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

  1. #46
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    Re: Holy Grail (First Restaurant/Bar at The Banks) set to open 3/17

    The hoffbrau house was being planned to go at the corner of mehring and elm. Because of parking numbers with the bengals it was proving difficult to get done. (Based on an agreement the county signed with the bengals and the city tried to change at the time). The city had one person in charge of bringing the hoffbrau house to cicninnati and had spent a lot of time convincin them to come to the area. In a bit of a surprise that person quit the ciity began working for hoffbrau and took the project to kentucky.

    Wish we did have the acquirium and hoffbrau house also. Glad we didn't get the imax theatre

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  3. #47
    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 Sea Ray View Post
    Thanks for the tip! I love Mexican.
    I used to go there when it was Javiers -- it's still really good. I second the recc. Tom + Chee, which is up on Court Street near the Main Street intersection is also a great new place. I've been there probably two dozen times since they opened in January.
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  4. #48
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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
    Exactly.

    What are you going to do at the Banks on a Wednesday night in November? How about a Tuesday in July when the Reds are on the road?

    Newport has the AMC theater (which is still a draw -- the only reliable draw in the building), the Aquarium, and a comedy club (Funnybone) that draws national touring acts.

    What does the Banks have? They could've built a Bogarts-type place to bring in mid-range musical acts that otherwise end up in Kentucky at the Madison or in Oakley at the 20th Century. If they had been open for business 10 years ago (as planned), they might've been a candidate for the Apple store that went to Kenwood instead -- which brings in enormous foot traffic 7 days a week.

    Zero retail, zero destination attractions outside of the two sports teams. What's bringing people down the other 274 days per year?
    The Aquarium would have been great. I don't go to comedy clubs or concerts on a Wednesday night in November but maybe that's just me.

    If you have people already living down there then they may very well choose to eat at those places regardless of sports events. Ditto for folks working.

    Things like an Apple store or the once planned Nordsroms would have been great. Perhaps that sort of retail can still be added. I think the next phase is planning for a hotel.

    It's clearly a (no question a slow) work in progress but I think the choices are prudent this far. They ought not get too ambitious in this economy

  5. #49
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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
    I used to go there when it was Javiers -- it's still really good. I second the recc. Tom + Chee, which is up on Court Street near the Main Street intersection is also a great new place. I've been there probably two dozen times since they opened in January.
    I'm not into (grilled) cheese. What else do they serve that you'd recommend?

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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'm not into (grilled) cheese. What else do they serve that you'd recommend?
    Their meatloaf is really good, and they do fantastic soups on a daily basis. Their regular chunky tomato is great, and every so often they have a steak & black-bean voodoo chili that's amazing as well.

    Also, the sandwich that I get -- a turkey-pesto grilled cheese is really more of a grilled turkey sandwich than anything else. Ask them to add a couple tomato slices on and it becomes the perfect lunch sandiwch.
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    Re: Holy Grail (First Restaurant/Bar at The Banks) set to open 3/17

    A big part is the apartments to have people living in the area. That was the city's problem in the early 90s they only cared about commercial buildings and now have figured out you need the residential aspect to support it. (Just like in simcity. Hah).

    People keep saying the only draw is the bengals/reds. What else will there be to do the other 274 days?
    1. Cyclone games about 36 averaging 2700 people
    2. Barnum and bailey circus - for ten days
    3. The park on the river at the banks
    4. Live music at Toby Keiths as well as at the event lawn of the park.
    5. Eventually taste of cincinnati, octoberfest, chili fest and other events
    6. Concerts and WWE etc at paul brown and us bank.

    Not counting heading up to the Taft or catching a broadway play or exploring any other part of downtown.

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

    Mr. Redlegs samples Holy Grail:

    http://twitpic.com/4ac5jr
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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
    Nobody thinks big in this city, but that's part of it's charm I suppose.
    But whenever someone does, everyone will say it's not practical or it's too expensive.
    The Rally Onion wants 150 fans before Opening Day.

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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
    Exactly.

    What are you going to do at the Banks on a Wednesday night in November? How about a Tuesday in July when the Reds are on the road?

