World Food Bar Restaurant Group to open new restaurant in East Walnut Hills

Six months have passed since the opening of Mayberry Foodstuffs in downtown Cincinnati, and for Chef Josh Campbell and his business partners, it is time to try something new. The team will open a new restaurant called The Skinny Pig in East Walnut Hills this May. The restaurant, Campbell says, will feature flatbreads, salads, and his specialty – pork.

When Herbert Hood, owner of the buildings on Woodburn Avenue , first visited Mayberry Foodstuffs, he asked Campbell to open another small grocery concept in place of the beloved, and recently closed, Lucky John’s Market in his neighborhood.

After learning about Campbell’s cooking background, the pair decided that opening a restaurant would be a great use for the 750-square-foot space. After signing a 15-month lease the whirlwind renovation process, for which the World Food Bar group has become known, began.

Campbell, along with his business partner Jerry Murphy and sous chef Kevin O’Connell, say they are jumping in to the new concept and location head first.

“Everybody says when opportunity knocks, you should go for it,” Campbell says. “Why not? It’s a natural expansion of what we’re already doing, and we want to reach new people. I’ve surrounded myself with such great people, and it just makes sense.”

Collectively, the team works interchangeably between the Mayberry restaurant as well as Foodstuffs, and The Skinny Pig will be another hock of the hog. The pressure smoker for The Skinny Pig will be housed at the Vine Street kitchen, and the entire team, from Campbell to the dishwasher will work together to complete the trifecta.

The Skinny Pig will be located in the DeSales Corner business district of East Walnut Hills which already boasts other restaurants, luxury apartments and art galleries, and Campbell believes the neighborhood is the next up and coming area in Cincinnati.

“The downtown area is beginning to be saturated with restaurants,” says Campbell. “In this area you have Blue Cross Blue Shield, St. Ursula Academy with students who can go off campus for lunch, and several doctor’s offices filled with people looking for healthy, flavorful food options.”

Campbell says that the main menu concept is a variety of blue cornmeal flatbreads with assorted toppings, baked to order in a wood burning oven, along with unique salads. The goal is to operate an eatery that is accessible to every palate, with offerings running the gamut from wild mushroom pate to smoked pork shoulder, and everything in between.

After the first 30 days of operation, he intends to open an expansive courtyard, with an outdoor grill and live weekend music, that can accommodate an additional 20 to 25 people. With exposed brick, an open kitchen, and a relaxed atmosphere, visitors will experience a homey, accessible meal in a sit down, waited-table style, run by locals that genuinely care about the area and the dining experience.

“Lots of people in the city are investing in different areas of the city’s core,” says Campbell. “The suburbs – they come and go. We need to get back to that era of small mom and pop places that care about their customers and build relationships. I’m a businessman, but my goal is to grow and make sure that the people that are around me can survive, live well, and have fun at work. I’m trying to get that message out to people – to just do the right thing.”

Photograph of Chef Josh Campbell inside Mayberry by Jake Mecklenborg for UrbanCincy.

  • http://urbancincy.com/author/randysimes Randy A. Simes

    I love all things that come from a pig (and yes that includes blood sausage). This especially includes pork, and I’m sure Chef Josh is going to masterfully prepare a menu full of amazing pork dishes. I for one can’t wait for The Skinny Pig to open.

  • Dieter S.

    Convictions are a greater threat to truth than ignorance,but in this case I am not sure. East Walnut Hills usually has three “food” locations going at any given time and it is hard to keep up with the name changes. The neighborhood doesn’t support their businesses and there is not a strong desire for outsiders to venture in the hood. I’ll give them a year and two months which is longer than I gave Lucky John’s Market. Unless the menu prices come in very low,the landlord will be needing to look for another tenant or become a partner.

  • http://helloample.com Josh Fendley

    Sounds awesome. Josh will knock this out of the park. People will travel there with me!

  • Sarah

    East walnut hills is the new hot spot!! Lots of new restaurants are going in all over that area!! Can’t wait for this to open!!

  • leif

    Well… as someone who lives in East Walnut Hills, i think this is a pretty terrible location. We eagerly watched the rise of Lucky John only to watch him disappear literally overnight.

    Why not open The Skinny Pig in the old bank location on Madison and Woodburn, across from Suzy Wong’s? That’s a much better location. Opening a restaurant on a one way street near a halfway house is a pretty strange move, especially when you’re following a restaurant that just shut down. Word to the wise.

  • Aaron

    As a EWH resident of 2 years now, I’ve been learning about the rise and fall of eateries in the area. I try to support the local restaurants before they up and disappear. I was excited about Lucky John’s but honestly it wasn’t for me–I have little use for a boutique grocer/deli (unfortunately it seems I wasn’t alone since the shop didn’t last). That said, I’m thrilled to read about this new venture! An eatery with good simple food, live music, and outdoor seating that’s only a few blocks away? Sounds like my kind of place. I hope they get a beer license or at least let patrons BYOB.

    I do agree with leif, though. This location on the one-way stretch of Woodburn is terrible. There’s very little visibility from the street–they should hang the biggest side possibly off the building to pull in passers-by. Also, why the heck hasn’t anyone moved into that classy old bank building across from Suzy Wong’s? It must be in worse shape on the inside than the outside. It’s a shame.

  • Dieter S.

    I don’t know why Aaron would want them to get a liquor license; that is the fastest way to increase costs. BYOB would be nice and that is up to the owner and not the politician.

  • Rachel

    As longtime EWH residents this makes us very happy! We already love Mayberry and pigs and supporting/walking to our local joints. My husband is already anticipating having a chair with his name on it. Thanks Josh!

  • Dieter S.

    “and supporting/walking to our local joints. ” I noted the word joints is plural; are there more than one?? Where?

  • Rachel

    At the moment: Suzie Wongs, Moca, The View, Parkside Cafe, Brew House, ZZs, Andys, Maribelle’s, Obryons, BonBonerie. Yes, Some are not in WH. Yes, We walk to them (full discloser: not ZZs. yet). Happily The Skinny Pig will be closer.

  • Dieter S.

    How long have you lived in East Walnut Hills? You seem to be confused by the boundaries of East Walnut Hills. Suzie Wong’s and The View is okay. At I forgot about Skyline and the Taco joint, but I suspect you might think them beneath what EWH wishes they were.

  • Rachel

    20+ years. I care more abt what’s walkable then boundaries. Taco place = Taco Casa & I have been going there since the 80s, when it was on Erie.

  • Aaron

    May has come and gone, and as far as I can tell there’s been no renovation or activity of any kind at that Lucky John’s location on Woodburn. In fact, there’s still a “space available” sign in the window. Did this project fall through? I was looking forward to this restaurant.

  • http://jenlkessler.carbonmade.com Jenny K

    The Skinny Pig is up the street from the Lucky John’s location. Go check it out, I hear it’s really good!

  • Aaron

    Jenny,
    I am happily mistaken, then! Not sure how I missed it, but will walk up for a closer look soon. I still need to stop into that new French shop, too.

  • Dieter

    Are they open?
    Do they have a sign?
    Do they have a menu?

    Just asking!

  • neighbor

    Unfortunately, after two attempts to try to love the Skinny Pig, I am sadly giving up on this place. Visit one, where items were presented not as advertised (3, to be exact, in a group of 5 guests) was chalked up to new restaurant syndrome. The next visit, which featured poor service, NO ICE (“the owner hasn’t decided which ice company to use…”) and finally, a foreign object in food, was more than I could excuse. I am sad at this, as I work in the neighborhood and would love to have a nice place to add to my food repertoire.