time to retire, writing on Facebook, “To all of our amazing guests. Thank you so much for your support over the past decade. It was an honor and a joy to serve you. The time has come for me to retire and spend some time with my family. I am sure I will see many of you around our great city. With gratitude, I bid you good eating.”
Photo: facebook.com/Zula

Zula


Over-the-Rhine tapas restaurant and wine bar Zula closed in September after its owner Tsvika "Vik" Silberberg said it was time to retire, writing on Facebook, “To all of our amazing guests. Thank you so much for your support over the past decade. It was an honor and a joy to serve you. The time has come for me to retire and spend some time with my family. I am sure I will see many of you around our great city. With gratitude, I bid you good eating.”
Branch
The East Walnut Hills eatery announced in August that it was closing, as well as its downstairs bar, Drop. The restaurant’s owner, The Littlefield Group, did not give a reason for the closure, but announced the news on social media, writing, "It is with a heavy heart that we announce we have decided to close the doors to @drinkatdrop and Branch. Though we are sad to say goodbye we are also filled with immense gratitude. We thank all the teammates, guests, and community members who supported us. We wish you all nothing but the best." Branch was known for its modern American fare and its menu featuring “shares” (sharables) and “stocks” (main courses), which was a play on its art-deco building’s original history as a bank.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Branch


The East Walnut Hills eatery announced in August that it was closing, as well as its downstairs bar, Drop. The restaurant’s owner, The Littlefield Group, did not give a reason for the closure, but announced the news on social media, writing, "It is with a heavy heart that we announce we have decided to close the doors to @drinkatdrop and Branch. Though we are sad to say goodbye we are also filled with immense gratitude. We thank all the teammates, guests, and community members who supported us. We wish you all nothing but the best." Branch was known for its modern American fare and its menu featuring “shares” (sharables) and “stocks” (main courses), which was a play on its art-deco building’s original history as a bank.
Listermann Brewing Trail House
Listermann Brewing Company announced it was closing its Trail House restaurant in August so that they could focus their attention solely on "brewing operations and our taproom,” according to a social media post. “We thank you for your support and hope you will continue to allow us to serve you at Listermann Brewing Company,” the post continued. The restaurant was known for its build-your-own pizzas and salads. The brewery’s taproom remains open, as does its home brew store, which has everything you need to brew your own beer.
Photo: facebook.com/Listermann Brewing Trail House

Listermann Brewing Trail House


Listermann Brewing Company announced it was closing its Trail House restaurant in August so that they could focus their attention solely on "brewing operations and our taproom,” according to a social media post. “We thank you for your support and hope you will continue to allow us to serve you at Listermann Brewing Company,” the post continued. The restaurant was known for its build-your-own pizzas and salads. The brewery’s taproom remains open, as does its home brew store, which has everything you need to brew your own beer.
O Pie O
Over-the-Rhine craft pie shop O Pie O announced on Facebook in August it was closing after eight years in business. “Thank you for all your support over the years. Nothing we've done or accomplished would have been possible without you,” read the post. But the good news: O Pie O’s popular honey vinegar pie is still available at the owners’ restaurant Heyday in East Walnut Hills.
Photo: facebook.com/O Pie O

O Pie O


Over-the-Rhine craft pie shop O Pie O announced on Facebook in August it was closing after eight years in business. “Thank you for all your support over the years. Nothing we've done or accomplished would have been possible without you,” read the post. But the good news: O Pie O’s popular honey vinegar pie is still available at the owners’ restaurant Heyday in East Walnut Hills.
Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey - Pendleton
Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey’s Pendleton location originally announced it was closing in January, with owner Christian Gill writing on Facebook, “Due to all of the surrounding circumstances that have plagued the industry over the last two years, it is untenable for us to continue in this environment.” The restaurant walked back on that decision not long after the announcement after receiving an outpouring of love and support from the community and decided to give it a second chance. It wasn’t enough, though, and Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey in Pendleton closed for good in July. Fans of their biscuits and cocktails though can still get them at the Union location, however.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey - Pendleton


Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey’s Pendleton location originally announced it was closing in January, with owner Christian Gill writing on Facebook, “Due to all of the surrounding circumstances that have plagued the industry over the last two years, it is untenable for us to continue in this environment.” The restaurant walked back on that decision not long after the announcement after receiving an outpouring of love and support from the community and decided to give it a second chance. It wasn’t enough, though, and Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey in Pendleton closed for good in July. Fans of their biscuits and cocktails though can still get them at the Union location, however.
The Rookwood Pottery Food & Beverage Company
Mount Adams restaurant The Rookwood Pottery Food & Beverage Company announced that it had permanently closed in early July. The traditional American spot, located in a historic building that once hosted kilns for Rookwood Pottery, closed less than a year after opening. In a July 1 Facebook post announcing the closure, they left a short succinct message stating that they were closing due to “a variety of factors.”
Photo: facebook.com/The Rookwood Pottery Food & Beverage Company

The Rookwood Pottery Food & Beverage Company

Mount Adams restaurant The Rookwood Pottery Food & Beverage Company announced that it had permanently closed in early July. The traditional American spot, located in a historic building that once hosted kilns for Rookwood Pottery, closed less than a year after opening. In a July 1 Facebook post announcing the closure, they left a short succinct message stating that they were closing due to “a variety of factors.”
Holtman's Donut Shop - Over-the-Rhine
Iconic Cincinnati donut shop Holtman's Donut Shop announced on Facebook that they would be closing their Over-the-Rhine location in July. The family-owned donut shop has been around since the 1960s and operated its Vine Street location for nine years. “This decision has been the most difficult decision we have ever had to make. Thank you for your support, your love for our passion, and your company,” read the post. No specific reason was given for the closure.
Photo: facebook.com/Holtman's Donut Shop

Holtman's Donut Shop - Over-the-Rhine

Iconic Cincinnati donut shop Holtman's Donut Shop announced on Facebook that they would be closing their Over-the-Rhine location in July. The family-owned donut shop has been around since the 1960s and operated its Vine Street location for nine years. “This decision has been the most difficult decision we have ever had to make. Thank you for your support, your love for our passion, and your company,” read the post. No specific reason was given for the closure.