    Newport has the AMC theater (which is still a draw -- the only reliable draw in the building), the Aquarium, and a comedy club (Funnybone) that draws national touring acts.

    What does the Banks have? They could've built a Bogarts-type place to bring in mid-range musical acts that otherwise end up in Kentucky at the Madison or in Oakley at the 20th Century. If they had been open for business 10 years ago (as planned), they might've been a candidate for the Apple store that went to Kenwood instead -- which brings in enormous foot traffic 7 days a week.

    Zero retail, zero destination attractions outside of the two sports teams. What's bringing people down the other 274 days per year?
    CE, the Banks isn't a finished development. Those retailers they have announced are just the tip of the iceberg. There is still a lot of space still available that will be developed in the coming years.

    Sea Ray, I couldn't tell if you were being sarcastic or not about Fountain Square, but the redevelopment of Fountain Square has been a huge success. There is nightly programming, music, events on the Square that brings in tons of people and it has spurred development around it. And CE, while there are a few chains around Fountain Square, there are a lot of independent eateries as well including Via Vite, the Brazilian steakhouse, Nada, the Penguin dueling piano bar, Nicholson's, Walnut Street Grill, Righteous Room, etc...
    "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"
    -Walt Whitman

  11. #55
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    Re: Holy Grail (First Restaurant/Bar at The Banks) set to open 3/17

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds Freak View Post
    CE, the Banks isn't a finished development. Those retailers they have announced are just the tip of the iceberg. There is still a lot of space still available that will be developed in the coming years.

    Sea Ray, I couldn't tell if you were being sarcastic or not about Fountain Square, but the redevelopment of Fountain Square has been a huge success. There is nightly programming, music, events on the Square that brings in tons of people and it has spurred development around it. And CE, while there are a few chains around Fountain Square, there are a lot of independent eateries as well including Via Vite, the Brazilian steakhouse, Nada, the Penguin dueling piano bar, Nicholson's, Walnut Street Grill, Righteous Room, etc...
    From where I sit I don't think they got their money's worth in redoing Fountain Square but maybe you know better. I hope you're right. It seems to me that they could have put up a JumboTron and kept Fountain Square where it was and still had the same success. I also think it was a mistake to remove the stage. Hope I'm wrong...

  12. #56
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    Re: Holy Grail (First Restaurant/Bar at The Banks) set to open 3/17

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds Freak View Post
    CE, the Banks isn't a finished development. Those retailers they have announced are just the tip of the iceberg. There is still a lot of space still available that will be developed in the coming years.

    Sea Ray, I couldn't tell if you were being sarcastic or not about Fountain Square, but the redevelopment of Fountain Square has been a huge success. There is nightly programming, music, events on the Square that brings in tons of people and it has spurred development around it. And CE, while there are a few chains around Fountain Square, there are a lot of independent eateries as well including Via Vite, the Brazilian steakhouse, Nada, the Penguin dueling piano bar, Nicholson's, Walnut Street Grill, Righteous Room, etc...
    Well, so far I've heard no announcement for retail, and I don't really see a ton of space open for it in the plans either -- unless they're planning on building more in the space they've allocated for parks (which they should -- the city has more than enough park space on the riverfront already).

    Nicholsons, Walnut Street (which is fantastic, BTW), Righteous Room, Nada, and Scene are all part of the Aronoff area. I think that area's doing very very well. Once they get that slum knocked down at the Metropole, things will be even better. Bartini opened up across from Nada, Trattoria Roma moved right next door, and Mr. Sushi is still going strong as well. If I had cash, I'd be looking to buy/rent the old Masionette building for possible conversion into a French Quarter themed bar/eatery. That area is really on the move.

