1940s Era OTR Auto Repair Shop Being Transformed Into Bar and Beer Garden

A former automotive repair shop called Queen City Radio is being re-purposed as a bar with a large outdoor beer garden in Over-the-Rhine.

Chris and Louisa Reckman, along with her brother, Gabriel Deutsch, recently bought the 7,665-square-foot property at 222 W. Twelfth Street due to its terrific location that is within close proximity to the Cincinnati Streetcar, Washington Park, Music Hall, and the Central Parkway protected bike lane.

First constructed in the 1940s as an auto repair shop that focused on car radio installation, the new owners say that they wanted to keep the historic name in order to create a warm new atmosphere for the community.

“We had the idea because every time we drove past it, we saw this ugly parking lot and we need more green space in Over the Rhine,” said Louisa.

To that end, Louisa says that QCR will be dog friendly in order to welcome the many dog owners in the neighborhood – including those visiting the dog park at Washington Park. Additionally, for the dog’s owners, there will be 14 beers on tap, including both local and national brews.

“We just want it to be easy-going – a place where anyone can come,” Louisa told UrbanCincy. “We just want it to be a place where everyone feels comfortable.”

Louisa and her brother have background in the restaurant and bar industry, while her husband works for Urban Expansion – a development organization that has helped renovate spaces that include establishments like Happy Belly and Goodfellas.

Local places like those, and others, are what they say motivated them to pursue such an endeavor.

“We love Neon’s and places like that, but there aren’t that many of them down here,” Louisa explained. “So we said, ‘let’s bring some more greenery…let’s beautify the place.’”

As of now, the team says that they are aiming for a July 4 opening.

Such timing would place them amongst the first of several other planned developments nearby, including an 88,000-square-foot office renovation, the new Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, and a new 20-room boutique hotel.

PHOTOS: 16 Panorama Showing Over-the-Rhine’s Evolution

As the winter comes to an end, work has begun or will soon begin on a number of new developments around Over-the-Rhine. Today, we’re sharing 16 panoramas, taken over the past month, that show how the neighborhood is evolving. You can click on each of the images to view them full-screen and read the full description about each project.

Editor’s note: These photos were taken by Travis Estell for UrbanCincy between February 11 and March 8, 2016.

New Single-Family Homes Taking Shape in Over-the-Rhine

The popularity of urban living continues to rise in Cincinnati’s urban core, with new apartment and condos coming online seemingly every month. But recently, many developers have began to shift their focus to a new living option that combines the convenience of a downtown location with the space one would expect in other neighborhoods. These single-family homes might appeal to long-time urbanites that are starting a family and need more space, or those who want to relocate to the inner city without giving up the space they’re used to.

Property developer Urban Expansion gave UrbanCincy a tour of three single-family homes in Over-the-Rhine–one complete and two under construction. The developer is seeking LEED Silver certification for all three of these properties.

219 Wade Street is a 3,528 square foot, 4 bedroom, 3 full and 2 half bathroom home with a list price of $530,000 and a sale currently pending. The home is located directly between a Cincinnati Streetcar stop and the Central Parkway Cycle Track, and close to amenities like Washington Park. The home is the first major residential development on the street, but won’t be the only one for long. Urban Expansion will soon be renovating a neighboring building, and other developers are eyeing the remaining vacant lots and buildings on the street.

 

The properties located at 16 and 18 East 14th Street are a unique example of adaptive reuse. An existing one-story garage wasn’t a great use of this valuable real estate, so Urban Expansion added a two-story living space to the top. These homes will provide a rare opportunity for someone who wants the luxury of a private attached garage (with enough space for three cars) just steps away from the restaurants and shops on Vine and Walnut. The second floor will feature a semi-enclosed patio that offer views of the third phase of Mercer Commons. Construction on these homes will be completed in about a month.