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Thread: Holy Grail (First Restaurant/Bar at The Banks) set to open 3/17

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  1. #1
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Holy Grail (First Restaurant/Bar at The Banks) set to open 3/17

    http://news.cincinnati.com/article/2...-open-March-17
    Holy Grail, the first restaurant and bar at The Banks, is scheduled to open March 17 – just in time to kick off St. Patrick’s Day and March Madness.

    “We’re 95 percent sure that we’re going to make it by then,” said Jim Moehring, a partner in the restaurant’s ownership group. “There’s a bunch of stuff that has to happen, but I think we’re going to hit our mark.”
    Looks like there will be at least one pre-game option ready for opening day. I have to say, I'm excited that there will finally be someplace to go before/after Reds games this summer.

    While the gathering on fountain square was fun post-clinch last season, it would've been awesome to have the party right by the ballpark as well.
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    Re: Holy Grail (First Restaurant/Bar at The Banks) set to open 3/17

    I'm looking forward to more development of the Banks and it'll be nice to have this plaace to go to around game time.

    Until other places get open though I suspect this'll be covered and too busy to get into.

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    Re: Holy Grail (First Restaurant/Bar at The Banks) set to open 3/17

    The plans for the Banks are really exciting and this is the first spot to open. In the next year that area will really have some great options. I hope tey all do well and stay open. I'm particularly looking forward to the Moerlein House opening this Fall. It's been a long time coming but that area is finally becoming what we hoped it would back in 1996

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    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Holy Grail (First Restaurant/Bar at The Banks) set to open 3/17

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post
    The plans for the Banks are really exciting and this is the first spot to open. In the next year that area will really have some great options. I hope tey all do well and stay open. I'm particularly looking forward to the Moerlein House opening this Fall. It's been a long time coming but that area is finally becoming what we hoped it would back in 1996
    I won't believe anything is opening until it actually physically opens. The Banks project has been an utter mess for a decade plus. Things appear on tracks but there have been countless setbacks with this prime piece of real estate.

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    Re: Holy Grail (First Restaurant/Bar at The Banks) set to open 3/17

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    I won't believe anything is opening until it actually physically opens. The Banks project has been an utter mess for a decade plus. Things appear on tracks but there have been countless setbacks with this prime piece of real estate.
    I've been as much of a naysayer and critic about the Banks as anyone else here. But it does appear that they are achieving their tipping point and its becoming a reality. Better late than never.

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    Re: Holy Grail (First Restaurant/Bar at The Banks) set to open 3/17

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Tucker View Post
    I've been as much of a naysayer and critic about the Banks as anyone else here. But it does appear that they are achieving their tipping point and its becoming a reality. Better late than never.
    Same here. I'm ready to eat crow about the Banks. Of course how well the businesses do there is quite another thing all together.
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    Re: Holy Grail (First Restaurant/Bar at The Banks) set to open 3/17

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    I won't believe anything is opening until it actually physically opens. The Banks project has been an utter mess for a decade plus. Things appear on tracks but there have been countless setbacks with this prime piece of real estate.
    I understand where you're coming from but when hammer hits nail it's only a matter of time before they open and they're pretty much at that point now.

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    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Holy Grail (First Restaurant/Bar at The Banks) set to open 3/17

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post
    I understand where you're coming from but when hammer hits nail it's only a matter of time before they open and they're pretty much at that point now.
    The Banks project has been an utter disaster since day 1. Every step of the way the county or city has managed to screw it up. For years you heard that "X,Y, and Z" were going in only never to see it happen. I realize that its just a matter of time before the Holy Grail opens up but it has been my stance since day 1, I won't believe anything at the Banks until the doors are opened.

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    Re: Holy Grail (First Restaurant/Bar at The Banks) set to open 3/17

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    The Banks project has been an utter disaster since day 1. Every step of the way the county or city has managed to screw it up. For years you heard that "X,Y, and Z" were going in only never to see it happen. I realize that its just a matter of time before the Holy Grail opens up but it has been my stance since day 1, I won't believe anything at the Banks until the doors are opened.
    So all the buildings they've put up down on the Banks will just be empty forever? What about the apartments that are nearly ready and are already pre-leased?

    No will argue that the project has moved swiftly, but it's here and, along with the riverfront park, looks pretty cool...
    "In our sundown perambulations of late, through the outer parts of Brooklyn, we have observed several parties of youngsters playing 'base', a certain game of ball. Let us go forth awhile, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our close rooms, the game of ball is glorious"
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    SERP Emeritus paintmered's Avatar
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    Re: Holy Grail (First Restaurant/Bar at The Banks) set to open 3/17

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    The Banks project has been an utter disaster since day 1. Every step of the way the county or city has managed to screw it up. For years you heard that "X,Y, and Z" were going in only never to see it happen. I realize that its just a matter of time before the Holy Grail opens up but it has been my stance since day 1, I won't believe anything at the Banks until the doors are opened.
    It's been a frustrating process, sure. But this is how long plans of this scale take. Shoot, the new Great American Tower was originally conceived over twenty years before they broke ground. Most plans simply don't get the publicity that The Banks received. Most don't sit on vacant prime real estate either.

