Hungry? Good. Cincinnati has some buns in the oven. The pandemic appears to be in the rear-view mirror and the Queen City's dining scene is ready to pop off. Many restaurants have opened over the past spring and summer, and there are plenty more slated to open in the coming months. From a German brezelgarden to a Latin American brunch spot, barbecue hubs and an oyster bar, here's where to head when you're craving something new.
Red Feather Larder at Dutch’s
Brad Bernstein of Red Feather Kitchen in Oakley (and the recently-closed Postmark in Clifton) purchased Dutch’s in the summer of 2020 after partners behind the longtime Hyde Park staple closed the establishment earlier that year. Bernstein plans to maintain a similar business model — excellent eats and drinks, and artisan products so that guests can "shop like a chef," Bernstein told CityBeat in an interview last August. Dutch’s is slated to open in July. 3366-3378 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, redfeatherlarder.com.
Northside will soon welcome a new addition to the neighborhood. Gulow Street — set to open at the end of June — is a cozy yet sophisticated bar and restaurant located at the corner of Hoffner and Gulow streets (the establishment's namesake). Gulow Street's food menu is small but mighty, offering seven dishes ranging from breakfast to dinner, with stand-out items including sesame noodles, a pimento-stuffed breakfast sandwich, rigatoni bolognese and a cheeseburger. The cocktail menu sports four craft cocktails ranging in spirits from bourbon and vodka to gin. The bar/restaurant will also have a dog-friendly patio.1614 Hoffner St., Northside, facebook.com/gulowstreet.
Proud Hound Coffee
After several years of growing their brand through pop-ups, wholesale operations, events and collabs, Silverton-based coffee roasting brand Proud Hound Coffee is ready to welcome the community to their new cafe and kitchen. Their 4,000-square-foot warehouse located at 6717 Montgomery Road is already home to the brand's roasting facility, and now they've dedicated a portion of it to serve the coffee-loving community face-to-face. The kitchen and cafe's grand opening will be held on Saturday, June 26. In addition to drip coffee, house and single-origin espressos, the cafe will offer a variety of milk and milk alternatives for all your coffee-infused beverage needs, plus Vancouver imported teas from 05 Tea, housemade flavor infusions and chai tea. There will also be some experimental coffee creations. Proud Hound has brought in chef Kierstin Dudley to lead the kitchen, which will boast a Southern-inspired breakfast and brunch menu, with a focus on locally sourced ingredients and seasonal dishes. 6717 Montgomery Road, Silverton, proudhoundcoffee.com.
Nashville-based restaurateur Terry Raley is bringing Pearlstar oyster bar to Over-the-Rhine this summer. According to 3CDC, the restaurant will include a 2,000-square-foot courtyard area with “outdoor seating alongside two bocce courts, a 100-foot storefront, a wood-fired grill and wood-burning oven.” The kitchen will offer East and West Coast oysters, ceviches, crudos and tartares, along with wood-grilled burgers and steak sandwiches. 1220 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, pearl-star.com.
After months and months of financial struggle due to the ongoing pandemic, Tuba Baking Company is finally growing their business, creating Tuba Brezelgarden. This restaurant will be primarily known for its Swabian-style pretzels, German beers, and German staples that will be featured on the menu such as baked flammkuchen (a German flatbread). Tuba Baking Company hopes to open their new Brezelgarden in mid-late summer of 2021. 517 Sixth Ave., Dayton, Kentucky, facebook.com/tubabakingco.
After first operating a take-out window and 15-minute ramen bar, Mochiko, a Japanese-style pop-up, has opened the doors to its restaurant in East Walnut Hills. Co-owners Elaine Townsend and Erik Bentz launched Mochiko in the spring of 2019, a culinary endeavor that takes inspiration from a style of Japanese cuisine known as “yoshoku,” which incorporates Western recipes with Eastern ingredients and sensibilities. Bentz cooks the savories and Townsend bakes the sweets. Frequenters of Mochiko pop-ups can look forward to some familiar menu items at the restaurant, like Townsend's cakes, filled buns and melopans, the ever-popular omurice, karaage chicken, a bao bun smash burger and, of course, ramen — including a Cincinnati-style option. View the current menu online. 1524 Madison Road, East Walnut Hills, cafemochiko.com.