    Fountain Square? Totally different story. You've got one mediocre chain restaraunt (Rock Bottom), two cheap chain eateries (Potbelly & Chipotle), a chain steakhouse (Boi Na Braza), a chain fish place (McCormick's), and Via Vite. Graeters is the only saving grace on the grounds. It's awful that they didn't try to make the area "more local" as a showplace for the city -- a Skyline Chili or a LaRosas instead of the Potbelly (or, if you want a sandwich place, why not try to get Izzys to relocate?), a Habenero instead of a Chipotle, one of Ruby's places instead of Rock Bottom, etc. I get that you can't force places to locate, but I refuse to believe that Chipotle, Rock Bottom and Potbelly represented the best Cincinnati could do. That's really just one step above a TGI Fridays and a Wendys.
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    Re: Holy Grail (First Restaurant/Bar at The Banks) set to open 3/17

    I kindof think the aaronoff district and fountain square as the same dince they are just a block or so away. Rock bottom et al are chains but still a nice place to drink a beer. Always seems like there is a lot more going on at the square than in the past.

    There are plans for more development on the green space in front of the freedom center. The park will have a stage etc too so it will bring people down.

    Maybe people don't like the specifics of all the plans etc but there is no denying that there is a lot more to do downtown than ten or so years ago. Some of it may not be for you but I would bet there is something for everyone

  14. #58
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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
    Well, so far I've heard no announcement for retail, and I don't really see a ton of space open for it in the plans either -- unless they're planning on building more in the space they've allocated for parks (which they should -- the city has more than enough park space on the riverfront already).

    Nicholsons, Walnut Street (which is fantastic, BTW), Righteous Room, Nada, and Scene are all part of the Aronoff area. I think that area's doing very very well. Once they get that slum knocked down at the Metropole, things will be even better. Bartini opened up across from Nada, Trattoria Roma moved right next door, and Mr. Sushi is still going strong as well. If I had cash, I'd be looking to buy/rent the old Masionette building for possible conversion into a French Quarter themed bar/eatery. That area is really on the move.

    Fountain Square? Totally different story. You've got one mediocre chain restaraunt (Rock Bottom), two cheap chain eateries (Potbelly & Chipotle), a chain steakhouse (Boi Na Braza), a chain fish place (McCormick's), and Via Vite. Graeters is the only saving grace on the grounds. It's awful that they didn't try to make the area "more local" as a showplace for the city -- a Skyline Chili or a LaRosas instead of the Potbelly (or, if you want a sandwich place, why not try to get Izzys to relocate?), a Habenero instead of a Chipotle, one of Ruby's places instead of Rock Bottom, etc. I get that you can't force places to locate, but I refuse to believe that Chipotle, Rock Bottom and Potbelly represented the best Cincinnati could do. That's really just one step above a TGI Fridays and a Wendys.
    I guess its just a matter of opinion. I like the fountain square area. I like McCormicks, Mortons, Palamino, Rock Bottom, Via Vite, and Boi Na Braza. I also like what they have done more recently in getting people to the area. I don't know if I would call McCormick's a chain fish place. I would call Red Lobster a chain, but not McCormick's a chain. Heck if thats a chain then Ruth's Chris would be considered a chain. If I go out to eat I want good quality food at a reasonable price. I don't really care if its considered a "chain".

    And to be honest I like the Fountain Square area better than the Aranoff area. I am not a big fan of either Nada or the Righteous Room. I do however like Ruby's Steakhouse. Its just a matter of opinion.

    If the Banks gets going I would probably be more inclined to head down there instead of the Aranoff or Fountain Square area. Brew Haus and Sports Bars are more up my alley. The wife may have other opinions on that.

  15. #59
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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
    Fountain Square? Totally different story. You've got one mediocre chain restaraunt (Rock Bottom), two cheap chain eateries (Potbelly & Chipotle), a chain steakhouse (Boi Na Braza), a chain fish place (McCormick's), and Via Vite. Graeters is the only saving grace on the grounds. It's awful that they didn't try to make the area "more local" as a showplace for the city -- a Skyline Chili or a LaRosas instead of the Potbelly (or, if you want a sandwich place, why not try to get Izzys to relocate?), a Habenero instead of a Chipotle, one of Ruby's places instead of Rock Bottom, etc. I get that you can't force places to locate, but I refuse to believe that Chipotle, Rock Bottom and Potbelly represented the best Cincinnati could do. That's really just one step above a TGI Fridays and a Wendys.

    Looks like Servati's is going in next to Graeters on Walnut. Can't get much more local than that

  16. #60
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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
    I agree that large-scale projects take time -- the issue I have with the Banks is what Cincinnati got for the almost 2-decades of planning and construction:

    1. A football stadium and baseball stadium
    2. A redesigned road
    3. A museum no one goes to
    4. Apartments that price-out a large number of young professionals
    5. 2 Bars and a Brewhaus
    6. 3 restaurants and a Johnny Rockets Sports Bar

    That's underwhelming. It's not unique or different and it lacks any kind of style. The Banks was an opportunity for Cincinnati to do something that would give itself a "showplace" location for tourist dollars and an attractive location to draw residents back to the city -- instead of knocking it out of the park, Cincinnati settled for bunt single down the line.

    But really, that's what Cincinnati's been doing for decades. It took 15 years for the area right across the street from the Aronoff Center to finally start developing. The big plans for Fountain Square ended being a collection of chain restaurants, an ugly parking garage, and a random jumbotron, and now the Banks is just a vanilla spot on the on the map.

    Nobody thinks big in this city, but that's part of it's charm I suppose.
    1. A football stadium and baseball stadium - Over a billion dollars worth of sports stadiums. That's hardly like throwing up an Olive Garden in the suburbs.

    2. A redesigned road - Which has the potential to, and likely eventually will, be a tunnel as caps are placed over Fort Washington Way. When that happens, it will create some very unique downtown space

    3. A museum no one goes to - Perhaps the concept is wrong and it will be different in the future. The building itself is quite interesting.

    4. Apartments that price-out a large number of young professionals - Disagree. Have you seen what young professionals pay to live in the equivalent of this space in other downtowns?

    5. 2 Bars and a Brewhaus - The project is barely getting started announcing tennants and there is plenty more room for what you apparently aren't getting in the already announced tennants.

    6. 3 restaurants and a Johnny Rockets Sports Bar - Again, let's let this thing breathe first. Let's let some establishments get their legs under them so we can see what works/doesn't work. What, exactly, don't you like about the coming tenants? For years, all we heard was "make it unique to Cincinnati" or "no Hard Rock Cafes please." Then we get the Christian Moerlein Lager House (exclusive to the Banks), Holy Grail (exclusive to Cincinnati), three New Orleans establishments that aren't anywhere remotely close to Cincinnati, a new sports concept for Johnny Rockets (the first of its kind anywhere), and Toby Keith's I Love this Bar and Grill (which, although definitely NOT a country music fan, can attest to its popularity having been to the one in Denver multiple times ... and there is no other TK's anywhere near Cincinnati). Despite all this, surprise, people in never-happy Cincinnati find reason to complain. What should be built here? The Arc de Triumph? Space Needle? Sears Tower? The Sphinx?

    I get the distinct impression that whatever would have signed on - anything at all - it would have had its detractors.

    As for Fountain Square ... again, I think the primary objective was to get people to start coming back downtown from the suburbs. And it's worked. Every time I'm downtown, Fountain Square has healthy crowds, as do the bars and restaurants surrounding it. Retail continues to be a problem, but in what American downtown besides NYC and Chicago is retail thriving? How many cities actually still have 2 downtown department stores? Cleveland - none. Columbus - none. As for restaurants, Blackfinn is always packed at nights, as are the places along Walnut Street across from the Aronoff. And rarely are tables going unused at Rock Bottom, M&S and other square-area restaurants. Remember, the goal was to bring people back downtown from the plastic burbs. It's beginning to work.

    As for Newport's Levee ... maybe it's a good thing Cincinnati didn't rush and end up with what Newport has. Because if you don't like chains, I'm not sure where at the Levee you'd go. The Levee itself is half-empty and has absolutely nothing you couldn't find anywhere else. And the movie theaters are notorious for being overrun by rowdy teens who have no interest in keeping quiet or off their phones so you can actually pay attention. I love the aquarium and hofbrauhaus, and will always take visitors. But among the best things they have going for them is their view - of downtown Cincinnati.
    Last edited by Reds/Flyers Fan; 03-19-2011 at 06:56 PM.


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