    I'm looking forward to spending some time there before and after a Reds game this season.
    Last edited by paintmered; 03-09-2011 at 08:41 PM.
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    Re: Holy Grail (First Restaurant/Bar at The Banks) set to open 3/17

    I can think of a few:
    1. The economy tanked so not a lot of developers were interested
    2. Unlike the levee the banks couldn't be built just on fill. A large underground parking structure (when completed one of the largest in the country) had to be built in the floodplain
    3. The deal with the bengals. They used up a lot of money for the infrastructure but also has a clause that 5000 parking spots must be available west of suspension bridge. So you couldn't just rush in and build over the surface parkin.
    4. Not as much money coming in for sales tax
    5. It truly is a much more expansive project then the levee or a strip mall. Big projects like these take time.

    Two stadiums, a coliseum, a world class museum, huge intercity park, many restaurants, and downtown residents in an area of town sure beats anything else in the tristate. And considering just 13 or so years ago it was mostly just warehouses and a highway ramps its remarkable we have what we do.

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    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: Holy Grail (First Restaurant/Bar at The Banks) set to open 3/17

    Quote Originally Posted by michst View Post
    I can think of a few:
    1. The economy tanked so not a lot of developers were interested
    2. Unlike the levee the banks couldn't be built just on fill. A large underground parking structure (when completed one of the largest in the country) had to be built in the floodplain
    3. The deal with the bengals. They used up a lot of money for the infrastructure but also has a clause that 5000 parking spots must be available west of suspension bridge. So you couldn't just rush in and build over the surface parkin.
    4. Not as much money coming in for sales tax
    5. It truly is a much more expansive project then the levee or a strip mall. Big projects like these take time.

    Two stadiums, a coliseum, a world class museum, huge intercity park, many restaurants, and downtown residents in an area of town sure beats anything else in the tristate. And considering just 13 or so years ago it was mostly just warehouses and a highway ramps its remarkable we have what we do.
    I guess I'd buy argument #1 if Newport on the Levee and Easton Town Center in Columbus hadn't both been completed while the Banks languished in development hell.

    Argument #2 is great, but it still doesn't explain why the Banks took so long to break ground. The project started planning in 1996 and didn't break ground until 2007. I agree that the task of building something in a flood plain and so close to the river is a daunting task, but it's a task that could've been started years ago.

    Argument #3 speaks to my previous point about gross incompetence from elected officials. The lease with Bengals was bad business from top to bottom.

    Argument #4 would make sense if it wasn't for the fact that the project was concieved during one of the biggest economic upswings in US history.

    And, honestly, I don't buy Argument #5 at all. It really *isn't* all that amazing of a project. They built two sports facilities -- which has been done in any number of places over the last 20 years including places like Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cleveland, Seattle, Philadelphia, and Washington. The museum they constructed is low-foot traffic and doesn't fit much with the "entertainment destination" vibe the rest of the Banks is going for.

    And, on the retail/dining aspect, the project is woefully underwhelming. What we have, after years of planning, starts, and stops is basically a few bars, a couple places to eat, and some overpriced apartments. There is nothing by way of retail or things that would be a draw on weeknights when the Reds aren't playing. The museum isn't the type of thing that gets parents to load up the car for a fun day/night out like a COSI-type museum would have been.There's no movie theater / playhouse / concert hall / comedy club / etc. type of entertainment venue, there's no shopping -- hell, there isn't even a place to grab coffee and hang out if you don't want to get drunk on a work night. That's a massive failure of design, IMO -- and it'll be seen as such when the place is a ghost time during the winter and when the Reds are road-tripping.

    When the Banks was planned, it was envisioned as something that could redefine downtown and provide people a reason to come back. As it stands, the Banks is really just a spot to watch a game and things to do right before or right after. That'll be fun this year, but it's sad considering what a missed opportunity it was.
    Last edited by Caveat Emperor; 03-17-2011 at 09:28 AM.
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    Re: Holy Grail (First Restaurant/Bar at The Banks) set to open 3/17

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    And, on the retail/dining aspect, the project is woefully underwhelming. What we have, after years of planning, starts, and stops is basically a few bars, a couple places to eat, and some overpriced apartments. There is nothing by way of retail or things that would be a draw on weeknights when the Reds aren't playing. The museum isn't the type of thing that gets parents to load up the car for a fun day/night out like a COSI-type museum would have been.There's no movie theater / playhouse / concert hall / comedy club / etc. type of entertainment venue, there's no shopping -- hell, there isn't even a place to grab coffee and hang out if you don't want to get drunk on a work night. That's a massive failure of design, IMO -- and it'll be seen as such when the place is a ghost time during the winter and when the Reds are road-tripping.

    When the Banks was planned, it was envisioned as something that could redefine downtown and provide people a reason to come back. As it stands, the Banks is really just a spot to watch a game and things to do right before or right after. That'll be fun this year, but it's sad considering what a missed opportunity it was.
    I'll go down there when there's no Bengals/Reds game. In fact that'll be when I can get a seat. We need these sort of eateries. I'll be glad to get some microbrews at Lager House anytime of year. If you want coffee, go to the 24 hr diner.

    For example:

    I was downtown with my family to see Christmas lights and Santa jumping down a building at Fountain Square and afterwards we racked our brains about where to have dinner. Rock Bottom was packed; McCormick and Schmicks, the Brazilian place and Mortons were more than we wanted to spend so eventually we ended up leaving downtown and eating in Mt Adams. Now that's ashame. I would have liked to have stayed downtown. Perhaps this year we'll have the choice of the Lager House, Holy Grail or Toby Keith's Place.

    As for your other ideas, we already have a Childrens Museum, a concert hall and a playhouse, movie theaters are a tough sell nowadays with Netflix and all, so I don't think they've grossly missed the boat. The apartment sales from what I'm hearing are going well. If I was single, I'd consider getting one. It'd be a blast to live in the middle of all that action.

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    Member top6's Avatar
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    Re: Holy Grail (First Restaurant/Bar at The Banks) set to open 3/17

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post
    I'll go down there when there's no Bengals/Reds game. In fact that'll be when I can get a seat. We need these sort of eateries. I'll be glad to get some microbrews at Lager House anytime of year. If you want coffee, go to the 24 hr diner.

    For example:

    I was downtown with my family to see Christmas lights and Santa jumping down a building at Fountain Square and afterwards we racked our brains about where to have dinner. Rock Bottom was packed; McCormick and Schmicks, the Brazilian place and Mortons were more than we wanted to spend so eventually we ended up leaving downtown and eating in Mt Adams. Now that's ashame. I would have liked to have stayed downtown. Perhaps this year we'll have the choice of the Lager House, Holy Grail or Toby Keith's Place.

    As for your other ideas, we already have a Childrens Museum, a concert hall and a playhouse, movie theaters are a tough sell nowadays with Netflix and all, so I don't think they've grossly missed the boat. The apartment sales from what I'm hearing are going well. If I was single, I'd consider getting one. It'd be a blast to live in the middle of all that action.
    Irrelevant to your larger point, but if you are in this situation again try Taqueria Mercado on 8th Street. Assuming you like Mexican, it is very good and relatively cheap (probably less than rock bottom). It's my new favorite restaurant downtown (except for those rare instances where I feel like splurging on Morton's).

    I agree, though, that adding a few more restaurants and other things at the Banks will do a lot to keep people downtown who - like you and your family that day - are coming downtown anyway. It will do a lot to keep the people (and money) who are downtown for Reds games, Bengals games, and a few other festivals and events, as well as the 20 days or so before Christmas when people like to be downtown. I do agree with Caveat Emperor, though, and I worry about whether the Banks will do anything to bring MORE people downtown, and whether businesses will be able to do enough business on those 200+ days when there is no other event downtown.

    It's actually looking like I am going to be living in one of the overpriced apartments starting in June, even though I do have some of the same doubts/concerns about the project that CE has. Given my current situation I think it will be a fun place to live for a year, and any downside will be more than compensated for by being able to walk to work. It will be very interesting to see whether the Banks are successful. I really hope they are; it would be great for the city.

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    Re: Holy Grail (First Restaurant/Bar at The Banks) set to open 3/17

    Quote Originally Posted by top6 View Post
    Irrelevant to your larger point, but if you are in this situation again try Taqueria Mercado on 8th Street. Assuming you like Mexican, it is very good and relatively cheap (probably less than rock bottom). It's my new favorite restaurant downtown (except for those rare instances where I feel like splurging on Morton's).

    I agree, though, that adding a few more restaurants and other things at the Banks will do a lot to keep people downtown who - like you and your family that day - are coming downtown anyway. It will do a lot to keep the people (and money) who are downtown for Reds games, Bengals games, and a few other festivals and events, as well as the 20 days or so before Christmas when people like to be downtown. I do agree with Caveat Emperor, though, and I worry about whether the Banks will do anything to bring MORE people downtown, and whether businesses will be able to do enough business on those 200+ days when there is no other event downtown.

    It's actually looking like I am going to be living in one of the overpriced apartments starting in June, even though I do have some of the same doubts/concerns about the project that CE has. Given my current situation I think it will be a fun place to live for a year, and any downside will be more than compensated for by being able to walk to work. It will be very interesting to see whether the Banks are successful. I really hope they are; it would be great for the city.
    Thanks for the tip! I love Mexican.

    Keep us posted on how living at the Banks works out. Sounds like fun to me


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