Stellar Food Company
Fans of Stellar Street Eats soon can stop hunting down the food truck’s next location online, because the eatery-on-wheels is expanding with a static brick-and-mortar in Anderson Township. Operated by husband-and-wife duo Ashlee Rose and Ryan O’Neil, Stellar Street Eats is known for its burgers, wraps, steak sandwiches and cult-favorite pimento cheese. In fact, it's been named one of the top three Best Food Trucks in CityBeat's past three Best Of Cincinnati issues, and was in the top three Best Overall Burgers and Best Local Snack this year (for that pimento cheese). 6663 Salem Road, Anderson Township, facebook.com/SSECincy.
Jeremy Faeth, co-owner and executive chef of popular Covington brunch restaurant Cedar, plans to open his second restaurant, Yuca, in Bellevue this summer. The eatery will take over the space formerly occupied by Fairfield Market. This new Latin American restaurant will be open for breakfast, brunch, and lunch, serving items like The Hangover, Cedar’s most popular dish. In The Hangover, you will find two sunny side-up eggs laying on a bed of spicy chorizo and homemade potatoes with pico de gallo and avocado on top. All of Yuca’s recipes are made from scratch with locally sourced ingredients. 700 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, yucabycedar.com.
Oakley Kitchen & Food Hall
At Oakley Kitchen, vendors, cooks and partners will call the food hall their temporary home until they are able to create their own brick-and-mortar. Housed within Oakley Kitchen, you will find restaurants like Jimmie Lou’s, La Petite Frite, Khana Gourmet Indian Grill, and many more. These entrepreneurs will be able to use this space as a testing ground to sharpen their skills, recipes and business strategies. Indoor dining is now open. 3715 Madison Road, Oakley, oakley-kitchen.com.
Slated to open this summer, this literal urban oasis will transport visitors across the globe once they walk through the entrance gates. The forthcoming bar features a vibrant jungle atmosphere, with eclectic decor and unique seating throughout the space. Somerset will have two bars — a conservatory bar and a lounge bar, as well as an herb garden, space for a food truck and an outdoor cinema wall, according to their Instagram.139 E. McMicken Ave., Over-the-Rhine, instagram.com/somerset.otr.
Hard Rock Cafe
Get ready to add to your T-shirt collection. The iconic Rock-memorabilia-infused tourist favorite Hard Rock Cafe is opening in Cincinnati's freshly rebranded Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati (formerly JACK Casino). And, yes, that means you can get your official Hard Rock Cafe Cincinnati shirt. The cafe — which is exclusively for those 21 and older — is opening on July 15 with a 9 p.m. concert by Cincinnati's Blessid Union of Souls. Along with collectibles, the cafe offers lunch and dinner with a focus on fresh-ground burgers and cocktails. A release says the Cincinnati location will "continually" update its menu with limited-time offerings. Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati, 1000 Broadway St., Pendleton, hardrockcasinocincinnati.com.
Squeezed into a bite-sized vintage trailer, husband-and-wife duo Nate and China Kautz are serving up mobile breakfast sandwiches as the owners of the new Cincinnati-based pop-up Cackleberry. Cackleberry currently offers six unique sandwiches ranging from Cincinnati staples to Filipino-fusion cuisine. Their menu offers traditional breakfast sandwiches with a twist as well as unique dishes. Cackleberry’s "Benny" bacon sandwich has chipotle ketchup and caramelized onions, and the shop also offers a Cincinnati-inspired goetta sandwich called the "Porter." Nearly every sandwich is named after their dogs to add another level of personalization. The food truck parks in various locations on weekends and operates until all sandwiches are sold out. Though it is a mobile shop, China says she wanted people’s experience with Cackleberry to be memorable, so they play music near the truck and sell merchandise, including T-shirts and ceramic egg cups. eatcackleberry.com.
