Popular Brewery Rhinegeist Prepares Restaurant Space

Rhinegeist, the popular brewery in Over-the-Rhine, recently received approval from the city’s Historic Conservation Board to make alterations to the space at the southwest corner of their building, at the intersection of Elm and Eton Place.  Specifically, they requested to make the following modifications:

– Install a new lift/elevator and stairwell entrance

– Install new two-over-two windows

– Repair and improve stairs at entrance

– Install new entrance door

Within their application, they include proposed drawings for the space.  The renderings are of a restaurant that includes a kitchen, bar, dining area, and a private event/dining space.  Rhinegeist declined to comment or provide any further details on the space, saying they are not yet ready to make a detailed announcement.

This development follows a flurry of investments that Rhinegeist has made since opening in June of 2013.  Rhinegeist then invested $10 million to expand operations.  This included the purchase of their building from Orton Development for $4.2 million in November of 2014, new brewing equipment in early 2015, and the 4,500 square foot deck that opened in 2016.  The new production equipment enabled them to triple production from 11,000 barrels in 2014, the first full year of operation, to 31,000 barrels in 2015.  Rhinegeist also built an almost 8,000 square foot private event space in 2015 that began holding weddings and other events in September of 2015.

Besides changes made inside the building, several assets have been added outside of Rhinegeist since their opening in 2013.  In 2014, Rhinegeist was the first business to pledge funding for streetcar operations at $5,000 per year.  The Brewery District stop for the Cincinnati Bell Connector, which began operations in September earlier this year, is located just outside of Rhinegeist’s entrance.  In addition to the streetcar stop, Cincy Red Bike also opened a station outside of Rhinegeist’s entrance in July of this year.  Additionally, ArtWorks completed a mural outside the brewery last month.

New Event to Highlight Urban Parks and Streetcar

IGers Cincinnati Meetup PromoAutumn heralds apple cider, crisp cool air and the colorful reveal of fall foliage. The best way to experience this in Cincinnati is by visiting one of the city’s many parks. This city is blessed with having some of its best parks within or overlooking its urban core. The Smale Riverfront Park, Washington Park and others dot the landscape and are all easily connected by the brand new Cincinnati Bell Connector. Yet the leaves won’t stay on the trees forever, which is why this weekend is the best time to snap a few photos!

UrbanCincy has partnered with IGers Cincinnati, a group dedicated to highlighting the best Cincinnati area Instagramers to do a photo walk this Saturday, October 22 at noon. The photo walk, called “Park + Ride,” will highlight the new Cincinnati Bell Connector and the city’s great urban parks along the streetcar route.

Participation is free and open to anyone. This is a great opportunity to meet new people, fellow Instagram photographers and more. We will be meeting at the “Sing the Queen City” sign at Smale Riverfront Park at noon. From there the group will tour the Riverfront Park before boarding the streetcar to travel to our next destinations. Stops include Smale Riverfront Park, Piatt Park, Washington Park and the Rhinegeist rooftop deck. There will also be an optional climb to Bellevue Hill Park.

Some photos taken at the event and tagged with #cinstameet_streetcar will be highlighted by UrbanCincy.

The event starts at noon on Saturday October 22 in front of the “Sing the Queen City” sign located at the foot of the Roebling Suspension Bridge. It is easily accessible from the Banks Streetcar stop and is located within a block of three Cincy RedBike stations. Bring your smartphone or camera. We hope to see you there!

Taste of OTR Returns This Weekend As Expanded, Two-Day Event

The Taste of OTR returns this weekend as an expanded two-day event for craft beer, local eats, and live music in Washington Park.

The announced lineup includes more than 25 of the neighborhood’s best restaurants, food trucks, and retailers selected as vendors for this year’s event. Returning favorites from past years include Taste of Belgium, Alabama Fish Bar, and Dojo Gelato; as well as newcomers Eli’s Barbeque, Ché, and Nation Kitchen & Bar.

Conceived four years ago as a creative way to raise awareness for local nonprofit Tender Mercies and celebrate Over-the-Rhine’s renaissance, Taste of OTR has quickly grown into a signature community event. Attendance has grown exponentially from 2,500 in the first year to 15,000 in 2015. This year, organizers anticipate 20,000 people will attend.

The larger, two-day event will also include several new features, including a Craft Beer Village showcasing locally brewed beer from Samuel Adams and Rhinegeist. A new kid’s zone is intended to make sure the event has plenty to offer for families interested in attending.

