"I get the distinct impression that whatever would have signed on - anything at all - it would have had its detractors."
You are absolutely correct here. I love Cincy, but it may be one of the more negative areas I've been to. There are always going to be detractors on any project in any city I know, but I'm pretty happy with the early lineup. It's a good start, and something on which to build. As you say RFF, as this grows they'll cap Ft Washington Way and built atop it and it will be quite a nice little area.
Sure some of these are technically 'chains' but they aren't Applebees or Chilis or something.
I look forward to the season and going to some of these new places.