Baked by Rooted Juicery + Kitchen
Vegan-centric juice bar Rooted Juicery + Kitchen is expanding its local imprint with a new storefront in Findlay Market, located in the former Mainwood Pastry space. But this location — called “Baked” — will focus on the titular baked goods. Rooted will prepare and serve housemade baked goods out of this spot, along with menu items found at the other three Rooted locales, including pressed juices, smoothies, toasts, bowls, et al. Baked will also serve alcohol, so you can have a glass of rosé with your matcha latte. 113 W. Elder St., Findlay Market, Over-the-Rhine, rootedjuicery.com.
Bebo’s Burgers + Frappes
From the team behind Lalo, BEBO’S opened in mid-June in the space formerly occupied by Dope!, Hop Ping Pig and Lalo on the recently revitalized Court Street. The eatery specializes in gourmet burgers and decadent frappes. The menu offers 12 burgers and sandwiches, ranging from the simple Old Fashioned burger with American cheese, LTP, onion and mayo to the more extravagant Crzy Rich Asian with provolone, gojuchang sauce, sweet pickled carrots, caramelized onion, mushroom and kimchi. They have a vegetarian chickpea patty for the non-meat-eaters. Frappes range from the Elvis with chocolate, banana, peanut butter and sugar cookies to Tea Time with Thai tea, cinnamon and Asian cookie sticks. 29 E. Court St., Downtown, instagram.com/beboscourtst.
From the brains and cleavers behind Butcher Betties' “retro meatcentric brand” comes Tallstack Sammies, a shop offering super tall Montreal-style smoked meat sandwiches. What is “Montreal-style smoked meat,” you ask? According to Wikipedia, it’s a Kosher deli meat similar to pastrami featuring salted, cured, hot smoked and steamed brisket. The new eatery is slated to open in July and is attached to Pandemonium art gallery, bar and live music venue. 3428 Decoursey Ave., Latonia, facebook.com/Tallstacksammies.
The folks behind Covington’s Gutierrez Deli opened OLLA on June 1. The eatery serves up Mexican-style street food. The menu is stacked with tacos, burritos, nachos and “Guti fries,” with nine different meat/veggie options (including birria) to choose from, plus a couple of entrees, sides and drinks — both alcoholic and non. 302 W. MLK Jr. Blvd, Covington, facebook.com/OllaCov.
Bee’s Barbecue began as a pop-up in 2017, offering craveable smoked meats at Oakley Wines and the currently-defunct Dutch’s Larder in Hyde Park (local chef Brad Bernstein will reopen the space this summer). But, from the beginning, owner Brendan “Bee” Hague knew he wanted a brick-and-mortar location. In 2019, he found the storefront on Chandler Street — previously home to Jojo’s Chicken & Fish, a pizzeria and a candy shop — and has been paying rent on the space ever since. The restaurant officially opened in April and serves up smoked brisket, pulled pork, turkey breast, Cincinnati hot links, ribs and black pepper Lockhart, plus a range of sides. 5910 Chandler St., Madisonville, beesbarbecue.com.
Frosthaus — located next to German-style spaghetti eis cream shop Eishaus — offers a slew of frozen delights, specifically booze-infused slushies. Opt for the rainbow-hued Cov Sunset, with mango, strawberry and mojito; or the Frosé + Cream, with rosé wine, vodka and ice cream. They also offer non-alcoholic frozen drinks, German-inspired salads and sandwiches, macaroni and cheese and flatbreads. 115 Park Place, Covington, frosthauscov.com.
Pig Candy BBQ Kitchen
Local couple Paul Montgomery and Christina Goehrig opened their restaurant Pig Candy BBQ on March 26, but the idea has been marinating for a little over half a decade. Montgomery and Goehrig bought the Kellogg Avenue building in which the restaurant sits — near Dead Low Brewing and the Lunken Airport bike path — five years ago. Built in 1913, it served as the local California, Ohio jail for many decades. Pig Candy specializes in smoked, barbecued meats with pulled pork, smoked and sliced turkey and grilled bone-in chicken thighs on the menu. Certain dishes have a Mexican-influence, like the pulled pork posole, barbecue quesadilla and grilled salsa; Montgomery says that each of these are his brother-in-law’s father’s recipes. The name “Pig Candy” comes from their specialty: a fluffy gluten-free waffle pressed with pulled pork and topped with peach maple glaze. Unlike some other barbecue joints, though, Pig Candy offers alternatives for those with dietary restrictions, including housemade vegan goetta and gluten-free waffles. 5901 Kellogg Ave., California, facebook.com/eatpigcandy.
