Cincinnati had some great new dining options in May, from an East Walnut Hills cafe and wine bar that serves “American tapas” to a new Downtown cafe and market and a burger spot inspired by a vintage gas station . While we said goodbye to a few beloved Queen City restaurants, Cincinnati’s food scene also had a few wins throughout the month. Queen City is set to host a Roy Roger’s soon, and a local brewery has released the most expensive beer in the world.
Shires’ Cafe Eatery and Market opens on the ground floor of The View at Shires’ Garden Downtown
A new cafe and takeaway market have opened downtown. Ignite Entertainment, the team behind The View at Shires’ Garden – the rooftop dining and drinking destination of the city center’s City Club Apartments – organized the May 14 grand opening of the Shires’ Cafe, located on the ground floor of floor of the same building. The cafe offers everything from homemade baked goods, cocktails and kombucha at the local Pneuma cafe, to take-out Che sandwiches and empanadas (Ignite also operates Che). The market portion includes snacks, drinks, and even t-shirts for purchase, as well as miscellaneous items – things like Tylenol and toothpaste. A lounge area adjacent to the cafe allows customers to “enjoy the selections at their own pace, work away from the office, or kick back and have a drink.” 309 Vine St., downtown. shirescafe.com.
The Wine Bar and Cafe Symposium serves “American tapas” in East Walnut Hills
The symposium had a soft opening on May 6 only to be closed a few days later due to a leaky sink. The wine bar and cafe finally held their grand opening on May 11, and according to co-owner J. Matt Nickels, they’ve been booming ever since. The East Walnut Hills spot brings a relaxed Hemingway cafe-style atmosphere. The space includes a main dining room with a lounge known as The Nest, a private dining and event space called the Rumpus Room, an outdoor patio, and the Symposium’s three bars. Each bar offers something different – one serves coffee (which has an incredibly cheap $3 latte), and the other offers drinks, and the last, snacks. Their cocktails, known as “Birdtails,” are delicious, imaginative, and avian-inspired, like the Magpie Gin and Tonic, Macaw Mojito, and Bird on a Wire espresso martini. Symposium currently serves breakfast and dinner, and the owners hope to add lunch soon. Their menu, created by co-owner and chef Aaron Owen, currently offers croissants, overnight oats and ricotta toast for breakfast and dinner, small plates and charcuterie that they call it “American tapas”. 2835 Woodburn Ave, East Walnut Hills. symposiumcincinnati.com.
Inspired by a vintage gas station, Ford’s Burger Joint Garage opens in Rookwood
A Florida-based beer and burger chain with a Henry Ford-like connection to the Ford Motor Company opened at Rookwood Commons & Pavilion on May 5. Ford’s Garage, based in Fort Myers, Florida – where Henry Ford spent a winter home – is an official licensee of the Ford Motor Company and plays to that aspect by channeling a “1920s gas station/prohibition bar” . The 7,600 square foot restaurant seats 270 people and offers a menu focused on black angus beef burgers. The burgers are topped with “naturally aged cheeses, fresh toppings and sauces on artisan buns bearing the Ford’s Garage logo.” 2692 Madison Road, Suite 115, Norwood. fordsgarageusa.com.
The owners of Empanadas Aqui announced in a May 11 Facebook post that the Taste of Cincinnati festival on Memorial Day weekend would be their food truck’s last day of operation. Mason’s brick-and-mortar store closed in January and co-owner Brett Johnson said he has since changed careers and the food truck has become his second job. He also wrote that the chef and the manager of the truck had recently resigned to take care of the family members. While Johnson said they had already planned for this to be Empanadas Aqui’s last year, they increased the closure due to these issues. “We love you all and are honored to have gotten to know you all. Thank you for your support over the past 8 years. This is a bittersweet but welcome change. We will miss being a part of your lives and your families, as many of you have brought us over to host your weddings, birthday parties, graduation parties, office parties, and milestone events!” read the post.
Half Day Cafe closes Wyoming location due to labor shortages
Half Day Cafe will be closing its Wyoming location after 16 years. The cafe owners made the announcement in a video shared on Facebook, saying they are unable to staff the site “we just can’t hire staff to work; we tried. Half Day serves breakfast and lunch seven days a week with items like goetta hash, shrimp and grits that guests can still enjoy at their Mason location, which they say is fully staffed. personal. The message was signed with a “God bless you for supporting us and our business; thank you from the bottom of my heart to each of you. We look forward to seeing you soon.”
Other Cincinnati restaurant news:
Fast food chain Roy Rogers will open a location in Cincinnati
Western-themed fast food chain Roy Rogers, named after the Cincinnati-born actor and cowboy, plans to open a location in Queen City this year. This historic franchise, founded in 1968, is known for dishes like fried chicken, roast beef sandwiches and its iconic Double R Burger – a quarter pounder topped with American cheese and ham on a Kaiser bun. He also brings his famous “Fixin’s bar” to the local restaurant, allowing customers to top their burgers with their choice of condiments and vegetables. The new spot is set to open in Kleve in the winter of 2022. The opening is part of a 10-unit restaurant deal with local restaurant franchise group One Holland Corporation.
Although Northside Urban Artifact Brewery didn’t set out to create the most expensive beer in the world, they did just that with their latest creation, Astronaut Food Blackberry & Blueberry. The all-new beer, described as fruit pie, is made with over 1,000 pounds of freeze-dried blackberries and blueberries. The high price of beer – $1,100 a barrel – is attributed to the approximately 11 pounds of fresh fruit it takes to produce just one pound of freeze-dried fruit used to create Astronaut Food. Do you have deep pockets? Urban Artifact’s latest batch of Astronaut Food Blackberry & Blueberry is available for purchase at the brewery’s Northside location (1660 Blue Rock Street), on their online store and at select retailers. Despite the cost of each barrel, a four-pack of astronaut food will only cost you $30.
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