All of the proceeds from Taste of OTR go to Tender Mercies – the Over-the-Rhine nonprofit that plans and produces the event, and provides permanent supportive housing for homeless adults with mental illness. It assists nearly 200 residents each year with affordable housing and a suite of support programs such as employment and life skills training and benefits assistance.

Since the event’s inception, Taste of OTR has raised $100,000 for the organization. This year, Tender Mercies hopes to net another $60,000 for their cause.

Taste of OTR will take place Friday, August 26 from 5pm to 10pm, and Saturday, August 27th from 11am to 10pm. General admission is free. For more information about Taste of OTR or to purchase VIP tickets, go to www.tasteofotr.com.

VIDEO: Use Red Bike to Experience Best of Downtown Cincinnati

It’s no secret that the center city boasts a seemingly endless number of things to see and do, for both visitors and locals alike. Moving about from one destination to the next will soon get easier when the Cincinnati Streetcar opens for service, but, for those able to do so, Red Bike serves as a perfect tool to check out as many places as possible.

By taking transit, walking or riding a bike, you can avoid the hassles of fighting traffic, looking and paying for parking, and can check your concerns about parking tickets or other hassles. Plus, it’s also a great way to get some exercise in the process.

Downtown Cincinnati Inc. knows this well.

To help promote such information, they partnered with US Digital Partners on a video to showcase just how convenient and enjoyable it can be to explore the center city by bike. And thanks to the continued expansion of Red Bike, you can now take it to go beyond Downtown and Over-the-Rhine.

If the embedded video does not function properly, you can watch it on Vimeo here.

Bikes ORO’s Millennial Founder Looking to Bring One-for-One Business Model to Bikes

A Cincinnati native hosted an Indiegogo, a website similar to Kickstarter, launch party this past Thursday at Rhinegeist Brewery for a company called Bikes of Reckless Optimism (Bikes ORO).

While the main objective of the company is to foster healthier and more eco-friendly lifestyles for everyone, Chelsea Koglmeier, the company’s founder, also hopes to create easier transportation for children in developing countries.

Koglmeier, a former employee at the Over-the-Rhine-based tech start-up Roadtrippers, said that she took a trip to Kampala, Uganda about a year ago and realized that most of the children in refugee camps there had to walk 8 to 10 kilometers (5 to 6 miles) just to get to school every day.

“Sending a seven-year-old out to do that twice in a day is a lot, and having access to a bicycle makes it a lot more reasonable for their families to let their kids go,” Koglmeier said.

In a business model akin to Toms Shoes, Bikes ORO benefits people in need around the world by using the revenues from bikes sold to help provide bikes to those individuals.

With the help of Perth-based design firm Flying Machine, each bike has its own unique design, with manufacturing taking place in Tianjin, China where two prototypes for the bikes have features like Gates Belt Drives instead of chains, three speeds, and an internally geared hub.

Koglmeier says the purpose of what she calls a “lifestyle business” is not to make lots of money or have a massive impact on those in developing countries. Rather, she hopes that by getting more people on bikes, instead of in cars, will help create better communities.

“I’m much more likely to waive at someone on the street than I am to waive at them when I’m in a car,” Koglmeier explained to UrbanCincy. “That means a lot for cities, and I think Over-the-Rhine is a great example of it. It’s powerful.”

After launching the crowdfunding campaign a week ago, Bikes ORO has already raised more than $20,000, with a goal of raising a total of $45,000 by the end of March. Helping the fundraising effort is the fact that the company has already produced several bikes that people can see and test.

“Because she has an actual, physical product, it’s not like people are giving money to invest in a company that will at some point do something,” said Tatiana Parent, a friend and colleague of Koglmeier. “Some of that money is people actually buying bikes, so it makes it a bit different than a typical Indiegogo campaign.”

At the Rhinegeist event, aptly named Bikes and Brews, people were donating money and took a look at some of the bikes.

“It’s great to see Chelsea with a big turn-out like this,” said Mike Morgan, from Covington. “She seems to have a pretty spiffy product and I kind of wish that they were already selling the bikes because I need a new commuter.”

The company launch has already grown beyond the Cincinnati market, with four other parties in three other cities pending.

The growth is something that is telling of both Bikes ORO’s product, but also the founder’s vision for healthier and more engaged communities.

“It encourages us to think about our world and how we’re taking care of it,” Koglmeier concluded. “It also, especially in city situations, creates this sort of community that you don’t get otherwise.”

Those interested in contributing to the campaign can do so by making a pledge through Bikes ORO’s Indiegogo campaign page.