The Covington restaurant formerly known as McK's Chicks has a new look, a new name and a new focus. The restaurant, open since 2017, is now McK's BBQ. Owner Gregg McKinstry, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Las Vegas, is known for his barbecue talents, taking home the 2019 Taste of Cincinnati award for best entree for his Pork Grenade: a sweet cornbread muffin topped with maple butter, pulled pork, homemade coleslaw, peppered bacon and barbecue sauce. McKinstry uses drums located next to the building to smoke his meats and offers a menu complete with ribs, smoked wings and burgers, pork belly platters, burnt ends sandwiches, barbecue tacos and burritos, drunken beans (made with beer) and other classic sides like collard greens (with brisket) and macaroni and cheese. There are homemade barbecue sauces, including mango, and desserts like a banana-chocolate swirl cake with raspberry-jalapeno drizzle. In addition to eats, McK's BBQ now serves bourbon slushies and beer. 11 W. Seventh St., Covington, mcksbbq.com.
Copper & Flame
Pour-your-own-drink concept Copper & Flame opened in the former Rook OTR space on June 3. The bar boasts 68 different taps of draft beer, plus craft cocktails and wine — all priced by-the-ounce and poured by the individual. Co-owner Kathy O'Connell says this concept allows customers to explore new styles of drinks and try as little or as much as they want. But don't expect to see familiar brews — Copper & Flame is highlighting rare beer varieties that you likely won't find on draft lists around the neighborhood. Just load money onto an RFID card when you enter and use that to buy your drinks. 1115 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, copperandflame.com.
Pensive Distilling Co.
The recently opened Pensive Distilling Co. draws on Newport’s rich history of bootleggers and bourbon. Their cocktails — including the Derby-inspired julep — are made with bourbon and vodka distilled and bottled on premises. And the food menu includes a selection of sliders named after famous race horses (the American Pharoah comes topped with caramelized red onion, spicy corn salsa and chipotle ranch aioli) and served on local Em’s Sourdough buns. If you don’t want a cocktail, opt for a local beer instead. 720 Monmouth St., Newport, facebook.com/PensiveDistillingCo.
Rosie’s Cocktails & Pies
While temporarily closed due to a car accident involving the restaurant, Rosie’s is slated to reopen mid-July. From the team behind Crown Republic Gastropub and Losanti, this East Coast-style pizza spot takes over the space formerly occupied by Money Chicken. Rosie's features a unique style of pizza made with house dough, which is then layered with cheese, toppings and sauce on top — creating a light and crisp pizza from the crust to the center of the pie. Ingredients are either made in-house or sourced from Ohio-based businesses. They also offer a selection of craft cocktails, wine and beer. 300 E. Seventh St., Downtown, facebook.com/Rosiescocktailsandpies.
The Pitch Cincy
Soccer-themed sports bar The Pitch Cincy, located directly across from the recently renamed TQL stadium, opened before the first home match of FC Cincinnati’s 2021 Major League Soccer season in May. Housed in the former two-story Metropolitan Baptist Church space, the bar boasts artificial turf on the ceiling, a second-floor scarf wall and a 9-foot-tall wall of 4K TVs (there’s another 50 TVs spread throughout the bar). And from the coveted rooftop patio, patrons can almost see into the FCC stadium. 1430 Central Parkway, Over-the-Rhine, thepitchcincy.com.
Cork N Crust
Co-owners Deborah Rudisell and William Hill are opening wine and pizza shop Cork N Crust in Bellevue’s former Virgil’s restaurant this late this summer. In addition to pies and vino, the restaurant will offer smoked meats, charcuterie boards, scratch-made Mediterranean bites, as well as a full bar. 710 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue.