Ich möchte einen Toast auf Grammer’s ausbringen!

Translation: I’d like to propose a toast to Grammer’s!

I’ll be honest I had never been in Grammer’s before last night. I am a relatively new resident of this great city and had not had the opportunity to enjoy Grammer’s prior to 1992, when it closed. Let me tell you. It seems like the place never closed. There were easily 100-150 people at the opening of Grammer’s last night. You could barely move in the bar area, and many of the tables were full as well. Like I had said in my last post, Beer and Brats… what else do you need? This place is going to do amazingly well. What a GREAT building. It screams its German heritage loud and clear. Old Steins are everywhere, and the basement area is going to be one of my favorite spaces in the city, once the renovations are complete. In general, this could become my NEW favorite hang out. Prost!

No real menu yet, but the management expects a full restaurant in about a year. Other developments should start popping up around Grammer’s at about that same time.

OTR = Food & Drinks

This past week has been a truly remarkable time for our favorite previously neglected neighborhood.

On Tuesday, Lavomatic opened on Vine Street. Jean Robert’s new restaurant opened in an old Laundromat and serves a very rough blend of French and local cuisine. I had the opportunity to try it out and I can say that you will not be disappointed. The space is wonderful. Light colored walls and a completely glass street frontage, makes it a very bright and welcoming space. Upstairs (not quite open yet) the dinning room continues inside and out. The terrace is larger than what I had been expecting. The space is going to be a wonderful place to relax, eat some great food and sip a glass of French wine.

The food was amazing, as expected. I started off with their daily special appetizer, a smoked trout salad. Simply Stunning. My entree and dessert of salmon on a bed of couscous, and crème Brule, were just as spectacular. Also the wine selection was very small, but I was told that they will be expanding it before the weekend. With entrees between 12-24 dollars it is probably the most affordable of Jean Robert’s places. I honestly can’t wait to go back and sit on the terrace.

Today, Grammer’s reopens. A true Cincinnati Gem that I honestly can’t wait to go to. It’s basically going to have my two favorite things. Beer and Bratwursts. It promises to become a staple of Over-the-Rhine once again, especially with some of the redevelopment opportunities that have been recently hitting the presses.

What an exciting time for OTR and the city in general. It is hard not to get wrapped up in the momentum that we are experiencing right now in our neighborhood.

Bill Cunningham is a fool

A little while back you got the UrbanCincy stance on the trashy talk-radio in Cincinnati that unfortunately boasts someone as idiotic and simply rude/crude as Bill Cunningham. Instead of restating the same points I have already made…I’ll let you check out what others are saying.

Cunningham irritates McCain – Cincinnati Enquirer

Cincinnati’s Mark Twain complex

Is Cincinnati ready to shed the Mark Twain complex? That infamous quote seems to rear its ugly head too often, and unfortunately is seemingly reinforced by the moves/actions of local politicians, businesses and residents.

I’ve been called “viciously optimistic” about Cincinnati before, but I know when to call a duck a duck. The Banks is going to happen and it will be sooner rather than later, but it has taken us a decade to get this far. Cincinnati finally told Eagle Realty to take a walk after wasting years of time with the valuable 5th & Race location.

Cincinnati is on the cusp of a vote on the Cincinnati Streetcar proposal. This is something that many cities are looking into, but we are one of the furthest along in the development process. Cincinnati, yes CINCINNATI has the opportunity to do something that cities like Atlanta, Washington D.C., Portland and Columbus (to name a few) are all trying or have done the modern streetcar push.

Well what do you know…a couple of weeks before the Finance Committee is to vote on the proposal John Cranley publicized a 9-page list of questions – questions that have been answered by city staff and City Manager Milton Dohoney. These answers will be presented at the Finance Committee hearing on February 25th…however it seems VERY unlikely that it will budge Cranley on his views one bit.

To throw another wrench in the works, Roxanne Qualls suggests that another route altogether might be a better idea. You know nothing is more productive than waiting until 5 days before the hearing and suggesting that we start from scratch.

I won’t bore you with why the current proposal is solid, and why I think these politicians are simply employing stall tactics…but rather I will make the bold statement that Cincinnati shed this Mark Twain complex and start proving to our citizens that we can do big things, and we can do them quickly/efficiently.

Image Credit:
Twain With Pipe from the Kingwood College Library

Art by Erikyasha

I thought I would mix things up a little bit and plug a local artist. Erikyasha has a variety of techniques and styles, but tends to use mechanical pencils, Faber Castel pens, Copic markers, and then takes his pieces into Photoshop and further toys with them.

He definitely has an interesting style that is fun and enjoyable. Check it out…it’s definitely worth a browse through the gallery.

Image Credit:
Rock and or Roll by Erikyasha