Asian Food Fest Returns to Washington Park This Weekend

Pho, Pad Thai, Nasi Lemak, Bibimbap. Great Asian cuisine can sometimes be hard to located with it being spread throughout Uptown, Northern Kentucky and northern suburbs like Fairfield or Springdale. However, this weekend many of the best Asian dishes will be available at the sixth annual Asian Food Festival in Washington Park.

This two-day extravaganza will celebrate and feature the diverse and tasty cuisines of Asian countries including Vietnam, Thailand, China, Korea, Malaysia and many more.

Created in 2010 by a diverse group of friends who wanted to spread their love of Asian food and culture, the festival has since been building awareness of the city’s diverse Asian population and food scene.

Over the past six years, the festival has showcased some of the city’s best Asian restaurants and chefs, while fostering connections between community members and local Asian-American organizations and businesses. Past vendors, such as Pho Lang Tang and Huit, have since started retail establishments in the center city; and festival organizers hope the event can play a bigger role in continuing to grow the local Asian food scene.

A new feature at this year’s festival is the “Secret Menu” booth, which will feature unique food from home chefs and aspiring food entrepreneurs.

“This is a special chance for foodies to get a taste of a homecooked Asian meal from local amateur chefs who are excited to share the food they grew up with,” Marketing Director Tessa Xuan told UrbanCincy. “We hope the Secret Menu chefs will gain enough experience to become independent vendors and even restaurant owners someday.”

New vendors this year include Hawaiian food stand Ono Grindz, Clifton-based carryout spot Thai Express, and the West Chester-based Filipino restaurant Dai Trang. And, of course, many crowd favorites will be returning, including the Indonesian Fusion restaurant Huit BBQ, Taiwanese bubble tea cafe Boba Cha, and Red Sesame – the food truck famous for their Korean BBQ Tacos.

Admission to the festival is free, but donations are encouraged – proceeds from the festival will go towards supporting the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Asian American Cultural Association of Cincinnati (AACAC), and to host future Asian cultural events throughout the region.

Asian Food Fest will be held at Washington Park in Over-the-Rhine this Saturday and Sunday. Hours on Saturday are from 4pm to midnight, and Sunday from 12pm to 8pm. The event is free and open to the public, but dishes from vendors will range from $2-$6.

The festival is easily accessible from #21, #64, #78 & #46 Metro bus routes and Cincy Red Bike with a station in the park.

Metro Brings Late Night Bus Back This Saturday

Metro and CincyYP are once again teaming up to encourage young people in Cincinnati to try out the city’s bus service beyond typical commuting uses. This is the third year of this successful  program.

Last year’s entertainment bus event saw more than 400 passenger trips taken. Participants will once again have the opportunity to learn tips to plan their trip including how to read a schedule, catch a bus and use Metro’s real-time apps. There will be special promotions at popular establishments along the event route in downtown, OTR, Oakley, Hyde Park, O’Bryonville, Clifton and East Walnut Hills.

“Cincinnati’s YP leaders truly get how important public transit is to our community, and their commitment to encouraging their peers to use Metro is inspiring,”Metro’s Outreach and Sustainability Manager Kim Lahman stated in a prepared release, “The ‘Late Night Test Ride’ provides us with a safe, fun and adventurous way of introducing young professionals to Metro’s service, while allowing them to get to know our community and one another better.”


Metro Late Night Test Ride Route Map [Provided]


Metro Late Night Test Ride Schedule [Provided]

The mobile event will take place this Saturday, April 23 between 8Pm-2AM. Three buses will operate on 30 minute intervals on a route that will take riders around to some 18 bars in seven different neighborhoods.

Many people view transit as a means to get to and from work, but the reality is that nearly three-fourths of all trips made each day have nothing to do with work commutes. As Metro works to grow ridership and expand its customer base, choice riders – those who choose to take transit instead of other alternatives – are becoming an increasingly targeted demographic. Additionally, as the Late Night Test rides are proving, there is a solid demand for late night routes that could be instituted on a more permanent basis.

Unlimited trip passes for the late night shuttle can be purchased online for $8 per person, or $25 for groups of four. The public can also simply purchase single trips at Metro’s normal $1.75 fare anywhere along the route. Those who may not have the cash, or just want to get a bit more involved, are being encouraged to volunteer for two hours and receive a complimentary pass in return.

As Lahman suggests, the hope is to get young people more familiar with using the city’s bus service, and will learn tips about how to plan their trip, read a schedule, catch a bus and use Metro’s real-time arrival services.

Petscapes Resort and Spa to Bring Modern, Relaxed Pet Services to Center City Residents

Ashley Roedersheimer with Killian [Travis Estell]

Center city residents will soon have a new option for their pet care needs when Petscapes Resort and Spa opens in April.

Located on Garfield Place right on Piatt Park, owner Ashley Roedersheimer says she is excited to open up her business in the heart of the city.

“This location is a perfect choice as it is connected to the Garfield Apartments, which is pet friendly,” Roedersheimer told UrbanCincy.

The west side native said that she was particularly drawn to the downtown area due to the increase in the number of residents living there, and the few offerings of this nature for those residents – many of which have pets of their own.

Petscapes Resort and Spa will take up 1,270 square feet of space for its daycare and grooming operations. The space is split up with most of it in a basement level and the rest of it at street level.

Roedersheimer, a self-described dog person who has grown to like cats more and more as she has gotten older, says that the opening of the store is also the realization of a dream for her, and has been saving money for it since she was 14 years old.

“I want to provide the pet owners of downtown a place where they can confidently drop their pets off during the day while at work, school, or wherever, and they can assure their pet is being properly cared for at a convenient location for a great price.”

While Roedersheimer is the sole owner, she will be joined by Stacy Black who will work as the grooming specialist after having worked in the industry for more than eight years. In the future, once their clientele has been built, they say the plan is to hire additional employees to handle increased grooming demands and walking and bathing duties.

Full service visits at Petscapes Resort and Spa will range from $35 for extra small breeds to $100 for large breeds and include a massage bath with specialty shampoo and conditioner, blow dry and de-shedding treatment, nail clipping, ear cleaning, hair cut of the owner’s choice, and the option of a bow or bandanna and cologne. Touch-up prices will run a bit lower and they say that the cost can fluctuate based on the coat of the animal.

Pet owners will also be able to choose a number of add-on services including flea treatment, medical shampoo treatment, nail grinding, teeth brushing, and more.

One of the major points of emphasis for the new grooming salon and daycare is the comfort of both the animals and their owners. In addition to providing a locker, not a crate or kennel, for each animal that includes food, treats and toys, the pets are also offered walk time to ensure that the animal is getting proper exercise.

“I want the pets and owners to feel a sense of relaxation when visiting Petscapes Resort and Spa,” Roedersheimer explained. “The facility provides separate areas for the dogs that interact better with certain breeds.”

For those owners who want to check in on their pets while they are away, Roedersheimer, who owns a Rottweiler named Killian, says they will be able to login to the website and check in on their animals, and that the lobby area will also include a television with a display of the animals at play downstairs.

While the details have not yet been set, Roedersheimer says that they will host a grand opening event with special pricing on select grooming services and coupons for discounted daycare services. Those interested in attending and taking advantage of the specials are encouraged to connect with Petscapes Resort and Spa on Facebook.

Collection of Young Entrepreneurs Open First-of-its-Kind Coworking Space in Over-the-Rhine

Another coworking space has opened in the center city; and like the others, this one has its own unique twist.

The Office, as it is casually called by its owners and users, is a small 800-square-foot space at the southeast corner Twelfth and Walnut Streets. The space is located next to HalfCut, which opened earlier this year, and is now directly connected with the beer café and its partner Gomez Salsa operations.

“Whether you’re looking to answer emails, hold weekly meetings, brainstorm new marketing techniques or partake in a game of ping pong on your lunch break, The Office is for you,” explained Jack Heekin, co-owner of HalfCut.

As of now, those operating HalfCut, Venn, Pedal Wagon, Squirrel Films, Gomez Salsa and Push Pull Studios are utilizing the space most often. Others that are interested in using the space can set things up by simply contacting Heekin at 513-382-2734.

The cozy space is a bit different from the other coworking spaces that have opened around the city in recent months due to its casual nature. Most striking is that there are no memberships or regular fees. The main requirement to be able to use the space, Heekin says, is a good attitude.

“We have created a space, where entrepreneurs can come and learn from each other,” Heekin said in a prepared release. “We focus on sharing the combined love for creating and developing ideas into unique experiences. Everyone brings different skills, contacts and energy to the table.”

The reason for setting things up like this, as opposed to charging traditional rates to use the space, is to create an atmosphere where ideas and skills can be exchanged quickly and easily.

“I believe we’ve developed a culture within this office that promotes fine-tuning ones strengths and discovering your passion,” Heekin concluded. “It’s a great feeling watching young companies challenge each other to become more successful, and deliver the best product possible to their customers.”

Is crowdfunding the future for real estate investment?

Real estate in America has largely followed predictable funding patterns over time. This, however, appears to be shifting. In one recent example in Washington D.C., a pair of young developers are looking to empower a community with the opportunity to invest in developing a property in their own neighborhood. Some believe that this kind of deal could change the way real estate deals are brokered in the future. More from CityLab:

Real estate developments are typically financed by wealthy investors who live in the suburbs, or by Wall Street funds even farther away. In a neighborhood like Washington’s H Street Northeast corridor, this means that local projects often can’t find backing, or that far-flung investors put up safe, formulaic products in their place: say, “the glass shiny office/condo building that’s horrible,” Dan Miller says, grimacing.

This model – with its broken connection between a neighborhood’s desires and its investors’ bottom line – seemed to the brothers illogical. Why couldn’t people in the community invest in real estate right next door? Why couldn’t the Millers raise money to purchase a property on H Street from the very people who live there? The neighborhood is a quirky mix of barbershops and hip beer gardens. It’s not the kind of place that investors from wealthy Chevy Chase, Maryland, quite get.